Happy Fifth Anniversary, Patheos! From Uncommon God, Common Good

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Patheos! I have decided to honor your fifth year anniversary by highlighting five key themes that I address at my blog, “Uncommon God, Common Good”. 1.     Trinitarian Thought:The title of my blog “Uncommon God, Common Good” and the picture that accompanies it (based upon Andrei Rublev’s icon of the Holy Trinity) seeks to capture my conviction that the Trinity is not the greatest problem or puzzle to solve, but that the Trinity is the very means t … [Read more...]

What Is the Church—A Faith-Based Emporium or Christ’s Kingdom Community?

Perhaps you have seen the Simpsons episode titled “She of Little Faith.” Homer is responsible for accidentally burning down the church that he and his family attend. The church community sells their collective soul to the nuclear power plant owner (who is the devil in disguise) to refinance and rebuild the sanctuary. The result is a “faith-based emporium” with comfortable theater seating for religious consumers, a pulpit bearing a screen for advertisements, and a money-changing booth.The sati … [Read more...]

If the World Were to End Tomorrow, What Would You Do Today?

If the world were to end tomorrow, what would you do today?The last time our society pondered seriously questions like this was in late 2012.  You might recall the discussions, fears and anxieties leading up to December 21st of that year. People were speculating and debating at length about a Nostradamus prediction and how the Mayan calendar ends that day.My theology class started considering the question yesterday in view of the upcoming final exam slated for next week: So, if you knew … [Read more...]

What Kind of “Asian” Are You?

Perhaps you have watched the video, “What kind of Asian are you?” The humorous video reflects a common tendency for white Americans (especially those of second, third and fourth generation status) to assume that they are simply “regular” Americans, as the white man in the video says. Everyone else is something in particular, or “irregular.” We easily carry this perspective over into theology. There is Black theology, Native American theology, Latin American theology, Asian American theology.... R … [Read more...]

Christian Survival Kits in a Post-Christendom Society, Part II

Last week, I wrote a blog post titled "Christian Survival Kits in a Post-Christendom Society, Part I." In that post discussing the loss of Christian cultural influence in American society, I asked the following question: “if the American church were stranded on a life raft out at sea, what would we see as the critical items that we would need to survive as the cultural currents change and as the winds and waves press against us?" Several suggestions were offered. One item missing from that init … [Read more...]

What Would Have Changed If Jesus Had Not Risen From The Dead?

What would have changed if Jesus had not risen from the dead?Not much.We would still be dead in our sins (see 1 Corinthians 15:17).We would lie still forever in the grave. There would be no resurrection for us (see 1 Corinthians 15:12-58).The universe would inevitably burn up and fizzle out, just like many expect, since Jesus would not be the firstborn of all creation, the firstborn from the dead, and the one through whom God would reconcile all things on earth and heaven (contra … [Read more...]

Holy Saturday—Buried Alive?

Being buried alive is one of the most terrifying things one can imagine. Not being able to trust anyone is also terrifying. It smothers relationships. Relational isolation is a form of suffocation.People are buried alive because of not trusting others, including God. A lack of trust causes individuals to prize self-sufficiency and self-reliance in our culture today. And yet, there are times when the relational isolation and pressure to make it on their own gets so intense that panic sets in; … [Read more...]