The Adventurous Lectionary: Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013

Melkite Christ the King Attribution: John Stephen Dwyer

Lectionary Reflections on The Reign of Christ Sunday November 24, 2013 Isaiah 23:1-6; Psalm 46; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43 Universality and Intimacy  Can we talk about Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday in a pluralistic age? At first glance, there is something anachronistic about claiming Christological superiority in a postmodern age of seekers, multiple faiths, [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Divine Creativity and Human Agency – November 17, 2013

Lectionary Reflections for November 17, 2013 Divine Creativity and Human Agency  Taken together today’s lectionary readings proclaim that God is active and innovative, working toward a realm of wholeness encompassing humanity and the non-human world and so should we.  God is involved in world-transformation, and so should we.  God’s agency inspires our own agency and [Read More...]

The Furniture of Heaven and the Flames of Hell: A Response to Swedenborg’s “Our Life After Death”

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A wise theologian once noted that we should not speculate on the furniture of heaven or the temperature of hell. Obviously, Emanuel Swedenborg did not take his advice. In Our Life After Death, Swedenborg graphically describes his mystic vision of heaven, hell, and the postmortem experiences of humankind. In contrast to the generally rosy scenes [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary for Nov. 10 2013: Inspiration and Authority November 10,

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Lectionary Reflections for  November 10, 2013 Haggai 1:15b-2:9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17; John 20:27-38 Today’s passages relate to the authority of prophets and world spiritual leaders such as Jesus. God’s word touches prophets; it is also present in the beauty of the universe and the moral arc of history, both of which reflect God’s wise [Read More...]

Signs of the New Creation: Responding to N. T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God

New Testament Scholar N. T. Wright

N. T. Wright’s magisterial text Paul and the Faithfulness of God is destined to become a classic in Pauline theological studies. As a pastor and theologian, like Wright, I join the study and the pulpit and the library and hospital room.  My preaching and pastoral care are grounded in theological reflection and my theology finds [Read More...]

Grace Even for Those Who Can’t Believe: A Conversation with Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian Tchividjian’s One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World speaks a word of grace to a world of legalism and perfectionism. Tchividjian believes that in a world of self-justification and ever-increasing and impossible performance standards, grace abounds. God’s love for us comes without our having to earn anything, but out of God’s pure [Read More...]

Postmodernism, Pluralism, and a Living Faith: Responding to Kyle R. Cupp’s Living by Faith, Dwelling in Doubt

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In his new book, Living by Faith, Dwelling in Doubt, Kyle Cupp presents a personal journey into the postmodern world. Like most persons under fifty – and many of us over 50 – his life has always involved dialogue with multiple spiritual pathways. While he has a religious home in the Roman Catholic Church, he [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary for October 27, 2013

Lectionary Reflections for October 27, 2013 Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 14-16; Luke 18:9-14 Anne Lamott asserts that the essential elements of prayer are “Help, Thanks, and Wow.”  Today’s readings involve a litany of praise – a spiritual “wow” at the many ways God moves in our lives and the world.  God is always at work [Read More...]

Order and Novelty in Family Spirituality: A Response to Tim and Sue Muldoon’s Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home

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A well-known saying from Zen Buddhism notes: “Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.” Although deeply rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, this is the essence of Tim and Sue Muldoon’s Six Sacred Rules for Family: A Spirituality of the Home. Quite often in life, the issue [Read More...]

What Kind of God are we Playing? A Response to Andy Crouch’s “Playing God”

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“Power is a gift” says Andy Crouch in his excellent new book Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power. Our use of power can either create or destroy, and power that leads to flourishing, Crouch notes, is grounded in our relationship with God. Crouch believes that the use of power is inevitable and can be good, and [Read More...]


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