From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Seeing with the Eids of Islam: Depth perception

Having two major Eids (“solemn festivals”) – one for strengthening human nature, the other for obeying God’s will – gives Islam a depth perception that is so essential for balanced spiritual growth.

Although there were at least two days of Medina festivals before the arrival of Muhammad, Wikipedia reports that these were more about merriment than they were about sanctity.  Muhammad’s response was to shift the people’s attention to two new festivals:  Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.  There would be merriment at these two festivals as well, but the primary focus of both would be gratitude to God.

When the sacred month of Ramadan ends, Eid ul-Fitr begins.  The first day of Eid ul-Fitr therefore coincides
with the first day of Shawwal (the tenth Islamic month).  Eid al-Adha occurs on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah (the twelfth and final Islamic month).  In Southeast Asian countries, Eid ul-Fitr is the primary Eid; whereas in Arabic countries, Eid al-Adha is.  Eid al-Adha is usually celebrated for four days; whereas Eid ul-Fitr is often celebrated for three.  Because of this, Eid ul-Fitr is sometimes referred to as the “Smaller Eid,” and Eid al-Adha as the “Greater Eid.”

The term Fitr in Eid ul-Fitr means “original nature,” and therefore refers to “the restoration of one’s best human composition.”  This is facilitated through congregational salaat (prayer), special greetings (such as “May your Eid be blessed”), encouragement to “forgive and forget,” the khutbah  (sermon), dua (supplication), remembering of ancestors, dressing up, nourishing food, generous gifts, and overall kindness.

The term Adha in Eid al-Adha means “sacrifice,” and honors “the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma’il) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead.”  Eid al-Adha takes places immediately after the Hajj (annual Muslim worldwide pilgrimage to Mecca), and also involves prayer, a sermon, greetings, dressing up, and generous gifts.  Harkening back to the story of Ibrahim and Ishmael, it can also entail the ritual sacrifice of an animal.


Copyright August 31, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frankenstein: Prometheus Rebound

(From the 1831 edition of Frankenstein)
Those who think that Frankenstein is simply a monster thriller are unaware that it is deeply rooted in ancient Greek mythology.

Mary Shelley, the true creator of both Frankenstein and his monster, drew greatly upon the story of Prometheus for inspiration.  According to Wikipedia, “Prometheus” (meaning “forethought” in Greek) was “the Titan who created mankind.”  In Greek mythology, the Titans were the Elder Gods who were eventually overthrown by the younger Olympians.  Titans ruled during the legendary Golden Age of “primordial peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity.”

Prometheus was a bit of a trickster, and was particularly partial to humans – a mortal race that he had allegedly fashioned out of clay.  Therefore, when Olympian King Zeus became angry with mortals, Prometheus was bound to defend them.  He managed to steal fire from Zeus in order to hand it over to humans.  Not only that, he also taught humans “the arts of civilization, such as writing, mathematics, agriculture, medicine, and science.”  

In retaliation, Zeus armed Pandora with a jarful of “evils, harsh pain and troublesome diseases” for mankind.  He then meted out his very worst punishment to Prometheus (which was particularly vicious since Prometheus had been a key player in Zeus’ rise to power).  Zeus had Prometheus “bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day.”

At this point it’s certainly fair to wonder whether all these gory Promethean details have anything to do with Frankenstein.  Mary Shelley saw an essential parallel between Victor Frankenstein’s creation of his “monster” and Prometheus’ creation of humans.  Both so-called creators were guilty of “playing God.”  Both ended up being severely punished for their hubris.  Both operated in wily, but underhanded ways.

The original name of Shelley’s novel was therefore Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus.  It has assumed a potent life of its own, just as the “monster” itself did.


Copyright August 30, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 29, 2011

Salacious Salome: A walk on the Wilde side

(The Peacock Skirt by Beardsley)
Throughout all the mythology (mixed in with perhaps a bit of actual history) concerning the Daughter of Herodias, one common theme emerges:  salaciousness.

