I Know What God Looks Like (Luke 15:1-10)

Mathew Skinner

By Matthew L. SkinnerDo you want to see what God is like? It just got harder to do so on Wikipedia.Wikipedia still has an article called “God,” and it hosts a range of ever-changing perspectives. But a few days ago the site made God less visible when it deleted its short article on Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper who in late August may have prevented a massacre at an elementary school near Atlanta. Wikipedia merged her name into another, more obscure article.The Wikipedians’ bland deb … [Read more...]

How to Survive the Sequester, Syria, and Other Threatening Headlines (Luke 13:1-9)

By Matthew L. SkinnerCurrent events, like much about our lives, frequently leave us hopeless, fearful, and uncertain. Religious faith isn’t a matter of wishing away these experiences; it involves perceiving God in the midst of our hardships.I still remember one Friday night when I, an overly sensitive preteen, made a conscious decision to stop watching the nightly news with the rest of my family. I found what I saw too depressing and threatening: crime after crime, yet another house f … [Read more...]

Immigration Reform and the Challenges of Generosity (Luke 4:22-30)

By Matthew L. SkinnerCharity doesn’t leave us unchanged, which is just one reason why it’s hard to make ourselves do it.To be more specific: when we extend generosity and justice to others, it alters our relationship to them. Especially when those “others” are foreign to us. Hospitality has ways of making the people who receive it come inside and stick around, whether we really want them to or not.We see this on display in Luke 4:22-30, which tells the second half of a story about Jes … [Read more...]

Can We Speak of God’s Activity, in Triumph or Tragedy? (Luke 1:39-55)

ByMathew SkinnerSometimes, the worse the tragedy, the more abhorrent the theology it elicits.Still numb from the overwhelming evil perpetrated against helpless children and schoolteachers last Friday, now we have to read idiocy from James Dobson and others who declare the senseless carnage a sign of God’s judgment against America. His words are disgraceful. I find them exploitative and unchristian.Certain Christians seem compelled to speak for God in disorienting moments like these, … [Read more...]

Is It Possible To Govern “Biblically”?

By Matthew L. SkinnerTemptations to hold and wield power are usually tough to pass up. Power is alluring whether we imagine having it over others or on behalf of them, whether it’s power in society, at home, or in a workplace. … [Read more...]

What Makes a Family? (Mark 3:20-35)

By Matthew L. Skinner“Parents just don’t understand” might be an ever-present theme in popular music, but it’s hardly a modern phenomenon.Jesus’ Family DiscordIf you’re looking for snapshots of well-adjusted and happy parent-child relationships from the ancient world, the Bible probably shouldn’t be on your short list of sources. Consider even Jesus’ family, for example. The New Testament preserves evidence suggesting that Jesus’ relationship with his mother was rather strained. Sim … [Read more...]


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