Water Wednesdays

Our church is raising funds to put wells in Africa through the "Spilling Hope" initiative.It would be easy, for many of us, to just write a check on May 23rd, 50 days after Easter, and call it a success.  But success, in this case, requires more than writing a check.  We're trying to "put on a heart of compassion" as Paul says, which means to "suffer with" those who are suffering.The relationship of suffering to water is, presently, little known in North America.  However, for much of the wo … [Read more...]

Sowing Resurrection Seeds…

You've no doubt heard about the parable of the seed and the sower?  It's one of those stories I've seen illustrated with little shreds of flannel when I was in 2nd grade, heard it taught at camp by a guy who illustrated it in what was called a "chalk talk" and studied it in seminary.In spite of all this, it was only today that I was really struck by the fact this guy wasn't very careful about where he put his seeds.  Rocky soil, good soil, the side of the road, amidst weeds... come on farmer m … [Read more...]

Sowing Resurrection Seeds…

You've no doubt heard about the parable of the seed and the sower?  It's one of those stories I've seen illustrated with little shreds of flannel when I was in 2nd grade, heard it taught at camp by a guy who illustrated it in what was called a "chalk talk" and studied it in seminary.In spite of all this, it was only today that I was really struck by the fact this guy wasn't very careful about where he put his seeds.  Rocky soil, good soil, the side of the road, amidst weeds... come on farmer m … [Read more...]

Modernity, Post-Modernity, and the Limits of Knowing

The question on the table is this:  How can we step outside of our own context fully enough to objectively assess the faith? This is the question post-modernity brings to the table.  Rather than decrying post-modernity for critiquing the arrogant declarations of certainty that have come from people of faith down through the centuries, I'd suggest at the outset, that there are things to learn from the post-modern problem:1. They've pointed out the elephant in the room:  we don't KNOW (in the sa … [Read more...]

For… a plea for beauty

Our church staff was looking at this article yesterday, which articulates some data from the Barna research people about how Christians are perceived by those who are not.  I wonder if the real Jesus, not the one conservatives and liberals have fabricated, would be perceived as boring (remember when he walked on water, remember the accusation that he went to the wrong parties, the ones with unreligious people), or judgmental (remember the women caught in adultery who, in accordance with … [Read more...]

Reflections on first leg of the trip…

In a few minutes I'll go to class and complete the studies in Genesis with students here, and then board the train for Augsburg, where I'll spend the evening with friends before filming tomorrow at Dachau and sites in Munich.  Tomorrow night it's on to Salzburg for supper with a friend and then Schladming, where I'll be teaching I Corinthians next week.The week here has been good with many students from Canada, a few from America, and the rest from places in Europe, Africa, and one student … [Read more...]

U2 and the Unfashionable Cross

It seems like everyone I know has been to, or is going to, hear u2 live in October.  They're out on the west coast, doing a tour and so Christians between 20 and 40 are making the pilgrimage.  Before I continue, I'll offer the caveat that I love u2.  I just returned from running stairs and Bono was my companion because, after the 10th set of sprints it's true:  I still haven't found what I'm looking for. Their music, lyrics, and leverging of fame for social good are all inspiring and exemplery. … [Read more...]

Lessons from Europe…

This November/December I'll once again be spending some time in Germany and Austria, teaching at two different Bible Colleges.  During the trip this year, though, I hope to catalog some of the sites and history over there that have shaped my theology.  If you've read my blog for a little while, you know that some of my favorite inspirational martyrs are the young students who comprised the "White Rose" Fellowship in Germany.  I'm also a huge fan of Carl Muth, their mentor, a Catholic Priest who w … [Read more...]


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