Although her name derives from the Hebrew root word for “peace,” none of the interpretations of Salome’s life were particularly peaceful.  Salaciousness, in fact, was just one of many sensationalistic factors within her “biographies.”   By most accounts, it merely served to grease the slimy wheels of violence, hypocrisy and political intrigue.  It wasn't until Oscar Wilde (with a lot of help from Aubrey Beardsley) came along that Salome’s salaciousness was given top literary billing.

In Wilde’s famous play, it doesn’t take but an instant for Salome to fall totally in lust with Iokannan the Baptist.  As she stares at his tortured imprisoned body for the very first time, she immediately notes that his eyes “are like black lakes troubled by fantastic moons” and his chaste flesh is “like a shaft of silver.”  He, on the other hand, calls her a “daughter of Babylon” whose “mother hath filled the earth with the wine of her inquities.”

Not an auspicious first encounter, by any means – and it only gets worse from there…

This initial assessment of her and her closest kin only serves to fan the flames of Salome’s passion.  Whereas most might run (or at least hide) from such condemnation, Salome merely replies:  Speak again, Iokanaan.  Thy voice is as music to mine ear.   All the “Daughter of Sodom” accusations in the world couldn’t dissuade her from yearning to kiss his pomegranate-like lips.

No need to recount (and every need to recant) all the subsequent details.  Suffice it to say that Salome did
get to kiss those lips – at which point, even Herod concludes:  In truth, what she has done is a great crime.  I am sure that it is a crime against some unknown God.


Copyright August 29, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Reverend Billy: Repent, New York!

(Photo by Arnoldius)
Although Reverend Billy’s is now the “Amen!” heard round the world, he is still most closely associated with the sidewalks of New York.

In fact, without the inspiration of his New York City mentor (the Reverend Sidney Lanier, then-vicar of St. Clements in Hell’s Kitchen), there might have been no Reverend Billy as we know him today.  It was Lanier who helped actor Bill Talen to direct his considerable theatrical talent towards evangelizing Manhattan’s masses.  Together, Lanier and Talen created a character which Wikipedia describes as “a hybrid of street preacher, arguably Elvis, and televangelist called Reverend Billy.”

Some distinctly New York causes that Reverend Billy and his Church of Life After Shopping (now Church of Earthalujah) have undertaken are the support of Coney Island’s amusement parks, the preservation of Union Square’s public park, and the protests against the Disney Store on Times Square.  These causes reflect this portion of Talen’s “Statement of Belief”:  We forget that we share many resources, public spaces, libraries, information, history, sidewalks, streets, schools that we created laws and covenants and governments to protect us, to support us, to help us…  The subjugation of these resources and these laws to the forces of the market demands a response.

Because of beliefs like this, Reverend Billy has also focused upon “exposing the relationship between unsustainable consumption and climate change.”  While other preachers might condemn a company like Victoria’s Secret for all-too-obvious reasons, Talen instead condemns it for its dirtiest secret of all – the fact that the millions of Victoria’s Secret catalogs that are distributed each week inevitably end up in landfills.  The good Reverend also points out (in strident tones) that the supplier for these catalogs is the International Paper Company, which is known for its clear-cutting of Canadian boreal forests.

Therefore, Reverend Billy is not about to let New Yorkers (or anyone else) forget that there is most definitely a heavy price to pay for rampant consumerism (as well as for what he calls its “twin” -  militarism).

And that price may be as high as the heavens themselves…  


Copyright August 28, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fallen angel at the 'Washington National Cathedral'

(Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid/MathKnight )
Although separation of church and state is the law of the land, the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is nevertheless repeatedly described as the “Washington National Cathedral” and as the “National House of Prayer.”

Some say that because the United States government is not
funding this cathedral, the “wall of separation” stands strong. 
However, there seem to be a number of indications that this wall has been breached. 

