“Costly Truth, Costly Forgiveness” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary on Matt 18 for Sept 4, 2011)

I. Anne Taylor’s Saint Maybe, part oneChristian ethicist Stanley Hauerwas has made the important connection that we can learn a lot about the Christian practice of forgiveness from the character Ian Bedloe in Anne Taylor’s novel Saint Maybe.As the story goes, one day a plate glass window attracts Ian’s attention as he walks down the street. The window reads, “The Church of the Second Chance.” He can hear a hymn being sung by inside. He almost keeps walking, but instead quietly ent … [Read more...]

There Was No Historical Adam and Eve (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 of my post, "There Was No Historical Adam and Eve" here. See also my sermon, "Narnia and Other Stories Christians Tell.")Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written a blog in response to the NPR story on which I based part one of this series. In that post, I noted that one reason the controversy over Adam and Eve remains significant is that polls have shown that forty percent of people in the United States believe that there was a historical Adam … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Is God a Christian?"

(R. Kirby Godsey, Is God a Christian? Creating a Community of Conversation, Mercer University Press, 2011, 196 pages.)When I receive books in the mail to review for the Patheos Book Club, they are usually new books with which I am previously unfamiliar. So I was pleasantly surprised to be sent Kirby Godsey's book with the provocative title, Is God a Christian?My initial response was to think of another book I recently finished that provides at least one response to the author's inquiry. … [Read more...]

There Was No Historical Adam and Eve

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty ran a report recently titled, "Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve." One reason this finding is important is that, according to the article, polls have shown that forty percent of people in the United States believe that there was a historical Adam and Eve, who literally were the ancestral parents of the human race.We should all celebrate and stand in solidarity with the courageous conservative scholars who are willing to put their careers on the … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: David Platt’s "Radical Together"

(David Platt, Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God, 2011, 165 pages.)I have previously reviewed Platt's earlier book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. That review is available on my blog, and to avoid repetition, some caveats made there about the differences between Platt's more conservative theological orientation and my own more progressive stance are presumed for this review.Platt structures his latest book around six … [Read more...]

REVIEW: "The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom"

(Christine Valters Paintner, The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, 2001, 173 pages.)Christine Valters Paintner wants to change your life -- in a good way. Macrina Wiederkehr, an actual monk (cloistered in Arkansas of all places), writes in the foreword that this book is an invitation to "spend twelve weeks in the cave of your heart, nurturing your creative soul, and sitting at the feet of your inner monk" (ix). Will you accept the invitation?This book is a … [Read more...]


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