Grace Sufficient for Every Need: On ‘The Vulnerable Pastor’

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Book Review: The Vulnerable Pastor: How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry By Mandy Smith As I read Mandy Smith’s The Vulnerable Pastor, my spirit turned to the words of the Apostle Paul: “God said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more [Read More...]

When Jesus Shows Up: A Response to James Stuart Bell’s ‘Encountering Jesus’

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God is present everywhere, inspiring everyone, all the time, and every so often we notice it. Revelation is natural and built into reality in all its dimensions, both human and non-human. Accordingly, I affirm with James Stuart Bell and those he invited to share their stories that when Jesus is experienced, that experience can change our [Read More...]

Finding Spirituality in Suffering: Heather King’s “Stripped”

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Stripped, Heather King’s new memoir on faith in the midst of a cancer diagnosis, brought to mind words from Viktor Frankl: “There is one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.” Pain and illness, loss and persecution, are moral and spiritual issues. They may drive us away from God. We may seek revenge on [Read More...]

Wherever There is Truth, God is its Source: On ‘The Gospel of Happiness’

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Book Reflection: The Gospel of Happiness by Christopher Kaczor Can science and faith work together for the common good? Are the aims of psychology and theology similar in nature? Can psychology illuminate theology and theology support human flourishing as envisioned by psychology? Christopher Kaczor once saw faith and psychology as inhabiting two different and parallel [Read More...]

Within The Trauma, A Blessing: Reba Riley’s “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

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Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann describes three interconnected moods in the Psalms – psalms of orientation, celebration of the goodness of life and our current blessed personal and social location; psalms of disorientation, lamentations when things fall apart and the future is dim; and new orientation, the joy of healing and recovery, in which things never [Read More...]

The Heroine’s Journey: On Jody Gentian Bower’s “Jane Eyre’s Sisters”

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On my study desk sits a paperweight that announces “solvitur ambulando,” or “it will be solved in the walking.” Jody Gentian Bower’s Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine’s Story could easily be described as “it will be solved in the wandering.” As I read this insightful text, transformative for both women and [Read More...]

The Healing Power of Doubt: Responding to ‘Runaway Radical’

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Amy and Jonathan Holligsworth’s Runaway Radical is a disturbing text. I was angry as I read about how religious leaders destroyed a young man’s spiritual idealism by manipulation, authoritarianism, and absolutism. As I prepare for next week’s sermon, I’ve been reading the story of Thomas the disciple. Thomas gets a bad rap for his willingness to [Read More...]


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