The Adventurous Lectionary for December 15, 2013 (Advent 3)

Lectionary Reflections for the Third Sunday in Advent  December 15, 2013 Isaiah 35:1-10 Luke 1:46b-55a James 5:7-10 Matthew 2:1-11 Healing the World  Advent is a time for hopeful transformation.  Creation and humankind lean toward wholeness; creation groans and so do we.  God is at world in all things, restoring the broken, healing the sick, and welcoming [Read More…]

Continuity and Uniqueness: Reflections on “Jesus: First Century Rabbi”

Scholars, pastors, and laypeople alike are rediscovering the Jewishness of Jesus and the continuity between the first-century Christian movement and the Jewish tradition prior to and following the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, whom we Christians call Christ and Savior. Freed from replacement theories regarding the relationship of Judaism and Christianity and Hebraic spirituality [Read More…]

Pondering Providence: Responding to Robert Tracy Knight’s “The First Thanksgiving”

Robert Tracy McKenzie does a masterful job of liberating the pilgrims from the cultural and economic myths that often disguise their faith and practices in his new book The First Thanksgiving. He sees them as God-centered people, leery of religious holidays, and focused on covenant with God and one another. The pilgrims were inspired by [Read More…]

Bonhoeffer’s Vision and Process Theology

A Response to The Bonhoeffer Reader, edited by  Clifford J. Green and Michael P. DeJonge Few theologians have responded as creatively and forthrightly to the postmodern challenge as Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer recognized the pluralistic, multi-centered, experience-oriented world of our current religious landscape. He imagined an emerging Christianity, no longer at the center of culture, but [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”

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…]

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

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…]


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