Cross

The

Concise Lexicon of Christianity

Ken Collins’ Website

Teachings, worship, rites, sermons, and terminology

About This Website

Monday, 13 July 2020

A sample sermon: Mary and the Slingshot


About This Website

The Concise Lexicon of Christianity originated as Ken Collins’ Website on 5 December 1995. I registered the domain name (www.kencollins.com) on 10 September 1996, which means that it is older than Wikipedia, YouTube, or FacebookExperts recommend that you cancel your account. Those were the chaotic early days of the web, when there were essentially no standards for websites. Tools like WordPress or Wix did not exist, which meant that if you couldn’t write HTML and you didn’t have a good knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of various browsers, you couldn’t have a website. This website is still completely hand-coded, because it is too large and too complex to retrofit to an automated system.

When I set up the website, I agonized over the name. I didn’t want to call it something that was grandiose or misrepresented me as an organization, but I could not think of anything appropriate. I gave up and called it Ken Collins’ Website, even though it has always been a compilation of my research and original theological works, not a blog of my personal opinions.

In June 2020, I renamed it The Concise Lexicon of Christianity, because by that time, its scope and size had increased to the point where that name was appropriate. The URL did not change, so any links to articles on this site will remain valid indefinitely.

Information and Accuracy

In this website, I attempt to represent the Universal Church rather than my denomination. Accordingly, the material that you find on this website is ecumenically broad and historically deep. I have tried my best to make sure that the material is well-researched, accurate, compelling, and accessible to everyone. Let me know if you believe you have found a mistake.

This Website Is Enormous!

This website contains almost 1,000 files, which is the equivalent of at least 3,000 printed pages. When I update my website, it’s not always to add a new article. Quite often I revise the existing articles to correct errors and typos, fix broken links, reword unclear points, include more details, or try to make the text more readable.

About Permission to Reprint

Personal Use

You have permission to make copies of the essays in my website for personal use. For instance, you can print them out for future reference or to show them to someone.

If your browser only prints out the first page, there is a work-around.

  1. Open your word processor and create a new, blank document.
  2. Switch to the browser, highlight all the text on the page (or you can just copy the portion you want)
  3. Copy the highlighted text
  4. Switch to the new, blank document and paste.
  5. Save the document and print it.

If you are using a Windows computer:

  • CTRL-A selects everything on the page.
  • CTRL-C copies the selection.
  • CTRL-V pastes what you’ve copied.

If you are using a Mac:

  • ⌘-A selects everything on the page.
  • ⌘-C copies the selection.
  • ⌘-V pastes what you’ve copied.

Public Use

I hereby grant you a copyright license to reprint the articles and sermons you find on The Concise Lexicon of Christianity. You can read them to a group, you can reprint them, or you can print out and distribute as many copies as you like, as cLong as you honor these guidelines:

  • Do not make any substantive changes in the text.
  • Mention the source whenever you read it out loud to a group.
  • Include a copyright notice if you are distributing it in printed form. Here two sample forms. Either © or (c) is okay.
  • Copyright © 2019 by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins. Reprinted with permission.
    Copyright (c) 2019 by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins. Reprinted with permission

  • If you reprint an essay in a publication that does not pay its contributors, such as a local church newsletter, you may reprint it for free.
  • If you reprint an essay in a publication that pays its contributors, such as a denominational magazine, it would be nice if I were paid the normal rate.

Ideas cannot be copyrighted. This means that if you get an idea from one of my essays, you can develop it in your own words in an essay or a sermon without any restrictions or obligations.

If you have any questions, or this license doesn’t cover your situation, please send email to ken@kencollins.com. I would also enjoy receiving a copy of any publication that reprints my essays (but that is not required).

About the Content of This Website

This website contains only original material that I wrote, except for quotations from other sources. Consequently, it is all based on my personal research, and you are allowed to disagree with my findings. Examine everything and hold fast only to that which is good.

