Category Archives: theology

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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The Kingdom is Near: can I keep my deodorant?

I listen to Bruce Cockburn. When Eddie Vedder sings, Society, I get it. I read Stanley Haurwas and John Howard Yoder and something within me says, “that sounds right.” I can get a little excitement going for a counter-cultural response … Continue reading

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The Work of Worship: The words we inhabit

Garrison Keillor, in one installment of Lake Wobegon, tells of the priest who has entered into a romantic pen-pal relationship with a woman in New York. The burden of pretending to be some who he is not finally gets to … Continue reading

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The Work of Worship: the things of this life will grow strangely clear

The worship of a congregation in mission will be acutely aware of the world. Worship should not be an invitation to escape the world and its cares, but to engage it in a new way with the resources of the … Continue reading

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The Work of Worship: inhabiting an alternative world

The stakes are high in worship. The world made available to us by the principalities and powers is deeply embedded in the practices and assumptions of our daily lives. There are a multitude of assumptions that sponsor our behaviors and … Continue reading

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Ryan Woods is Coming to Streaming: one more reason you should as well

I currently am using Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Young Radicals (edited by Shaine Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove) for my daily prayers. Yes, I think of myself as a young radical. Today’s prayers included Psalm 109. “But you, O Lord … Continue reading

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Faith and the White House: things I bet you didn’t know

One of my all-time favorite tv shows is The West Wing. I loved watching smart characters who passionately believed in what they were doing, worked hard and smart, and loved the people with whom they worked. Aaron Sorkin’s writing, as … Continue reading

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Mark’s Most Excellent Adventures

This has been an incredible year of experiences for me. The past few weeks have been full of good things. We graduated some amazing students in our masters in missional leadership program, including my son, Josh. I attended the Pepperdine … Continue reading

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My mentors are all younger than me

This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. The one thing you’re supposed to bring as you get older is wisdom, which in turn could make you a mentor to younger, less wise, persons. I mean, everything else about getting … Continue reading

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Make me Clean: a reflection on illness and salvation

I have a benign essential tremor. My hands have a tremor. It’s worse in my left hand than my right. Some days are worse than others and I can’t seem to pinpoint any reason why. I am, it seems, subject … Continue reading

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