Category Archives: Uncategorized

Scribes Trained for the Kingdom of Heaven: Ministry in Matthew, Part 2

One reader of my last blog post lamented that I left you hanging. I suggested that scribal communities are sometimes fairly insular or defensive when it comes to mission. They live deeply in the alternative world of Scripture as a … Continue reading

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Ministry in Matthew: Scribes Trained for the Kingdom of Heaven

At the very center of Matthew’s gospel we find parables on the kingdom of Heaven. It is the third of five sections of Jesus’ teaching which end with the phrase, “When Jesus had finished saying these things” (We will return … Continue reading

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Learning with others when we’re disoriented

In my previous post, I wrote about the possibility of adaptive change when our sense of normal has been disrupted, as has happened due to the pandemic. Paying attention to our circumstances in the right kinds of ways might very … Continue reading

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Asking the right questions of our season of disruption.

I know that being a church leader during this pandemic has been brutal. The smooth, well-worn ways of being a “church” have been disrupted and we are right to feel like things may never be the same. We have stepped … Continue reading

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In the power of the Spirit, A brief meditation on Jesus and what it means to be human

In Luke’s gospel, the Spirit descends upon Jesus at his baptism, and full of the Holy Spirit, he is led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan. He then returns to Galilee “filled with the power … Continue reading

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Third Sunday of Advent—A sermon on joy

Isaiah 61 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and … Continue reading

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Ministry in Mark, part 2

I visited, several years after having left, the first congregation I served. They asked me to preach, and so I did, a sermon from the gospel of Mark. The congregation was generous in their praise afterward. The young preacher had … Continue reading

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The heavens were torn asunder: ministry in Mark, part one

In my estimation, there is no more beautifully crafted, enigmatic treatment of the life of Jesus than the gospel of Mark. From the packed introduction, to the passion predictions occupying the middle of the gospel, to the abrupt ending that … Continue reading

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The gospels, the practice of theology, and the tasks of ministry

If you will allow me an overly general observation, there are fundamentally two kinds of theology with two corresponding ways of thinking about ministry. One is a theology from above which moves from revelation to experience, context being secondary and … Continue reading

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Music, and then theology

I’ve had the opportunity over the last few years to make several presentations on the intersection of popular music and theology. I’ve decided to write an introduction that explains the “what” and “why” of what I do and to collect … Continue reading

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