Jesus built bridges, not walls. Although people stumbled over Jesus and were divided in their opinions over him, the debate often centered on his bridge-building practice and claim to be God’s reconciling agent in the world. At Jesus’ death, the veil in the Temple was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). He tore down the dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:14). There is no longer a division between Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave… Read more

Such collective trauma poisons a society. So, how might we proceed? Read more

The Urban Dictionary defines “knows no bounds” as “An idiom that means something or someone that possesses no limits and will go the extra mile no matter what.” Therefore, that faith may find in Christ a solid ground of salvation, and so rest in him, we must set out with this principle, that the office which he received from the Father consists of three parts. For he was appointed both Prophet, King, and Priest; though little were gained by holding the… Read more

How inconvenient it must be for God to come to earth to suffer and die for our sins. God must not be American. After all, we Americans like our conveniences, as others have noticed: fast food, drive thru, microwave meals, instant coffee, easy return policies, and ice-making refrigerators, among other things. We even have convenience stores. I wonder how many American Christians or churches realized this evening they were out of ashes, and ran out to convenience stores in the hope… Read more

President Trump remarked during a Black History Month gathering that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice” (Refer here). This statement caused an Internet sensation: did the President even know who Frederick Douglass was—he made it sound as if he were still alive. Still, there is a sense in which President Trump was right: Mr. Douglass seems to have received greater attention with the passing of… Read more

In a post-apocalyptic world of almost total extinction, a father and son struggle to survive. They fight against the elements, hunger, and the threats of robbery and murder, even cannibalism, to make their way south to the coast in hopes of finding warmer climate. Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer prize-winning The Road, which was also made into a film, is a classic, gripping tale of familial self-preservation. As harrowing and far-reaching in horror as the book and film are, they come close and… Read more

[**Beware: Light Spoilers Ahead for the Movie Moonlight**] All too often, we reduce people to the things they do, the things others do to them, who they are associated with, the color of their skin, the names we  give them… The list goes on. Take for example the critically acclaimed movie Moonlight (Here are a few reviews of the film from The New York Times, The Guardian, and the New Yorker). The main character is an African American, whom we get glimpses… Read more

In honor of “Black History Month,” I asked an African American friend of mine, Pastor Jeff Harley, to respond to a few questions. He graciously accepted the invitation. I had the privilege of teaching a doctor of ministry course in which Pastor Harley was enrolled as a student. Since that time, he has shaped my thought and heart in various ways. Pastor Harley has written for the journal I edit, Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture. His… Read more

Do you know what February 19th is famous for in history? On this day in 197, Lucius Septimius Severus’ army defeated Clodius Albinus at Lyon. Perhaps that’s going too far back. Let’s fast-forward in time. On February 19th, 1736, George Frideric Handel’s Alexander’s Feast premiered. On this day in 1807, Aaron Burr (3rd Vice President of the United States) was arrested for treason in Alabama (later he was cleared of the charges). In 1878, Thomas Edison patented the gramophone (phonograph)…. Read more

One of the problems with sin is that we can see it so clearly at work in others, but have a hard time seeing it on display in our own lives. If only we weren’t so modest! After all, we’re basically good people. Decent, hardworking, love our kids, feed our pets. Heck—we may even recycle! One thing we don’t necessarily like to do is recycle history. It can be such a downer. People were so uncivilized then. Why should we… Read more

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