A Remnant Theology of Hope

8 Then I heard the voice of God saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I; send me!" 9 And God said, "Go and say to this people: "Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.' 10 Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed." 11 Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And God said: … [Read more...]

“Lech lecha”: The Journey Outward & Inward (Genesis 12)

1 Now God said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your ancestral house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 4 So Abram went, as God had told him; and Lot went with him.... At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then God … [Read more...]

What Troubles Your Thoughts? Wendell Berry, Prometheus, & The Tower of Babel

  1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of … [Read more...]

An Honest Memoir: Becoming a Dad, Take 2

(Christian Piatt, PregMANcy: A Dad, a Little Dude, and a Due Date, Chalice Press, 2012, 182 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Roundtable at the Patheos Book Club. Full disclosure: Amy Piatt, Christian's wife, was my classmate in seminary. I haven't talked in person with Amy or Christian since I graduated from Divinity School in 2003, nor have I met either of their children. Christian's new fatherhood memoir hilariously and profoundly caught me up on the h … [Read more...]

Slavery, Same-Sex Marriage, and How to Read the Bible

9:18 The sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was peopled. 20 Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 He drank some of the wine and became drunk, and he lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their … [Read more...]

Who Could You Call “Bishop” Without Your Fingers Crossed?

(Katharine Jefferts Schori, Gathering at God's Table: The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith, Skylight Paths Publishing, 2012, 219 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Roundtable at the Patheos Book Club. Having been raised in a Baptist milieux, my ecclesiastical instincts reflexively bend in the Free Church direction. And even though my official title these days is "The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg," there is still a significant part of me that wrestles with the ways t … [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...]

Life-changing Mentors and Unlikely Friendships

(Ted Kluck and Dallas Jahncke, Dallas and the Spitfire: An Old Car, an Ex-Con, and an Unlikely Friendship, Bethany House Publishers, 2012, 184 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Roundtable at the Patheos Book Club. In this Information Age, most of us are saturated with an overabundance of raw data, but opportunities for deep, healthy formation are sometimes rare. And in this Networked Age, many of us are also constantly connected to the Internet, but o … [Read more...]

Noah’s Flood: Climate Change Then & Now

6:1 When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, "My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years." 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the her … [Read more...]

Highlights from “Children, Youth & a New Kind of Christianity”

This past week I had the privilege of attending a conference focused on the future of children and youth ministry, which was inspired by Brian McLaren's book A New Kind of Christianity. To learn more about the conference or to see supplementary opportunities, visit http://children-youth.com. (The website also features more information about the speakers listed below: http://children-youth.com/speakers). The following are some of the highlights from the conference. Caveat: Because I was l … [Read more...]