My policy for this website is as follows:

  • No politics, left or right

    I do not take a position that one country is better than another or that any country has a positive or negative role in prophecy. I do not discuss international conflicts, past, present, or future. There is nothing here for or against various international organizations. I also do not discuss or endorse political leaders or candidates, their positions, their supposed virtues or crimes, or their personal morality. The burning issues of today are the ashes of tomorrow, so there’s no point to that.

    I do take positions on issues that are not political in nature, even if they have recently been politicized, such love, justice, equality, and the way we should live with each other in personal relationships and society.

  • No polemics against religious groups

    I do not single out any religious group to refute its beliefs or practices. There is no need to refute the darkness if we stand in the Light, because the Light itself banishes all darkness.

  • No attacks on individuals or groups of people

    God hates sin, but He loves people even more. That is why He sent His Son to get rid of the sins and save the people. It would be fun to talk about other people’s sins, but that is a sin in itself: gossip. Since we are all sinners, we would only be arguing over the seating arrangement on the bus to hell. So instead I will concentrate on getting us all off the bus.

    I will never tell you that any specific person or group of people are causing God’s anger to harm you. God does not punish the righteous for the sins of the wicked, and no one is strong enough to force Jesus to return against His will.

  • No end-times bulletins

    While I affirm that Jesus will return, raise the dead, and judge all flesh, I observe that everyone who has attempted to interpret current events to determine the time of His coming has been confounded. Therefore, I won’t even try. Instead, I will strive to be ready all the time.

Pick up a pencil. Notice that your fingers can’t pick up the pencil unless the thumb opposes them. The fingers outvote the thumb four to one, but the majority can’t accomplish much of anything without the minority’s opposition. So I feel that the Holy Spirit may inspire the members of the body of Christ to disagree with each other from time to time, because minority opinions usually serve some higher purpose. This is why church elections, inspired by the Holy Spirit, are rarely unanimous. Therefore, I am respectful of people who disagree with me; the Holy Spirit might have sent them to correct and reprove me.

About the Design and Appearance of This Website

I designed this website to look and work the same in any up-to-date browser. Browsers are constantly being updated, not just to improve compliance with standards, but to fix security problems, and to implement new technologies. It doesn’t matter much any more which browser you use, but it is important to keep it up to date.

Smartphones and Tablets

You can view this website on any portable device that has a web browser. You’ll see a different layout when your screen or browser is not wide enough for the usual layout.

Does Everything Look Okay?

I’m sure you have seen ads for tools that let you make an instant website, but when I began in 1995, those things didn’t exist. Anyone who wanted a website had to teach themselves HTML, do everything by hand, and be careful only to use what all the browsers had in common. There were very few standards and most browsers didn’t comply with them anyway, because they were fighting for market share. It was even possible to write a web page that looked just fine in one browser but would be all black in its competitor!

Web standards have finally settled down and everyone has finally seen the benefit of complying with them. Since I began in the web’s chaotic wild-west phase, I’m stuck with doing everything myself by hand. If you believe that any part of my website looks or behaves incorrectly, let me know.

Web Browsers

I do not recommend using Internet Explorer or Edge. Instead, use Brave, Chrome, Firefox, Opera. or Vivaldi. If you have a Mac, Safari is okay.

The Rev. Kenneth W. Collins, B.A., M.Div.

I am an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)➚, which is a member denomination of the Churches Uniting in Christ➚ and Christian Churches Together in the USA➚. For sixteen years, I pastored a church in McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC USA.

You can read about my ordination process.

I live in Fairfax County, Virginia, which was the home of George Washington, the first president of the United States, and of George Mason, the author of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Since then, we haven’t done much, but I’m not going to apologize. We’re not lazy, we’re just stuck in rush-hour traffic. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and my Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

Do not allow my persuasive writing style to overcome your skepticism: weigh my words, check my facts, and accept only what passes muster. Don’t agree with me without first putting me to the test, which is your duty according to 1 John 4:1-3.

I affirm that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and that we are saved in order to serve (Ephesians 2:8-10). I affirm the incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and His lordship over all things. I look forward to the resurrection on the last day.

Please feel free to correspond with me; I’ll give you the best response I can as promptly as possible.