I hope it's clear why I would say that baptism should precede church membership. Baptism is a public identification with the Trinity. That's what Jesus means when he speaks of being baptized "into the name" of Father, Son, and Spirit. When you are baptized, you are saying, "I'm with them!" You are putting on the team jersey.
The 4-Question Meeting: You Can't Be Brilliant Alone
A successful meeting ensures the right people are invited and the material is presented as effectively and judiciously as possible. It is respectful of your time and enables you to contribute in a meaningful way or makes you smarter. Too often this is the exception than the norm, which put me on a quest to identify a quick process to improve the odds.
Lenin's Death Remains a Mystery: Doctor Suspects Stalin
Dr. Lurie said Stalin might have poisoned Lenin despite this assurance, as Stalin was "absolutely ruthless."
Dr. Vinters believes that sky-high cholesterol leading to a stroke was the main cause of Lenin's death. But he said there is one other puzzling aspect of the story. Although toxicology studies were done on others in Russia, there was an order that no toxicology be done on Lenin's tissues.
So the mystery remains.
Same-Sex Marriage Makes a Lot of Sense:
Same-sex marriage makes sense if you assume that the individual is the center of the universe, that God---if he exists---is there to make us happy, and that our choices are not grounded in a nature created by God but in arbitrary self-construction. To the extent that this sort of "moralistic-therapeutic-deism" prevails in our churches, can we expect the world to think any differently?