Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why preaching, even in a post-Christendom context, should be more than teaching

In 1979, Fred Craddock sparked something of a revolution in homiletics with the publication of his book, As One Without Authority. He argued that preachers faced each week a congregation overly familiar with the themes and texts of Christianity. This … Continue reading

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When your god must die

I know the difficulties of belief in our world. As Charles Taylor point out in Secular Age, over a period of a few hundred years, we went from an enchanted world with a presumption of belief to a disenchanted world … Continue reading

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The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: Ministry in Luke, part 3

In the last post, I used Brueggemann’s distinction between the royal consciousness and the prophetic imagination to suggest that Jesus’ fundamental identity is prophetic. I want to extend that observation in this post. The royal consciousness serves the interest of … Continue reading

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The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: Ministry in Luke, part 2

Much has been made lately of a “king Jesus” gospel that turns the focus of the biblical drama to the kingdom of God, along with Jesus’ lordship over that kingdom. This makes saving faith for some commenters more a matter … Continue reading

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A eunuch rolls into a graduation ceremony on a chariot…

This sermon was preached by my colleague, Natalie Magnusson, at our graduation service for MRE graduates this past Saturday. Natalie is the Assistant Director of the MRE and has led our students in their pursuit of God-centered Identity through the … Continue reading

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The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: Ministry in Luke

In the opening scene of Jesus’ public ministry in Luke, he preaches in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth. There he receives the scroll opened to the prophet Isaiah 61 and proclaims the “year of the Lord’s favor.” In doing so, … Continue reading

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Scribes Trained for the Kingdom of Heaven: Ministry in Matthew, Part 3

One last bit of reflection on Matthew before I move on to Luke. I want to begin with an observation I made at the beginning of this “series” related to the gospels and churches. If you believe, as seems obvious, … Continue reading

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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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