Summer Theology Reading Suggestions

I’m going to jump into the on-going topic (see Daniel Harrell’s posts in this blog) of “summer reading.” Summer is quickly slipping away, it seems, but there’s enough time to get some quality reading done. I’m going to suggest just three books that I think are well-worth your time and money (depending on your interests, [Read More...]

Why do Artists Cry?

This is a guest post by Steph Roberts, an artist and art professor in Chicago. She also happens to be my sister. For more information on her and her work (with samples) go here Why do Artists Cry? It’s a bit awkward losing one’s composure in an art museum. The hushed, reserved, brightly lit galleries of [Read More...]

Dictionary of Christian Spirituality

I’m a bit late in getting around to this, but I wanted to offer up a plug for a great new resource: the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by  Glen Scorgie (general editor), Simon Chan, Gordon T. Smith and James D. Smith. The book recently was announced (this spring) as the winner of the Christian [Read More...]

God and the “Goddamn Particle”

For the past 50 years or so, scientists have been looking for the elusive “Higgs boson” particle (named after physicist Peter Higgs, who postulated the existence of this particle). The confirmation of the particle’s existence would complete the “Standard Picture” of the subatomic building blocks of the universe. The uniqueness of the Higgs boson is [Read More...]

How Theological is the “Missional Church”?

“Missional” has been a buzzword in evangelicalism for a number of years now. It’s been the safer alternative to “emergent.” People from pretty much any evangelical perspective — and beyond — can gather around the notion that God is a “missionary God” and that a primary–if not the primary–purpose of the church is to witness to [Read More...]

“Am I Not Merciful?” Why “Wrath of God” Language Can be Misleading

Gladiator is one of my all-time favorite movies. One of the more memorable scenes, for me, is Emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix, pre the infamous Letterman interview), screaming, “Am I not merciful?,”  while threatening his sister and her son with their lives. The dramatic irony is that Comedus is not merciful at all. He is a [Read More...]

Did Schaeffer’s Prayer Save a Plane From Crashing? A Little Reflection on “Miracles”

I recently came across an intriguing story Francis Schaeffer recounted in his book Death in the City. The story was re-posted on a popular Reformed baptist blog. Schaeffer tells of the time he was on a trans-Atlantic flight when the engine seemed to cut out and the plane took a long, seemingly perilous dive toward the [Read More...]

Advice for a New Father – from a Rookie

A friend and former student of mine (and currently youth pastor extraordinaire), recently suggested that I offer up a few nuggets of wisdom–or at least advice– as he anticipates the birth of his first child in a few weeks. He was probably joking, but I decided to take him up on it anyway. The caveat is [Read More...]

Prometheus, Genesis and the Purpose of Creation

Hollywood has had an eschatology fetish lately: exploring the final days, coming demise of the cosmos, or post-apocalyptic scenarios of the human race. Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a prequel to his Alien movies, takes us back the other direction–to humanity’s origin. It’s science fiction, of course; I stress the fiction here, because while it’s an enjoyable [Read More...]

Calling All ‘Reflective Exiles’

“Reflective exiles.” I recently came across this striking term in an article by Philip Harrold called “Deconversion in the Emerging Church.” These are people who have left the established church (and sometimes their faith altogether) because of dissatisfaction with the church’s answers (or non-answers) to difficult questions. Hard questions like, “Why did God seem to command [Read More...]


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