Dueling with the Demonic: Pondering Farley’s “Operation Screwtape”


Transforming the demonic is ultimately a work of grace, as Andrew Farley asserts in his new book Operation Screwtape. Our greatest threat is not demonic spirits or institutional evil, but our unwillingness to accept the grace of God and God’s messengers whether angelic, human, or environmental. [Read more...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The Baptism of Jesus

Lectionary Reflections on The Baptism of Jesus The First Sunday after the Epiphany, January 13, 2013 Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-27; Luke 3:15-17, 21-26 On Being Chosen. Good theological preaching is an art and not a science. While we need to take seriously the sentiments of the Hippocratic Oath, “first do no harm,” in our homiletical adventures, insightful [Read More...]

Finding Angels in Boulders: Marriage, Imagination and Agnosticism

The story is told of the sculptor Michelangelo. One day, a neighbor observed him rolling a large, ugly stone up the hill to his front porch. After pausing a moment to catch his breath, the sculptor got out his hammer and chisel and began to pound on the boulder.  Observing this strange behavior, the neighbor [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Epiphany Sunday

The Adventurous Lectionary: Epiphany Sunday,  January 6, 2013 This past Fall I was blessed to teach a course on “Whitehead and World Religions,” during my tenure as Visiting Professor of Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Lincoln University.  In each class session, we confronted the reality of spiritual, ethical, and cultural pluralism.  [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: The First Sunday of Christmas

Lectionary Reflections: The First Sunday of Christmas, December 30, 2012 I Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52 On the only Sunday in Christmas, my “adventurous lectionary” pays homage to one of my professors Bernard Loomer. If the incarnation means anything today, it points to God’s embodiment in the messiness of our world. God does not draw [Read More...]

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Grace of Interdependence


If you ever have to read a book about the seven deadly sins, I urge you to read Lawrence S. Cunningham’s The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor’s Guide.  What these sins have in common is that they are all about the individual involved – “enough about you; what about me!” To use Luther’s language, they curve [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Advent 4


Lectionary Reflections for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, 2012 Micah 5:2-5a; Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-55 On occasion, I will be asked the question, “When does life begin?” by a curious or confrontational inquisitor.  Such questioners are often surprised when I respond, “Oh, about 14 billion years ago.”  My response, while occasionally startling, is intended [Read More...]

Revelation and the Open Canon: A Process-Relational Perspective on Mormon Theology


For many Christians, it goes without saying that God’s ultimate and final revelation is contained in the words of Scripture, the Old and New Testaments. Nothing needs to be added for our awareness of God, doctrine, or spiritual edification. They believe that all further revelation is qualitatively inferior and different in kind from holy scripture- [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Advent 3

photo credit: flickr, de Paula FJ

Lectionary Reflections: The Third Sunday of Advent December 16, 2012   Christmas is coming!  Joy is in the air!  Today’s scriptures center around joy, but joy is the result of spiritual practices not hedonism or accidental good fortune.  As improbable as it may seem, the irenic Philippians and the bombastic John the Baptist have much [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary: Advent 2


Lectionary Reflections on The Second Sunday of Advent: December 9, 2012 Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6 This week’s lectionary explores the many faces of divine providence.  Providence can be gentle and incremental, as described in Philippians, but it can also be challenging and abrupt, calling for an immediate decision, as Luke describes John the Baptist’s message.  [Read More...]