Circle of Moral Responsibility

How wide must our circle of moral responsibility be? “And wanting to justify himself, he asked, ‘And who is my neighbor?'” Jesus replied: That’s a paraphrase.

The Good News of Inauguration Day

Today is the day that many of us have been dreading. And, yes, many have been longing for it, counting down to it for the past months and years. But the majority of my people, even folks who aren’t sure that they’re my people anymore given my theological and political leanings, are not happy about today’s inauguration. Trump brings too much brutality. Too much instability. Too much inability to tell the truth. So what on earth could be the good news... Read more

Religion and the Good of the World

Last week I went to a talk. And what I really, really wanted, more than anything else, was for the speaker to fire the silver bullet. I wanted him to convince me of what I have too long doubted. I wanted him to show me that the globalized world needs religion so that its people can flourish. In defense of the speaker, let me say that I’m not entirely sure that his goal was to offer the silver bullet I... Read more

Litany for Peace

Yesterday our church gathering used this litany to walk us through lament, confession, and prayer for peace. A Corporate Confession and Prayer for Peace We gather in the name of the God of Peace May grace and peace be ours from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ We gather in the name of the Prince of Peace The one who says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.” We gather in the Spirit Who is... Read more

Failures of Love

Last night, in the angst of the election returns, as I watched it become increasingly clear that Trump was going to win Florida and, especially, Wisconsin, I blasted out on Twitter and Facebook: It struck a nerve. My Twitter friends seemed to like it. But… um… I got a little “pushback” on Facebook. Someone suggested I would regret the post. I don’t. But that’s only half the story. Trump and the Failure of Love Donald Trump’s victory is a massive failure... Read more

Webinar on the Human Christ

Last week the good folks at the Restoration Fellowship had me on for a webinar to discuss A Man Attested by God. I was on screen with Anthony Buzzard who taught for many years at Atlanta Bible College. The Restoration Fellowship folks label themselves “biblical unitarians.” They have a statement of faith that looks like what you’d see in many evangelical circles, but they follow the biblical precedent in only referring to the Father as God. In the Q&A they were working... Read more

Theological Interpretation and the Problem of Whiteness

I am a theological reader of scripture. And yet I have long been critical of the “Theological Interpretation of Scripture” movement that has arisen over the past fifteen years or so as an academic approach to theological reading. My critique, depending on the person I’m engaging, often boils down to this: using the “rule of faith” (a statement of Christian belief that’s somewhat hard to pin down but might be roughly equivalent to something like the Apostle’s Creed) as a... Read more

The “T” Word

This academic year I am serving as Pastoral Director for the Newbigin House of Studies Fellows Program. This is the first in a year-long series of posts in which I will be blogging about the reading that the Fellows are engaging together. You can read more about the Fellows Program here. The “T” word. Truth. It’s probably second to the “S” word (“sin”) in terms of words that you try not to drop with too much conviction in polite society—and sometimes not even in church. Lesslie... Read more

Swing States: We Need You to Save Us from Trump

Ok, my dear friends in swing states (looking at you, North Carolina), I need to ask you take one for the team here. Dems mostly gonna Dem, Reps mostly gonna Rep, but then there’s the folks figuring this out that are going to make the difference. We need you to pull us back from the precipice. We can find our way through a lot, but I don’t think we can afford four years of chaos before we get our bearings back.... Read more


The first time I went to see a therapist he spent about 35 seconds listening to me introduce myself before he reflected back what he heard, “It sounds like it’s really important to you that people listen to you.” Genius. It brought back a flood of memories, including that time when I was working at a restaurant, trying to talk to the apps guy on the cooking line and apparently was at the end of it with being interrupted: “LISTEN!”... Read more
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