“Seek the welfare of the city” (Jer 29:7)
Christian proponents of a variety of doctrinal statements, ethical stances, and public policy positions often proclaim their viewpoints “biblical” either because they assume that the status quo ante must represent the divine will or because their position seems best to reflect a single biblical passage or a small grouping of passages. One could argue that, Continue reading A Series of Biblical Vignettes A Propos Pledging Allegiance
For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deut 30:11-14 RSV)
This summer, I have been blogging about the harm done by propagating misinterpretations of scripture. In most cases, the scripture passages in question have at least been tricky enough to open the door for such misinterpretation – although not enough to excuse it. Recent events at Charlottesville, just a few miles to the west of my Continue reading Plain Language is Difficult to Misinterpret, but Easy to Ignore
Lately, I have read about and heard directly from pastors who have been accused of being political from the pulpit although they thought that they were simply preaching the Gospel. We live in a time when people on both sides of the political spectrum stand ready to take offense. Continue reading Mere Christianity
For a couple of weeks now, I have been preoccupied with the perception that the public discourse influences even believers toward stridency, rigidity, and lack of compassion. Oddly, at the same time, I have been hearing again and again in my mind’s ear the lyrics of a children’s hymn I learned to sing in Vacation Bible School: “Jesus loves the little Continue reading America First or Not my Problem
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (1 Cor 14:33 RSV)
Last week’s blog included the sentence: “Let the cacophony begin.” It has.
I have not intended to focus this blog on politics, but, like Moses’ experience with the burning bush, the current din of confusion in the political realm beckons me to turn aside to listen. When I do, I hear that a significant component of the confusion involves the mistaken identification of national interests in self-protection with Christian motivations. Continue reading Confusion: Rights or Love
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Eccl 1:4 RSV
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I was born in February of 1957, when the union still had only forty-eight states, three years after the US Supreme Court handed down the historic Brown v. Board of Education (347 U.S. 483), and just a few months before the first nine black students enrolled in Little Rock Arkansas schools implementing the ruling. Local sit-in campaigns began at a Woolworth Continue reading Tireless Exertions
I “love” chocolate and I “love” my wife. Clearly, the word “love” is almost too multivalent to be useful sometimes.
Two days ago, my phone rang at just after 5pm. It was my youngest son. He began, “Dad, I’m OK, but….” My heart sank to my stomach, my pulse quickened, my mind simultaneously imagined possibilities and braced to hear the actual. He had been rear-ended by a tractor-trailer truck at highway speed on the interstate; his car had rolled and Continue reading What the world needs now is hesed, sweet hesed…