Cut from the Sermon: What Jesus Said About His Coming

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This past Sunday, I preached on the Second Coming of the Lord – asking “what is the Second Coming, and what does it mean to me?” Give it a listen. This sermon was a tough one – the first draft was double the length it needed to be, so there was a fair amount of painful [Read More...]

Cut from the Sermon: Feeling Guilty about Being Serene

Bathsheba's Son Dies

On Sunday I preached about life going on after death – both for the person who has died, and for the people left behind (click here for sermon audio). In the first draft of my sermon I considered building on comments about a passage from 2 Samuel that our head pastor Malcolm had made in his sermon last [Read More...]

Idolatry: Staring at Your Own Finger

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A month or so ago I was trying to put Samuel (one and a half) to bed and he was being a complete goofball: swaying from side to side, dancing in circles, and cycling through all his animal sounds in rapid succession. As I lay there on his bed, my primary thought was, “Ugh – [Read More...]

The World As It Is, or As It Ought to Be?

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Anne and I have identified a fundamental difference in the way we look at the world – a difference that ends up being behind a significant percentage of our disagreements and arguments. In simplest terms, the difference is this: I tend to look at the world as it is, and Anne tends to look at the world [Read More...]

Abandon Hope: Dante, Swedenborg, and the Eternity of Hell

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I’m looking forward to reading Rod Dreher’s upcoming book How Dante Can Save Your Life, about Dreher’s life-changing experience reading Dante’s Divine Comedy. Inspired partly by Dreher’s blogging and partly by conversations I had last year with a congregant back in western Canada, I finally dove into the Divine Comedy a few weeks ago, and I’ve made my way [Read More...]

Why Satisfaction Theory Is So Satisfying (Even Though It’s Wrong)

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On his “Glory to God for All Things” blog last week, Orthodox priest Fr. Stephen Freeman posted on the Orthodox perspective on Jesus’ atonement in contrast to the theory of penal substitution (penal substitution is the theory that Jesus died instead of you to take on the punishment due to you from God for your sins). Fr. Stephen argues that even [Read More...]

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 [Read More...]

Cut from the Sermon: Better than Everyone Else

Amos-prophet

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 [Read More...]

Cut from the Sermon: The Grief of Caring

Dore_The-Prophet-Amos

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 [Read More...]

Blogging Again, From a New Hemisphere

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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 [Read More...]


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