On the cathedral’s official website (which is titled “Washington National Cathedral” rather than the actual Christian name), the “history” section begins with President Washington’s 1791 commissioning of Major Pierre L’Enfant to “create a visionary plan for the nation’s capital.”  According to the website, it was L’Enfant who then “first imagined ‘a great church for national purposes.’”   Because L’Enfant “imagined” this while being commissioned by the United States president – and because the phrase “great church for national purposes” was used (as opposed to more inclusive language such as “house of worship/inspiration/tolerance for national purposes”) – it seems that the national dice were being strongly rolled in favor of Christianity.

The website then continues with this explanation:  On January 6, 1893, Congress granted a charter (incorporation papers) to the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation of the District of Columbia, allowing it to establish a cathedral and institutions of higher learning.  Signed by President Benjamin
Harrison, this charter is the birth certificate of the Washington National Cathedral.  This intermingling of Congress, President Harrison and the so-called “Washington National Cathedral” seems way more than what Jefferson may have had in mind when he wrote “religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God…”

According to an August 24, 2011 Washington Post headline, the Earthquake –damaged Washington National Cathedral needs to raise millions.  This headline is accompanied by a large photo of a fallen angel. 

Perhaps the reconstruction could include some devas, sprites and other interfaith spirits in order to truly help rebuild that Jeffersonian wall.


Copyright August 27, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene: Is God furious with America?

(Hurricane Katrina)
As Hurricane Irene threatens the densely-populated East Coast, some Americans are no doubt asking themselves:  Could this be divine retribution?

After Hurricane Katrina, many were asking this same question.  Anne Arlinghaus of Vanderbilt University investigated the theories of divine retribution that emerged in Katrina’s aftermath.  Arlinghaus quoted Rev. Dwight McKissic as saying:  New Orleans
flaunts sin in a way that no other places do…  You can’t shake your fist in God’s face 364 days a year and then ask, “Where was God when Katrina struck?”  She then quoted Billy Graham’s son, Rev. Franklin Graham, as saying: …God is going to use that storm to bring a revival.  God has a plan.  God has a purpose.

Arlinghaus later pointed out that it is not only Christians who interpret hurricanes as divine retribution.  Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, claimed that Hurricane Katrina was a result of then-President Bush’s “support for the recent Israeli withdrawals from the Gaza Strip…”   She also mentioned that “several Muslims interpreted the hurricane as punishment for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.”

Media Matters for America focused upon claims made by three of America’s famous religious conservatives:  Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, and Charles Colson.  Pat Robertson was convinced of a link between Hurricane Katrina and America’s legalized abortion.  Hal Lindsey saw Katrina as a clear sign that America’s days of judgment had begun.  Charles Colson believed that Katrina was God’s way of showing America just how vulnerable she really was.

As people begin battening down the hatches in preparation of Irene’s mighty visit, it might be wise for us all to at least consider what can be learned from such an event.   After all, it doesn’t take a prophet to detect the many ways in which America - and the rest of the world - need to take heed.


Copyright August 26, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vesuvius: A veritable genius, by Jove!

(Pompeii Fresco)
When Professor Higgins of My Fair Lady shouted out “By Jove, I think she’s got it!” – he was referring to the budding genius of his protégé, Eliza Dolittle, rather than to the erupting genius of Jupiter’s protégé, Vesuvius.

Many people know that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. destroyed the nearby towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.  Many also wonder whether the latter town was named after Hercules, since he allegedly had some associations with the Vesuvius region.  The ancient Greek historian, Diodoros Siculus, referred to Hercules’ passing through there while traveling to complete his twelve labors.  Venus, the patroness
of Pompeii, was also particularly associated with the region.

However, Wikipedia notes that it was Jupiter, the Roman “king of the gods, and the god of sky and thunder” who was considered to be the true deity of Mount Vesuvius.  Surviving frescos from the region depict the genius (aka Agathodaimon) of Vesuvius as a meadow-snake that slithers nearby the volcano.  In this case, genius does not refer to intellectual superiority, but rather to the “divine nature that is present in every person, place or thing.”  The inscription IOVI VESVVIO (Jupiter Vesuvius), which was found in Capua, also shows this strong Vesuvian bond between heaven and earth.

