virgin and child

The Virgin Birth: Fact, Fiction, or Truth?

This post is part of the “Modern Magi on the Mysteries of Christmas,” featuring myself, Scot McKnight, Kyle Roberts, and Billy Kangas, and is a response to Kyle Robert's post about the Virgin Birth.  It is also written in a single draft and without much thought so - kind of jumbled.In his post about the miracle of the Virgin Birth, Kyle Roberts expertly sums up the arguments offered by Moltmann and Barth both for and against believing that Mary, Mother of Jesus, conceived our Savior by the po … [Read More...]


The Slaughter of the Innocents of Sandy Hook

This post is taken from the un-edited manuscript of the book I'm working on and is part of a special Patheos conversation: "Modern Magi on the Mysteries of Christmas," featuring myself, Scot McKnight, Kyle Roberts, and Billy Kangas. If I asked 100 people the question, who brought gifts to the Christ child, how many people were there, where were the people from and where did they bring their gifts to…inevitably people would respond: Well, three kings from the orient brought the baby Jesus gift … [Read More...]


An Advent Sermon on the Turmoil in America, Repentance, and Confession.

(please consider listening along)Wednesday night after Vespers I was standing around talking to Aram about the unrest and despair in our country and about our Gospel reading for today which says Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And I said, you know, given the tangled unrest in our nation right now, I wonder if it’s possible to make a path STRAIGHT enough for the Lord, to which he replied, or, you know, GAY enough.Classic HFASS comment.I was grateful for the la … [Read More...]


My first Advent.

 The first time I celebrated Advent I had no idea what was going on. I’d been married to a Lutheran seminary student for just a week when we moved to Eugene, Oregon for his internship at a small, Lutheran church. United Lutheran sat on a little grassy hill in a neighborhood dotted with 1940 bungalows - one of which would serve as our one bedroom home for a year while Matthew tried out being pastor-y with a group of real live church-goers.What I remember most about that Advent in … [Read More...]


Sermon on Sheep and Goats

     (you can click above to listen to the sermon being preached)There were particular books that donned the shelves and coffee tables in pretty much every Christian home in the 70s and 80s. There was, of course, Joni – the autobiography of Joni Erikson, the Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, and a book called My Utmost for His Highest. Parenthetically, I went on Twitter recently asking what I should title my latest book and my very favorite s … [Read More...]


File this under, “unexplainable”

 I can't make this up.  These are the 4 finalists for the Folio Awards "Magazine Cover; Lifestyle Category".    … [Read More...]


Some Modern Beatitudes – A Sermon For All Saints Sunday

Click above to listen alongThis Summer when I was at the Greenbelt Festival in the UK, I stood on the top of a tall grassy hill and I and 2 of my dear friends, Padraig and Doug[1], each preached on the beatitudes. The event was called Sermons on the Mount and it was my very favorite thing about the festival.I spoke that day about how I think it can be easy to view the sermon on the mount as pure exhortation. It can be easy to view the beatitudes – the “blessed ares” we just heard - as … [Read More...]


My 2015 Speaking Schedule

January 15, The Grace House, The Ritz Theater 1530 Newcastle StreetBrunswick, GA 31520, January 16-18, January Adventure in Emerging Christianity 2015, Epworth By the Sea 100 Arthur J Moore DriveSaint Simons Island, GA 31522, January 28-30, Luther Seminary's 2015 Mid-Winter Convocation “Spiritual but Not Religious”,Luther Seminary 2481 Como AvenueSaint Paul, MN 55108, www … [Read More...]


Sermon on Suicide, Caesar, and Beautiful Newborns

Yesterday I had the honor of holding little Imogen, our newest housemate, just one day old. All four of the Eakins were laying in bed and I leaned over and said a blessing over the new baby. And I couldn’t help but think of our text for today when Jesus is asked if it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. And no, not because now with an extra dependent the Eakins will get a tax break.I thought of the famous render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s text while blessing a newborn name Imogen not because … [Read More...]


Sermon on “us” and “them”

Click above to listen along!  Bethany started a hilarious meme this week on Facebook.She used a picture of Rebel Wilson’s character Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect to start a “sometimes I feel God convicting me” meme – her first one said “Sometimes I feel God convicting me to do crystal meth, but then I think…hmmm…better not”One of you recently forwarded me an email from someone who you haven’t heard from in years, who suddenly came out of the woodwork to inform you t … [Read More...]