Greg Boyd’s Problem with God

What Greg Boyd thinks is a problem — the Cruciformity of God in Christ vs. the Warrior God of some Old Testament passages — others think is not a problem. One specific form of the non-problem-with-God is to pose God as the God of wrath and argue that every human being deserves the wrath of God, deserves the wrath of the Warrior God. Therefore, since the Warrior God was at work in pouring out wrath on Christ on the cross,... Read more

A Book You Might be Surprised I Like

Mike Bird has enlisted me in a collection of posts by “bibliobloggers” and the question is What book do I like that others might be surprised I like? I read for a living — reading and writing and teaching and reading some more for teaching and writing. But I also read for pleasure. My habit is to work from about 7:30am to around 2pm and then after that I tend to read what I want — desultory reading is the... Read more

The Blessing of Jesus

What does Jesus mean when he says “Blessed are those who…”? What does it mean to be blessed or bless-ed? This is the question Jonathan Pennington attempts to answer in his new important book The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing. It’s one of the most important questions for the interpreter of the Sermon on the Mount, and he has gone to considerable depths in his virtue-ethics understanding of “blessed” as “human flourishing.” I’ll give his basics. I have... Read more

Jean Twenge and iGen Concerns

Jean Twenge and Smartphones and iGen: Excerpted from her soon-to-appear book:  iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to... Read more

Every Church Needs an Adam (McHugh)

This is my foreword to the second edition of Adam McHugh’s Introverts in the Church. I recommend this book for every pastor, especially for the extroverted types. No, every extroverted pastor must read this. Deacons or elders or the vestry need to read this too.  The biggest and “successful” churches are designed by and appeal to extroverts. The smallest and least “successful” churches are designed by and appeal to introverts. I have no statistics for my claim but I’m a theologian,... Read more

Transfiguration of Jesus

O God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. BCP

Weekly Meanderings, 5 August 2017

The Bests and Mosts about American Universities and Colleges. An alternative to Rod Dreher: The Pietist Option. Of course, that kind of change won’t happen overnight. But churches that are “reformed, and always reforming” don’t offer quick fixes. Instead, we must study God’s Word, live out our faith in love, and strive for unity with patience, and in hope. For in the end, the Pietist option is to live in active expectation that the God of the Resurrection works through... Read more

Should Pastors Know about Giving in the Church?

By John Frye People’s Giving: Should Pastors Know? [For a solid academic book on what Paul taught about money and charity, see Bruce Longenecker, Remember the Poor.] I’ve heard it and you’ve heard it: Jesus talked more about money than he talked about heaven and hell combined. The Bible repeatedly addresses money issues. With all that, a good friend known for informed conversation, told me that less than 1% of USAmerican pastors preach about money. Yes, I did my two sermons... Read more

Recent Podcast

Roger Olson: What is Fundamentalism?

In his fine and wide-ranging post on fundamentalism, Roger proposes these: [My favorite book on fundamentalism is by George Marsden: Fundamentalism and American Culture.] Here is what I look for—a critical mass of spiritual-theological “symptoms” that I find common to and almost unique (in terms of emphasis and influence) among a particular tribe of American Protestant Christians. 1) A tendency to elevate doctrines historically considered “secondary” (non-essentials) to the status of dogmas such that anyone who questions them questions the... Read more