God is Now a Patriots Fan? A Post-Superbowl Reflection on Divine Providence and Miraculous Outcomes

God makes a way where there is no way. Even in football games? I was ready to turn off my television and cry in my beer after Jermaine Kearse made his own version of the “immaculate reception,” planting the Seahawks’ ball just a few yards from the goal line with plenty of time to spare. [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 8, 2015

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 8, 2015 Isaiah 40:21-21 Psalm 147:1-1l, 20c I Corinthians 9:16-23 Mark 1:29-39 Today’s readings invite us to look at life from a wider perspective. Our individual lives are part of a greater story, the universe and God’s story, adding by our decisions beauty [Read More...]

Adventurous Lectionary – Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – February 1, 2015

The Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany – February 1, 2015 Bruce Epperly Deuteronomy 18:15-20 Psalm 111 I Corinthians 8:1-13 Mark 1:21-28 Today’s readings may seem irrelevant to many congregants. In mainstream and progressive churches, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about unclean spirits, the authority of prophets, or food sacrificed to idols. Our [Read More...]

Is God a Seahawk Fan? God’s Will, Sports, and the Randomness of Life

If God is for us, who can be against us? So wrote the apostle Paul nearly twenty-one hundred years ago. (Romans 8:31) I’m sure that Paul had no idea that his affirmation of God’s sovereign faithfulness to persecuted Christians would be invoked to explain the outcome of next Sunday’s Superbowl. But, to many fans, God [Read More...]

Hidden in Plain Sight: A Conversation with Tony Kriz’s “Aloof”


Life is full of synchronous moments. After our congregation’s Tuesday noon Bible Study, I took a reading sabbatical to finish Tony Kriz’s Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God who Hides. We had been studying Colossians 1:15-20 and reflecting on the author’s vision of a god who is both cosmic and intimate. The god described [Read More...]

Practicing Compassion with Frank Rogers and Bernard Loomer


This post is part of a discussion on the new book Practicing Compassion, by Frank Rogers, Jr. For more conversation, visit the Patheos Book Club here. Claremont School of Theology is my theological and spiritual home. At Claremont, I studied theology and philosophy of religion, received my ministerial training, and met my wife Kate. Like [Read More...]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Third Sunday after the Epiphany – January 25, 2015

Third Sunday after the Epiphany Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Psalm 62:5-12 I Corinthians 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20 Today’s lectionary readings invite us to embrace change, whether it involves our vision of God, personal plans, or way of life. It’s difficult to preach about Jonah without retelling the legend in its entirety. Jonah has earned the title the [Read More...]

Heavenly Dust – A Response to Eben Alexander’s “Map of Heaven”

Hassidic spiritual leader Rabbi Simcha Bunem of Pershycha once noted that “Every person should have two pockets. In one pocket, there should be a note that says, ‘for you the world was created.’ In the other pocket, there should be a note that asserts, ‘you are dust and ashes.’” These two quotes capture the interplay [Read More...]

The Baptism of Jesus – January 11, 2014

The Baptism of Jesus – January 11, 2015 Genesis 1:1-5 Psalm 29 Acts 19:1-7 Mark 1:4-11 Today, we celebrate the waters of grace and healing. We rejoice in the waters of the womb of creation, incarnate in our mothers and in Mother Earth. As Masaru Emoto has theorized, water is the blueprint of reality, far [Read More...]

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany – January 18, 2015

Second Sunday after the Epiphany Samuel 3:1-10 Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 I Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51 There is a joke among members of my denomination, the United Church of Christ. When we announce “God is still speaking,” usually someone responds, “But is anyone listening.” Today’s scriptures are about listening for the voice of God and God’s [Read More...]