August 16, 2017

We are all seeking to come to terms with the meaning and nature of the Good, the good life, and how to attain it. What is your preferred means of pursuit? A few of the options from which to choose on the ideological smorgasbord conveyer belt are moralism, hedonism, and nihilism: Moralism: The Good is the Law of Reason. The Good life is the undaunted pursuit of moral order and reason indifferent to pain or pleasure (ex. Stoicism). Hedonism: The… Read more

August 14, 2017

The events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend reflect growing concern over the removal of Confederate monuments across the South. White nationalists protesting what they take to be revisionist history and promoting a desire to make white privilege great again came face to face and fist to fist with those who oppose a return to the overt racist past (Refer here and here). The white nationalists’ concern reflects a growing sense of the loss of white superiority and the… Read more

August 12, 2017

Who do you trust? The White House? Congress? The Courts? The Media? The TV news meteorologist? Your spouse? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your parents? Your children? Your siblings? Your friends? Your neighbors? Your boss and coworkers? Your dog and cat? Your favorite musician or sports team’s general manager? Your plumber, electrician, doctor, dentist, mechanic, and accountant? Your pastor or priest? God? The Church? Yourself? The list goes on and on, and crosses over every domain of life. Bridges of relational… Read more

August 9, 2017

Last night, I read that Pastor Robert Jeffress claimed, “God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”  I wonder what Jesus would make of his claim, especially as he discounted the relevance of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in this context and treated Romans 13 as if it gives President Trump a free pass to take out another nation’s leader. According to The Washington Post, The biblical passage Romans 13 gives the government authority to deal with evildoers, Jeffress… Read more

August 7, 2017

We always think of Jesus loving people. But do we ever stop to wonder what he despises? Spiritual pride, hypocrisy, injustice. Years ago, I was engaged in a public debate at a secular university with a leader from another religion. Early on, he posed what he took to be a “conversation-stopper” question: “Do you think I’m going to hell?” Such answers are beyond my pay grade, so I responded in Lesslie Newbigin-esque fashion: “This much I can say by way of… Read more

August 4, 2017

Life is like swift water. It keeps passing by. What about justice? Does it pass by ephemerally like swift water? Perhaps you have also wondered about justice? Is it constantly in flux? Speaking of swift water, this is the meaning behind the name for Cle Elum in Kittitas County in Washington, where I stayed this past week. The Kittitas band of the Yakama tribe referred to the nearby Cle Elum River as “swift water” (Tle-el-Lum). While the clan lived and… Read more

August 2, 2017

The dominant culture tends to dominate the conversation on perceptions and questions about evil and suffering. That is not to say we don’t have some legitimate perceptions and questions. It’s just that there are other perceptions and questions that minority communities ask that are also very important. So, we need to ask ourselves and others: “What are we missing? What questions do we still need to ask? Who should we be asking?” In the context of addressing the problem of… Read more

July 31, 2017

Years ago, when I was a resident member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, my family and I walked through Princeton Cemetery. Once referred to as the Westminster Abby of the United States, the Princeton Cemetery is the resting grounds for such luminaries as Jonathan Edwards, Aaron Burr, and Grover Cleveland. We (or should I say I) were looking for Edwards’ grave. Some of the tombstone inscriptions stood out to us. The most memorable one included… Read more

July 28, 2017

My wife shared with me, “Little creatures mean a lot to God.” The Bible confirms her intuition. Here’s what Psalm 84:3 says: “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God” (ESV). My wife was referring to animals. She could easily have been referring to people.[1] Scripture refers to people as sheep for whom God’s Suffering Servant gives his life (Isaiah 53:5-6). Jesus refers… Read more

July 26, 2017

Have you been led to think that if you love God, you won’t question God? I had been led to think just that. I’m not sure where it came from. Perhaps it was the ecclesial equivalent of department store messaging subliminally enticing me to buy faith, not doubt. However, I have since concluded that those who love God won’t hide their honest faith questions from God, but will be open about their doubts. When I was back in seminary, I… Read more

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