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Is Tolerance a Christian Value? (Part 1)

August 15, 2019

Is Tolerance a Christian Virtue? Part One: A Theological Starting Point Michael Jinkins   In response to my request for sermon ideas this past summer, several members of the congregation asked if I would address the issues of moral absolutism and relativism. It occurred to me that preaching on these subjects might not be the […]

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The Most Depressing Lecture I Ever Heard

August 8, 2019

The Most Depressing Lecture I Ever Heard Michael Jinkins   The day started to come unstrung long before I got to the lecture.   This was 1987. Debbie and the kids and I had only been in Aberdeen, Scotland, for a couple of months. The word got around the faculty of divinity at the university […]

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A Gulf Wants Spanning

August 1, 2019

A Gulf Wants Spanning Luke 16:19-30   Larry was one of the people I most admired in my first congregation. He and his wife, Cindy, sort of adopted Debbie and me into their family, and in time became the Godparents of our children. Back then Larry was an executive for IBM. He was one of […]

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The Vow

July 25, 2019

The Vow  Michael Jinkins   He was already talking when he got out of the cab and met me at the trunk. It seemed as though I was catching him in mid-conversation though I was the only person around. He took my bag, loaded it, never pausing for a breath in his stream of words. […]

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The Consolation of Philosophy

July 18, 2019

The Consolation of Philosophy Michael Jinkins   Epictetus has been my astringent companion for more than twenty years. And a bracing friend he is. The purest spirit among all the Stoic philosophers, Epictetus tells the truth as he sees it — and always without any varnish.   This former slave (his name means “Acquired”), a […]

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Faith and Business

July 11, 2019

July 12, 2019 Faith and Business   The church historically, though unintentionally, has demonstrated a knack for depreciating the vocations of the laity. Well, perhaps not all vocations of the laity. The church has routinely blessed vocations like the helping professions, medicine, and education, especially if they are in the not-for-profit realm. But the church […]

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Humanity 101

July 4, 2019

July 5, 2019 Humanity 101 Michael Jinkins   If there’s a class somewhere that teaches us what it means to be human, the centerpiece of the curriculum surely is the study of gratitude. Learning to be thankful is basic to being a person. It’s “Humanity 101.” Thankfulness is the natural impulse of the healthy heart. […]

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God Is in the Clouds

June 27, 2019

“God Is in the Clouds” Michael Jinkins   The fields of Central Texas range over softly rolling topography. Crops of wheat, sorghum and cotton take their turns maturing under skies of blue that blaze white hot from May to late September. My daily walks as a young pastor took me past fields that stretched to […]

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Friendship Weighs More Than Ideology

June 13, 2019

Friendship Weighs More Than Ideology Michael Jinkins   Not long after beginning as Assistant Pastor at the historic Beechgrove Church in Aberdeen, Scotland, our Senior Minister, the Reverend Tom Alsup, asked if I would be willing to visit regularly with a particular member of the congregation, Dr. David Cairns, Professor Emeritus of Christ College, Aberdeen […]

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The Listening Neighbor

June 13, 2019

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (Part 3) “The Listening Neighbor”  Michael Jinkins   There is no place in this country where ideological disputes rage with more vigor, and often viscous, violent rhetoric, than in higher education.   Colleges, universities and seminaries are intended to provide a place for free-wheeling debate, where nothing should be taken […]

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