Whereas the sudden onslaught of ash and pumice buried everything in Pompeii for almost 1700 years,
archaeologists are now uncovering more and more of these ancient artifacts.  Wikipedia reports that the
excavation of Pompeii has “provided and extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire.”

Many of the houses there were found to have Iararia (“family shrines”).  These were typically located “off the atrium, kitchen or garden, where the smoke of burnt offerings could vent through the opening in the roof.”  Each had a panel fresco depicting two Lares (“guardian deities”) and one central family-genius figure.


Copyright August 25, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Northeast earthquake: Was it Loki, Poseidon, or Namazu?


Although some attribute seismic activity to the shifting of the earth’s plates, others claim to know better.  Over the years, earthquake activity has been traced to the struggles of the Norse god Loki, the tantrums of the Greek god Poseidon, and/or the thrashing of the giant Japanese catfish Namazu.

Loki’s numerous struggles have been often brought about by his changeable nature.  Ever the prankster, he has been sometimes good, and sometimes quite the opposite.  His cordial relationship with the Norse gods ended suddenly when he was found to have played a significant role in the death of Baldr “the brave, the good, and the shining god.”  It was Loki who engineered this killing by making a spear out of mistletoe, the one plant that was not under the protective vows of Baldr’s mother, Frigg.  Then Loki tricked Baldr’s brother, Hoor the blind god, into hurling this spear right at Baldr.  According to Wikipedia, this fatal event was the “first in a chain of events which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarok.”

Whereas Loki cleverly engineered his destruction, Poseidon often simply lost his cool.  When he felt sufficiently “offended or ignored,”  he would strike the ground with his mighty trident, thus causing “chaotic springs, earthquakes, drowning and shipwrecks.”  That’s because Poseidon was not only “master of waters,” but also “lord of the earth” (aka “Earth-shaker”).  He was apparently so feared that even Alexander the Great stopped at the Syrian shore before the Battle of Issus, and sacrificed a four-horse chariot to Poseidon.

Another aquatic force to be reckoned with has been Namazu, the giant catfish that lives “in the mud beneath the earth.”  Namazu is normally restrained with a stone by the Shinto god Kashima.  Sometimes, however, Kashima slips up and allows Namazu to thrash about.  This is allegedly what causes intermittent earthquakes to occur.  It is also what has resulted in Namazu being worshipped as a yonaoshi daimyojin (“god of world rectification”) by some.


Copyright August 24, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vegan Bill Clinton: Approaching Ahimsa one bean at a time

(Jain symbol for Ahimsa)
Although Christopher Wanjek, Live Science’s “Bad Medicine” columnist, hints that Bill Clinton is strictly a “dietary vegan” at this point (meaning he appears to be “concerned more about his own health than about the health of any animal”) – that doesn’t preclude a sudden ahimsa awakening.  If anything, practicing veganism can serve as a third-eye opener.

The word ahimsa is derived from the Sanskrit root himsa (meaning “injury” or “harm”).  When the prefix “a” is added, himsa then takes on the exact opposite meaning (so ahimsa literally means “non-harming” or “non-violent”).  However, the connotation of ahimsa goes far beyond the mere physical.
According to Wikipedia, ahimsa “is an important tenet of the Indian religions (Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism)” which “respects living beings as a unity.” 

The overall principle of ahimsa was practiced and promoted by Mahatma Gandhi.  The International Vegetarian Union reiterates this quote from Gandhi’s autobiography:  To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.  I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.  I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.

Keith Akers, in his article Truth-Force and Vegetarianism, points out that Gandhi’s vegetarianism embraced morality and economics.  Gandhi believed that non-violence included non-violence towards animals, and “said that he would never eat meat even in the face of death.”  He also believed that “any form of exploitation or inequality” in this world could also be construed as a form of violence.  Gandhi therefore “lived a very simple lifestyle, insisting on sharing in manual labor and at his death had only a very few possessions.” 

