Preaching the Didache (50-70 C.E.): A Sermon Series Retrospective

During the season of Epiphany, I preached a six-part sermon series on the Didache (usually pronounced DID-ah-KAY").As part of my preparation, I reread Tony Jones’ book The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing & Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community and watched the supplemental DVD from Paraclete Press. Jones has written that: If you don’t know what the Didache is, it is an early Christian document, only rediscovered in 1873 in a dusty library in Nicomedia. A … [Read more...]

“Your Daughters Shall Prophecy”: Abolishing the Laity and Ordaining Women

Note: This post is the final installment in our six-part study of the ancient Christian document the Didache (50-70 C.E., pronounced “DID-ah-KAY). For previous installments in this series, see the links at the end. Appoint bishops for yourselves, as well as deacons, worthy of the Lord, of meek disposition, unattached to money, truthful and proven; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers. Didache 15:1Whom should we ordain? And why?To begin to respond to these … [Read more...]

What Happens to Those God Loves? (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Feb 26)

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." 12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. 14 … [Read more...]

Paul: Misogynist or Mystic?

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear would say, "Be … [Read more...]

What Did JFK, MLK, & Gandhi Really Think about Birth Control?

Many commentators have noted the ironic, misogynistic, and audacious scene of yesterday's Congressional Committee hearing in which only men were called to testify about the controversy surrounding funding for women's contraception.Equally troubling were the three huge posters displayed behind the committee of John F. Kennedy, Jr.; Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mohandas Gandhi. The intended point was that these three figures symbolize the courage to stand up for the dictates of your conscience … [Read more...]

How to Decide If You Should Read Diana Butler Bass’ New Book

The latest book from my fellow Patheos blogger Diana Butler Bass arrived on my doorstep last night. I've enjoyed her previous books, and am looking forward to this most recent offering in particular after hearing her lecture a few months ago on some of the book's main themes.In celebration of yesterday's publication date, I'm posting the three links to the blog posts I wrote about those lectures. You may find these posts helpful in discerning if you want to read the whole book: “Reclaiming C … [Read more...]

Christ-peddlers: If God is still speaking, how do you know if someone is authentically speaking for God?

Note: This post is the fifth in a six-part series on the ancient Christian document called the Didache (50-70 C.E., pronounced "DID-ah-KAY). Links to previous entries in this series are at the bottom of this post. 11:1 Welcome the teacher when he comes to instruct you in all that has been said.... 11:2 If he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. 11:5 But he must not remain more than one day, or two, if there's a need. If he stays … [Read more...]

How Do I Find Time to Pray?

I've been experimenting with various ways of ordering my schedule and prioritizing my workload. In response to the question, "How do I find time to pray?" my best current answer is, "Either you do or you don't."My college Health and Exercise Science professor had a similar philosophy about exercise: "If you don't start today, what makes you think you're going to start tomorrow?" But I'm not sure sure exercise (or really much else in my schedule) is precisely analogous to making time for … [Read more...]

The Gospel According to Process-Relational Theology

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the annual Emergent Village Theological Conversation. Emergent Village seeks to embody and practice what they call “generative friendship,” which includes a commitment to maintaining relationships over time despite a diversity of theological beliefs and practices. The name “emergent” itself alludes at least in part to an openness to new ways of talking about God, new ways of doing church, and new ways of being Christian that are emerging today in exciting … [Read more...]

The Pragmatism of the Didache: Eucharist Like You’ve Never Heard It Before

9:1 Concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. 2 First, concerning the cup: We thank you, God, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. Next, concerning the broken bread: We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 9:4 Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, … [Read more...]


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