Category Archives: theology

Taking the Name of the Lord in Vain: the dangers of simple cause and effect logic

A theological pet peeve of mine is the easy indictment. By this I mean that causation is assigned to either God or Satan with a bare reading of the circumstance. Children get killed in a Connecticut school and easy assertions … Continue reading

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A Communion Story

Sunday was a momentous day for me. I sat between my father and my son in church. When the communion tray was passed down our aisle, it came to my father first. Normally, this would be a less than ideal … Continue reading

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Idolatry and the Gift of Grace: Some words from Luke Timothy Johnson

The pages are literally falling out of my well-worn copy of Luke Timothy Johnson’s book, Faith’s Freedom. Admittedly, the binding on the book is not the best, but pages are falling out primarily from use. Some books you read and … Continue reading

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Out of Answers?: you’re not out of God

I have the privilege of teaching the Bible to college freshman. For most of them, the Bible is mostly a set of impressions. Even if they know some Bible stories, they really know very little about the Bible. They think … Continue reading

Posted in hermeneutics, Scripture, theology | Tagged , , , , | 57 Comments

The Divine is in the Details: Process and the Leading of God

As with so many things, Luke Timothy Johnson says it right. “If we identify the church as a community of faith, the process of decision making ought to make the structures and implications of this response to reality called ‘faith’ … Continue reading

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Sons of Anarchy: Reflections on Family and Violence

I’ve been trying to catch up on my Sons of Anarchy viewing. Since I gave up cable a few years ago, I’ve lost the thread and am a couple of seasons behind. It’s a violent show, and I’m not prone … Continue reading

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Hospitality as Power

I have the great privilege each year of traveling with graduate students in our missional leadership program to Durham, NC, to spend some time with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and the Rutba House new monastic community. This year, I invited Richard Beck … Continue reading

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I’ve Got Power Like a River

I recently preached a sermon series through 1 and 2 Samuel. We know the big stories. Saul and David and Goliath and Jonathan and Bathsheba. They are stories we tell over and over. Some stories, however, we tend to avoid … Continue reading

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Paul’s Temporal Imagination: what difference does it make?

OK, last post I got some feedback on Facebook. Went something like this: you’re a fancy thinker and writer and all, mr. smartypantsblogger. But what does any of this have to do with anything? I think that is a direct … Continue reading

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The Christian Imagination According to Paul

In her recent book, Sin: The Early History of an Idea, Paula Fredricksen contrasts Jesus and Paul’s notions of sin and salvation (though they are not identical, they share important assumptions) with those of later Christian thinkers, notably Justin Martyr, … Continue reading

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