Akers has written many other articles about spiritually-based vegetarianism.  He asks such intriguing questions as these:   Was the Last Supper Vegetarian? and  Is Nothing Sacred?  He then gets right back down to earth with titles such as A chicken is not a vegetable  and  But how do you get enough protein?

We all have to start somewhere.  Even Gandhi ate meat at one time.  So here’s to Clinton’s evolving journey…


Copyright August 23, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 22, 2011

Holy cow, it's Krishna's birthday!

(Himalayan Academy Publications)
Although Krishna doesn’t experience birth and death in the same way that humans do, his appearance on earth is nevertheless welcomed as a birthday.

That day is known as Krishna Janmashtami, and is “one of the biggest religious festivals in the world” according to  This festival is further described as “Christmas and New Year’s in one, a day of deep spiritual renewal and celebration that effectively finishes an old year and begins a fresh one.”  It is not only Krishna’s birth that is celebrated on this day, but also his childhood and overall “personable-ness.”

One of his endearing childhood attributes was his protection of cows.  In fact, two of Krishna’s popular names reflect this:  Bala
Gopala (“the child who protects the cows”) and Govinda (“one
who brings satisfaction to the cows”).  That’s because when he
wasn’t playing the flute, dancing, or otherwise divinely occupied –
he was tending cows.

According to Wikipedia, cattle are not only sacred in Hinduism, but also in Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, and in religions of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.  Some of this reverence has roots in ancient Vedic times when cows symbolized wealth.  The milk, as well as the dung, was cherished and thoroughly utilized.  In the Rig Veda, river goddesses such as Vipas and Sutudri are
favorably compared with cows.  In the Atharva Veda, the “cow’s body is represented by various devas…”

In the Brahmavaivarta Purana, Krishna says the following:  The holy places always stay in the cows’ hooves.  O father, Goddess Lakshmi always stays in the cows’ hearts…  A place where cows stay is holy.  One who dies there is at once liberated.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) therefore asserts, “Cow protection is not a relic from the ancient past – it’s the heart of Dharma.”  In order to assist with this protection, ISKCON has developed the New Vrindaban Goraksa Seva program, which promotes “environmentally sound farming practices.”  This not only protects the cows, but it also protects Mother Earth (which is “symbolized by a cow”).  


Copyright August 22, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke  All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Fall and Rise of Aubrey Beardsley

(Aubrey Beardsley)
About a year before his death at a very young age from tuberculosis, Aubrey Beardsley embraced Catholicism.  Some cynics presuppose that this wasn’t a true conversion, but Beardsley’s own correspondence indicates otherwise.

Arthur Symons, son of a Wesleyan minister and a poet who wound up making his own form of Amends, recalled an 1895
conversation with Beardsley.  Idle Speculations presents this 1966 recollection from Symons about one of Beardsley’s
disclosures during that long-ago conversation:  And he told me then a singular dream or vision which he had had when a child, waking up at night in the moonlight and seeing a great crucifix, with a bleeding Christ, falling off the wall, where certainly there was not, and had never been, any crucifix.

It took quite a while for Beardsley to come back full circle to that childhood connection.  During the interim, he had developed quite the reputation for leading a decadent life.  Wikipedia quotes him as saying during this period:  I have one aim – the grotesque.  If I am not grotesque I am nothing.  This “grotesqueness” was especially expressed within his artwork.  After his conversion to Catholicism, he begged his publisher to “destroy all copies of Lysistrata and bad drawings… by all that is holy all obscene drawings.”  This heartfelt request was ignored.

Idle Speculations points out that French poet Marc-Andre Raffalovich, who chose to become a Dominican brother, was a major influence in what Beardsley referred to as “the most important step in my life.”  In a series of letters to Raffalovich, Beardsley expressed his feelings about this step:  I feel now, dear Andre, like someone who has been standing waiting on the doorstep of a house upon a cold day, & who cannot make up his mind to knock for a long while.  At last the door is thrown open & all the warmth of kind hospitality makes glad the frozen traveller…

As it is also written:  “Knock and it shall be open.”

