The Value of Chump Change: Mark 12:38-44

By Greg CareyIs poverty what it used to be? Or has poverty grown so shameful that we dare not speak its name? So determined are we keep poverty out of view, we erase the presence of the poor from Jesus’ teachings. The widow we encounter in Mark 12:38-44 provides a case study in poverty and oppression. Unable to confront poverty, we have turned her into something safer – an example of generosity.The election has just passed. As I’m writing this, I don’t know who will win. I do know this: … [Read more...]

Who Will Be America’s Next Leader? I Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

By Dr. Walter BrueggemannThe old king, David, is dead. It is time to pick his successor as king. In retrospect it seems obvious that his son, Solomon, was his rightful heir. In the moment, however, the matter of succession to the throne is highly contested. Two sons of David, Solomon and Adonijah, are both aggressive candidates for the succession. In the end, Solomon prevails and becomes king. But not easily! He must engage in choreographed deception with the aid of powerful allies. He is … [Read more...]

Mark 1:9-11: The Pleasure Principle

By Stephanie Buckhanon CrowderI must admit the title of this article refers me to an unusual source. Yes, as I write a biblical commentary, I cannot help but recall a song that is not rooted in the Bible. It is a pop song – not a hymn, spiritual or sacred anthem – that pricks my attention. I am not a Janet Jackson aficionado, but her song, “The Pleasure Principle” from 1987 has a few lines that are still appealing almost 25 years later: “I’m not here to feed your insecurities. I wanted you … [Read more...]

Matthew 22:1-11 – A Biblical Case of Class Warfare

By Stephanie Buckhanon CrowderIn a recent town hall meeting a former Google executive asked President Obama to raise his taxes. The attendee stated that he had done quite well at the company and has chosen not to work any more. Through his increased taxes, this individual wants the government to continue investing in Pell Grants, infrastructure and job training. This call for the rich to pay more taxes is similar to the one Warren Buffet heralds when declaring he should not pay the same or … [Read more...]

Matthew 18:15-20: Insiders and Outsiders

By Mark G. Vitalis HoffmanMatthew 18:15-20is an insider's text for outsiders. From Matthew's perspective, Jesus is both warning and assuring those inside the young Christian church. It is a church, however, whose members stand outside the main streams of both religious and civil practice. … [Read more...]


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