When ISIS Bombs a Church on Palm Sunday, What’s their Endgame, and How Can We Subvert it?

The ISIS endgame is a hustle: carry out acts of violence so despicable that they create world-wide backlash & war. I am bewildered by the footage of bombs going off inside Christian churches in Egypt while worshippers gather to celebrate on Palm Sunday. Grief. Sadness. Confusion. I will never understand what could possibly consume a person [Read More…]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Worry, Violence & Loving Our Enemies

Worry: “Do not worry! Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry. But in truth, they are what cause anxiety. The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries. We desire to secure [Read More…]

Ten Great Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes On Non-Violence

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral; begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence [Read More…]

Another Act of Madness: Gunman Told Christians “You’re Going to See God In Just About One Second”

It was another act of attention seeking madness in this gun-crazed, violence-obsessed society of ours… and there’s no making sense of it. I resonate with the comments of President Obama yesterday – I feel numb; like a fog has come over my mind. But, I refuse to let this become normal. The shooting hits home, because [Read More…]

How Does “Dying for our Sins” Work?

I read a great post from Brian Zahnd this week, it’s worth a read. Here’s a quick excerpt. You can find the whole article and Brian’s blog here: When we say “Jesus died for our sins,” what does that mean? It’s undeniably an essential confession of Christian faith, but how does it work? This much I’m [Read More…]

Lent 6A, Palm Sunday: John 19:12-19 – Powerful / Not-Powerful

Here’s a transcript of my sermon from last week (Palm Sunday). If you are a pastor please feel free to cut & paste everything. I got much of the historical stuff from commentaries, especially Ken Bailey’s work on Jesus, and from talks by John Ortberg & Rob Bell.     2014.04.15 – Lent 06 John [Read More…]

Walter Brueggemann’s 19 Theses Revisited: A Clarification from Brueggemann Himself

In September 2005, Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann sat with a group of church leaders for a theological discussion as a part of the Emergent Theological Conversation series. In my opinion, this is of the most innovative and fruitful contributions Emergent Village has made over the years. The secret was in the format: they would [Read More…]