When Small Things Lead to Great Adventures: A Response to Laura Sumner Truax’s Undone

I am daily reminded of the truths revealed in chaos theory’s metaphorical “ butterfly effect.” According to the butterfly effect, small actions, such as a butterfly flapping its wings in Santa Cruz, California, where I played as a high school and college student, can shape the weather patterns in Cape Cod, where now I live, [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for September 15 — Pardon and Punishment

Lectionary Reflections for September 15, 2013 Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Psalm 14; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10 Pardon and Punishment Today’s readings contrast punishment and grace.  The Hebraic scriptures describe God annihilating an unfaithful nation.  God is the agent of national catastrophe, aiming at punishing the unjust wealthy for their abuse of the poor.  Those who deny God’s existence, [Read More…]

Celebrating Grandparent’s Day

To me, being a grandparent is a spiritual and ethical vocation that begins with my two little grandsons and expands to honor every child. [Read more…]

Some Footnotes on Hell: Responding to Jack Graham’s Angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell, and Winning the War for Eternity

Jack Graham’s Unseen: Angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell, and Winning the War for Eternity is a must-read for anyone who wishes to learn about traditional images of the afterlife and the spiritual world. Although I take a very different theological and biblical bath, Graham well represents a literalist understanding of scripture, and that in itself is [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for Sept 8: Sacrifice and Artistry, Human and Divine

The Adventurous Lectionary for September 8, 2013   Sacrifice and Artistry: Human and Divine Today’s passages require careful theological navigation.  They have often been interpreted to justify the violence of divine omnipotence and a divine omniscience that fully determines the details of our lives from conception to death.  Moreover, they have been interpreted in ways [Read More…]

Authentic Abundance: Responding to Karen Beattie’s Rock-Bottom Blessings

I am a firm believer in the holy synchronicities of life.  As I read the last words of Karen Beattie’s Rock-Bottom Blessings, I looked up and for the first time noticed – I had been living in our new home on Cape Cod for two months! – that my wife had placed an art piece [Read More…]

Forgiveness and Paula Huston’s “A Land Without Sin”

Paula Huston’s A Land without Sin is a real page turner. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t know where it was going or if it would be resolved. Reading it was an adventure of the spirit, joining drama, suspense, ethics, and spirituality. Amid the many trajectories of this book, the one that spoke to [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for Sept 1: Creative Interdependence

Lectionary Relections for September 1, 2013 Jeremiah 2:4-13 Psalm 81:1, 10-16 Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 Luke 14:1, 7-14 Creative Interdependence  This week’s lectionary calls us to creative interdependence.  We cannot thrive,  or even survive, without recognizing and acting upon our sense of interdependence with the world around us.  Authentic creation emerges from healthy relatedness, not pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps [Read More…]

God and the Global Public Square: A Response to Os Guinness’ The Global Public Square

Although I come from the progressive theological and political wing of the Christian family, I always appreciate Os Guinness’ reflections. I am very appreciative of his new book The Global Public Square. Though I take a slightly different path, I find his reflections typically spot on in their assessment of social and cultural trends. As a pastor [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary for August 25: God’s Providence — Abstract or Concrete?

Lectionary Reflections for August 25, 2013 Jeremiah 1:4-10 Psalm 71:1-6 Hebrews 12:18-29 Luke 13:10-17 God’s Providence: Abstract or Concrete God’s call of Jeremiah is one of my favorite Biblical stories.  I can relate to the prophet’s dilemma: the prophet is uncertain of his vocation and protests his inexperience and fallibility.  He doesn’t think he is [Read More…]


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