“Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29 and par.)
Yesterday churches across the world experienced the highest attendance levels that they will experience all year. Attendance next Sunday, at least in the West, however, will confirm the trends indicated in the surveys about religion and the statistics concerning denominational decline. For many reasons, some clearly identifiable and others
Continue reading An Easter Confession
Mark 1:11; Matt 3:17; Luke 3:22
As I write, it is Tuesday of Holy Week and the world seems to be coming apart all around me – terrorism in Belgium, turmoil in American politics, and troubled people on every horizon. People want political answers to what they perceive to be political threats; they want forceful measures to deal with destructive forces. People are angry and afraid. Can
Continue reading “In whom I am well pleased”
A Dangerous Cocktail
Growing up in the 1960’s in small-town Appalachia, I did not encounter significant cultural variety. As a member of the Baptist majority, I found Episcopalians extremely exotic. I was in high school when the first pizzeria opened in town. Of course, the only things Italian about it were the spices in the sauce.
Continue reading Ignorance and Globalism
And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” (John 9:2 NAS)
Poverty is not (proof of) sin. Poverty is not a character flaw. Poverty happens to people.
John’s Gospel records an episode in Jesus’ ministry in which his disciples revealed their sadly respectable conventionality. Two prominent strands of theological tradition running throughout the Old Testament converged in their question concerning the identity of the sinner responsible for an unfortunate man’s blindness.
Continue reading Poor Happens
Political rhetoric this election cycle has called attention to the undercurrent of exclusionary sentiment flowing throughout the U.S. population. Events abroad surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis attest to the universal character of this sentiment. Everyone, even believers, it seems, wants to exclude someone from access to something and somewhere.
Continue reading Eager to Exclude