New Lectionary Trilogy for Progressive Christians

Exile

The season of Advent is upon us again, marking the start of a new lectionary year in Christian congregations. For Christian ministers searching for new resources for preaching the lectionary texts, a member of the congregation I serve has recently completed a trilogy of lectionary commentaries: Theology from Exile: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity: Volume 1, The Year of Luke Volume 2, The Year of Matthew Volume 3, The Year of Mark  This series is for “b … [Read more...]

Is The Book of James Proto-Marxist?

thehardestquestion

If someone is naked, starving, and wrongly imprisoned, your faith and beliefs are barely relevant, if at all, to their plight. As The Book of James argued two millennia ago, “faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”I explore this idea further in my new post at [The Hardest Question] on “Luther Was Wrong: Behavior Is Believable”: http://thq.wearesparkhouse.org/featured/ordinary23bepistle   The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg is a trained spiritual director, a D.Min. graduate of San Francis … [Read more...]

Jesus Getting Caught with His Compassion Down

thehardestquestion

Jesus is usually so mind-blowingly impressive that we can forget he did not emerge from the womb fully grown. In his encounter with the Syrophoenician woman, Jesus’ heart seems hardened when he refuses to heal a child in need. But isn’t Pharaoh supposed to be the one with the hardened heart?!I explore this dynamic in my new post at [The Hardest Question] on “Jesus Getting Caught with His Compassion Down”: http://thq.wearesparkhouse.org/featured/ordinary23bgospel The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg is a … [Read more...]

“Your Daughters Shall Prophecy”: Fulfilling the Promise of Pentecost, Abolishing the Laity, and Ordaining Women

A  Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012 Many pastors think of Acts 2 as the locus classicus for preaching Pentecost Sunday. After all that chapter describes the "first Pentecost." However, as an alternative way of approaching Pentecost, perhaps it is important to remember that scholars tell us the Acts of the Apostles was not written until perhaps a century after the first Pentecost. So for the first hundred years of early Christianity, Acts 2 would not … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Subversive Donkey Ride (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Palm Sunday)

In Mark’s fast-paced style, we see three different days of Holy Week in chapter 11 alone. The first eleven verses are what we celebrate as Palm Sunday. But in verse 12, we see a clue (the words, “On the following day”), which indicate that the events regarding the fig tree and the aggression against the Temple happened the next day. Monday continues through Mark 11:19, where we read that, “when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.” And in verse 20, Mark lets us know that Tu … [Read more...]

“John 3:16 — The Rest of the Story” (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Sunday, March 18, 2012)

Note: I previously posted this lectionary commentary in 2011, when this same passage was the Gospel Lesson. I offer it again for those who may find it newly useful or who may have missed it the first time. Part I: Floating on the Surface: the immediate context of Nicodemus and John 3:14 One reason "born again" Christians made John 3:16 famous is its proximity to the story of Jesus telling Nicodemus that “no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.” To complicate matters, many tr … [Read more...]


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