I have long felt that the most challenging passage in Scripture is found at the beginning of Genesis 6. When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty… Read more

Of course, it depends what you mean by violence (see below), but it’s still a good question: Was Jesus violent? Those who contend for a more pacifist view distance Jesus from violence while some today think Jesus participated in violence. A big issue in intellectual studies about violence is defining violence: Violence is physical, emotional, or psychological harm done to a person by an individual(s), institution, or structure that results in serious injury, oppression, or death. Eric Seibert, in his… Read more

What does it mean to confess the Final Judgment in our creeds and catechisms? The most common approach to final judgment is about “Will I get to heaven?” That is, eternal life beyond the judgment is about personal salvation, and for the same common approach that decision is now so that any actual awe about that final judgment, an awe and fear that surely is present in European art, has evaporated. Its song is “When the Roll is Called Upon… Read more

By Jason Micheli As Sarah Condon noted in a recent post at Mockingbird, pastors of late seem consumed with the question “Will my sermon be newsy enough this week?” Often, this concern is couched in the mandate for preachers to be prophetic. Thou Shalt Preach This Issue, Sarah rightly observed, is a law pastors have been laying on each other with increasing fervor since the election of Donald Trump to the White House, adding from our pulpits to the chorus of shoulds and ought… Read more

From Benedicta Ward: [About St Cuthbert]: A Christian saint is not remembered as wise or great or righteous, but as a humble and sinful human being who learned, through who knows what agonies and darknesses, so to walk in faith in Christ through his daily life that at the point of death he revealed to others, if not to himself, that underneath are the everlasting arms. Read more

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen. BCP Read more

From Willow Creek’s elders: With the blessing of the Elder Board, Heather and Steve have made statements that reveal their hearts on the issues facing our church. We support them and join with them in their desire to respond with a more repentant and honoring spirit. We apologize and ask for forgiveness that the tone of our initial response was not one of humility and deep concern for all the women involved. It takes courage for a woman to step… Read more

Pride and Humility at War Lanier Burns is senior research professor of theology at Dallas Theological Seminary.   Since 1973 he has served as president of Asian Christian Academy in Bangalore, India. David George Moore conducted the following interview. Some of Dave’s videos can be found at www.mooreengaging.com. [Personal note: During my first semester at Dallas Seminary I took a theology class with Lanier. It is where I first experienced the life-giving reality of a theology professor preaching his class material!]… Read more

Ah, Italian pizza: People have been eating pizza, in one form or another, for centuries. As far back as antiquity, pieces of flatbread, topped with savouries, served as a simple and tasty meal for those who could not afford plates, or who were on the go. These early pizzas appear in Virgil’s Aeneid. Shortly after arriving in Latium, Aeneas and his crew sat down beneath a tree and laid out ‘thin wheaten cakes as platters for their meal’. They then scattered… Read more

From Steve Carter, teaching pastor at Willow Creek. Thank you for this public apology (and more can be read at the link). Last night, I had a chance to share with the Elders what has been on my heart.   On Wednesday, Scot McKnight wrote a post expressing concern that a profound injustice has been done regarding the women who made allegations against Bill Hybels and the subsequent Elder process investigating those claims. I agree with this conclusion.   Specifically,… Read more

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