About the Templeton Project

The Templeton Committee met for the first time on October 21, 2015.  Pastor Michael Tavella had received a $5000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation through the auspices of Earl Whipple, a staff member of the organization and a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.  The grant will be used to develop a manual for churches and individual Christians on how we should conduct ourselves when in conversation with atheists and others who do not attend Church (the “nones”), either one on one or in a public forum.  The biblical basis for the project is I Peter 3:  15b-16.  The proposal includes field testing the manual in church adult classes and then holding at least one public forum in which Christians and non-Christians  dialogue with one another. These conversations will constitute a Christian defense of the faith (ἀπολογία, apologia, English-apology) and a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Adriel Peregrine

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Recently, I finished a novel entitled Adriel Peregrine to be released on July 23 by Atmosphere Press.  It is the second novel I’ve written, the first being The Light in the Ruins.  Adriel Peregrine is about a young man, raised to be a Christian, who wanders off the Way.  Because…
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Can These Bones Live?

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In Eastern Orthodox iconography,  the bones of the first man, Adam, are depicted as buried at the foot of the cross.  The blood of the crucified Christ is pouring down on them.  In this scene the redemption of humanity is shown as reversing sin and death that began with Adam. …
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How to Speak to the Barbarians

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The word, barbarian, comes from the Greek, imitative of the Hellenic perception of what other languages sound like.  It has an original reference to the less civilized or uncivilized peoples with whom Greeks and Romans had contact. Who are the barbarians today?  Were they not assimilated into the Roman world…
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Solutions to Limited Knowledge

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Each one of us has very limited knowledge.  Even the most knowledgeable teacher or professor is not and cannot be a polymath–a person of much learning in all areas.   There is too great a body of knowledge for any one person to have a solid grasp on all of it. …
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Dogma–The Dirty Word

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Dogma is a dirty word to be classed with all the dirty words in the language.  Even more unacceptable is the word, dogmatism, having nothing but a negative meaning in its common use.  Dogma is a wraith compared with the unique infleshness  (Incarnation) of Jesus Christ.  Dogma is disembodied abstraction;…
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The Judgment, Part VII

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The last body of teachings of Jesus is found in Matthew 24 and 25 that concern the end of  the world and the last judgment.  In Chapter 24 Christ recounts the events of the end time, and in Chapter 25 He tells three parables pertaining to our readiness to meet…
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The Forgiveness of Sin–Part VI

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We now move to the fourth section of teaching material in the Gospel of Matthew.  Chapter 18 contains teachings about the forgiveness of sin. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus announces His message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Through Christ comes the invitation to repentance…
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Unanswered Questions to the Last

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Some questions are never answered; thus, the philosophic speculation since the time of the early Ionian Greek thinkers of the fifth century B.C.  Thales is regarded as the first one of these intellectuals and as one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece.  He thought that all things originated out…
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Humility as the Ground of All Dialogue

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Defense of the faith and witness require a certain attitude with humility at the very center.  Humility, not a pagan virtue, is eminently Christian.  In I Peter, a letter that has been the inspiration for this blog, humility is mentioned near the end where the apostle counsels the members of…
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