No matter what has gone before…


Copyright August 21, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Theological perspectives

(H. P. Lovecraft, age 9)
There seem to be as many definitions of theology as there are perspectives about it.  Wikipedia presents quite a few of these definitions - beginning with the more standard ones such as Augustine of Hippo’s “reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity” – and proceeding with the more expansive ones such as Varro’s inclusion of mythology, rational philosophy, and civil observances into the theological mix.

Lovecraft’s preoccupation with pretty much all of the above seems to huddle  beneath theological umbrellas of sorts.  His theological stance has been dubbed “cosmicism,” which has been described by Wikipedia as the absence of a “recognizable divine presence” in the universe, coupled with a strong belief that humans are relatively insignificant “in the larger scheme
of intergalactic existence.”  By today’s standards, this seems less the product of literary imagination than it does the product of scientific inquiry.

Lovecraft himself was greatly fascinated with and influenced by science.  One of his foremost biographers, Sunand Tryambak Joshi, discussed Lovecraft’s early wish to become an astronomer.  Although Lovecraft was a literary prodigy, he had a great deal of difficulty with the study of higher mathematics.  His love of cosmic science was therefore predominantly expressed within the themes of his literary works.

Many have called these themes “pessimistic” - since those who believe in cosmic indifference to humankind are often thought of as “misotheistic” (rejecting the divine), “dystheistic” (deeming the divine to be a mixture of benevolence, hostility, and indifference), “maltheistic” (deeming the divine to be malevolent), “antitheistic”
(not believing in the existence of a deity per se), “post-theistic” (seeing humans as being morally past the point of needing a deity), and/or “dualistic” (believing the deity that is commonly worshipped is a lower god that masks the true God from human knowledge and experience).

Lovecraft may not have believed in religion per se, but this quote from the beginning of The Call of Cthulhu indicates that he was in sync with the Genesis prohibition against eating too much “cosmic fruit”:  The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.


Copyright August 20, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bill Clinton: We can't be perfect

(Official White House Portrait)
According to a sermon that Bill Clinton gave at Riverside Church right before a Republican convention:  We can’t be perfect, we can just be more perfect.

He titled this Beliefnet-printed sermon All of Us See Through the Glass Darkly after the famous Pauline quote from I Corinthians12 comparing life in this world to life in heaven:  For now, we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  What this means to Clinton is that none of us – not
even right-wing conservatives – have the monopoly on truth and values.

According to some staunch critics of this approach, Clinton’s “less than perfect” philosophy reflects his Baptist upbringing.  R. Albert Mohler, in a 1998 article titled Bill’s Baptist Buddies, referred to Clinton’s Baptist supporters as “the generation of liberal Baptist leaders who served as Bill Clinton’s moral advisors, and are now his enablers in a lifestyle of gross immorality.”  Mohler quotes one of these “enablers” – Foy Valentine, “who was executive director of the SBC Christian Life Commission during Clinton’s formative years” – as having this opinion regarding Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky:  What he did is disgusting, but not what I would consider adultery.

Ken Gardner - in an article titled The Devil Made Me Do It?  No, My Denomination Made Me Do It! – further criticizes Clinton’s type of Baptist belief system.  He attributes Clinton’s behavior with Lewinsky to the “born again” belief in “guaranteed salvation, once saved, always saved…”  Although Mohler also believes in salvation by faith, he believes that faith and works go hand in hand – reminding readers that the Bible teaches:  Faith without works is dead.

A perhaps older-and-wiser Clinton now seems to be striving for a balanced approach between faith and works.  Although he closes his sermon with the reminder that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” – he also concludes with Isaiah’s response to God’s call for devoted works:  Here am I lord, send me.   


Copyright August 19, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved