Cut from the Sermon: Indiana Jones and the Leap of Faith

This past Sunday, I preached on doubt. More specifically, I preached on ways to accept and walk with doubt, rather than trying to shove it away. Near the end of the sermon I spoke about the need to walk in trust (rather than trying to force oneself to believe). I was going to use a scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to illustrate the point, but I ended up replacing it with a more everyday example. I'm sure the scene has been overused in sermons (I've heard it used before, and Anne says … [Read More...]

Amos-prophet

Cut from the Sermon: Better than Everyone Else

This week I preached on the final chapter of the Book of Amos. From the first draft to the final draft I cut the sermon in half, so there was plenty to choose from for this week's "Cut from the Sermon" entry, but I was saddest to cut a passage from Arcana Coelestia that I love (mostly because it convicts me every time I read it). In the original sermon I spent more time focusing on the primary sin that Amos was calling out: an attitude of superiority, both in Israel's attitude toward the nations … [Read More...]

Dore_The-Prophet-Amos

Cut from the Sermon: The Grief of Caring

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm starting a series called "Cut from the Sermon" (or, per my wife Anne's suggestion, "Left on the Vestry Floor"), consisting of snippets that I had to cut from my sermons due to length or relevance considerations. Here's the first one, from the sermon I preached on Sunday (part of a series on the book of Amos; you can find earlier sermons in the series here and here.)This excerpt came in the sermon after the suggestion (at about 16 minutes in the sermon … [Read More...]

IMG_0760

Blogging Again, From a New Hemisphere

As I suspected it might be, posting has been pretty infrequent over the last few months. There are several reasons for that, but first and foremost: we've moved to South Africa! The picture above is the view from one of our bedroom windows. (It makes our place look a little more stereotypically "African" than it actually is: we brought the well with us from Canada, the lawn is dirt because the landscaping was redone before we arrived and the grass hasn't been replaced yet, and the big bags of … [Read More...]

Two Witnesses

The Two Witnesses: A Sermon on Revelation 11

I delivered my final sermon in the Dawson Creek Church of the New Jerusalem this past Sunday. Certainly a bittersweet experience - it was great to give one last sermon in that building, and of course sad to say goodbye (we do have one more service, but it will be an outdoor service at a campground, together with the group from Grande Prairie). It's been a blessing to serve here. The topic of the sermon was the two essentials of the New Church, as represented by the two witnesses in Revelation … [Read More...]

Domenico_Fetti_Unforgiving_Servant

As We Forgive Our Debtors: A Sermon on Forgiveness

Here's the message on forgiveness that I delivered this morning at the Church of the New Jerusalem in Dawson Creek. Sermon audio is available here.Readings are  Ezekiel 33:10-20; Matthew 18:21-35; and the following excerpt from Arcana Coelestia 9014: It is believed by many within the church that the forgiveness of sins is the wiping out and washing away thereof, as of filth by water; and that after forgiveness they go on their way clean and pure. … But be it known that the case with the for … [Read More...]

Doing the Truth, Coming to the Light

I have a new post up over at New Church Perspective on how to act in a way that opens us up to belief (as opposed to forcing ourselves to believe in an artificial way). The post was partly inspired by a great conversation a few months ago between Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher, David Sessions, and Noah Millman, exploring the connections between life and faith (or lack thereof). The main question they were discussing was the extent to which our feelings, actions, and experiences shape what we believe … [Read More...]

Giotto - Entry into Jerusalem

The Zeal of the King

I delivered the Palm Sunday message yesterday at the Dawson Creek Church of the New Jerusalem; for the sermon, I focused on the Lord's first act upon entering Jerusalem as recorded in the gospel of Matthew: to enter the temple and cast out all those who bought and sold there. Sermon audio is available at the New Church Audio site. Sermon text is below; reading the readings is highly encouraged! (For more passages and thoughts about "the wrath of God" and zeal vs. anger see this previous post, as … [Read More...]

An Even Better Description of Post-Modernism (from 1768, again)

My last post quoted a long conversation in the afterlife among several "learned" people from the 1700's, who reached the conclusion, basically, that they would never reach a conclusion on anything. I mentioned the parallel to postmodernism - that the conversation illustrates the kind of silliness that results from never reaching a conclusion on anything. The thing is, though, it's not REALLY postmodern in that the assembled folk were trying to reach conclusions, but never did. Postmodernism as … [Read More...]

A (Literally) Visionary Critique of Postmodernism – from 1768

The idea that we can never come to any firm conclusions on whether or not something is true is a hallmark of our postmodern age. But apparently something of that attitude has existed for a bit longer than just the last few decades. The conversation recorded by Emanuel Swedenborg in this vision of the afterlife sounds eerily similar to quite a few conversation I’ve heard (OK, and participated in), particularly among the academically inclined. It was first published in the book Conjugial Love in 1 … [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X