If the World Were to End Tomorrow, Would You Plant a Tree on Earth Day?

Today marks Earth Day. A quote attributed to Martin Luther reads, “If I knew that tomorrow was the end of the world, I would plant an apple tree today!” Whether Luther ever said it, could an equivalent statement ever be attributed to you and me? This year, global marches involving advocacy for science also mark the occasion. While multitudes of scientists and science advocates are marching today, how about theological advocates? Are they also marching and advocating in various other... Read more

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Are Rites of Passage from “Egypt” to the “Promised Land,” not Symbols of a “Babylonian Captivity”

Daniel in the Lion’s Den in Babylon, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1615 A.D., Creative Commons Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are rites of passage from “Egypt” to the “Promised Land,” not symbols of a Babylonian Captivity. Rites of passage are ceremonies or celebrations that occur when people leave one group to join another. So, which group is it that we leave and what group are we entering when celebrating Baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Ultimately, baptism... Read more

On Einstein’s “Genius”: How Often Do We Use Science and Religion for Political and Racialized Agendas Rather than Aesthetic Aims?

Creative Commons I had the opportunity to see a screening of the soon-to-be-released TV series on Albert Einstein titled Genius. The first episode did not go into great detail about Einstein’s scientific discoveries (I have read that the series as a whole is not a science documentary). However, the episode did seek to shed light on Einstein’s personal and family life, and the cultural and political context in which Einstein lived and engaged in scientific inquiry.... Read more

Jesus’ Resurrection Is the Myth Become Fact. May It Make A Factual Difference in Our Lives Today.

“Transformation”, Creative Commons The Apostle Paul declares, “…when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4; ESV). Beyond his immediate argument in Galatians 4, such fullness of time no doubt included for Paul Jesus being born a Palestinian Jew under Roman rule. One of the items I take from this intersection is that the import of historical fact for the Jewish community and the significance of eternal myth... Read more

Jesus Didn’t Do Painkillers or Anesthesia at the Cross, Nor Swoon at the Sight of Blood

Photo Credit: me Painkiller addictions have sounded the national alarm (Refer here, here, and here). In our painkiller age, it is worth noting that according to Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus did not use painkillers or anesthesia at the cross, though they offered him wine mixed with gall (which dulled pain; Matthew 27:33-34). Nor did Jesus faint at the sight of blood or from the pain, only to awaken later in the grave (Refer here for a discussion... Read more

Jesus’ Crucifixion Is the Greatest Compliment: Take Comfort on Good Friday

Jesus’ crucifixion is the greatest compliment, though not everyone thinks so… One of the things I most appreciate about my Muslim friends is the high regard they have for Jesus: they honor him as a great prophet. This is one reason why many Muslims (though not all) claim that Jesus was delivered from being crucified. How could a true prophet of God die such a shameful death? Surely God would have delivered him from the cross. As much as I... Read more

God’s Church Is More Than “Giving Units”. She Is United to Jesus Christ.

Christ Drives Out the Money Changes by Valentin de Boulogne, Creative Commons God’s church is more than a collection of giving units. As the bride, she is united to Jesus Christ. Sometimes Christian leaders refer to their congregants as “giving units,” that is, as those who contribute financially to the church institution. It is so easy in our free market society to measure God’s people primarily by what they contribute to the church collection plate. After... Read more

Join Palms in Prayer and Solidarity on Palm Sunday for Egyptian Christians and All Who Face Religious Persecution

Today, on Palm Sunday, Christians around the world wave palm branches in remembrance of people greeting Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9; ESV) People around the world also join palms in prayer in remembrance of Coptic Christians killed today by deadly blasts in two churches in Egypt. Regardless of our ecclesial affiliation, we who are Christians must not only join palms... Read more

Where Is Barth’s Mozart When You Need Him? From the Lisbon Earthquake to Chemical Weapons in Syria.

Mozart, Creative Commons Whenever one considers natural and/or moral disasters, one can easily come away overwhelmed and despondent. What moves us to action to aid those who suffer in the wake? Hope certainly has something to do with moving beyond the threat of paralysis or inactivity in many if not all situations. Public opinion across the world will continue to weigh in on whether President Trump should have ordered the destruction of the airfield in Syria... Read more

You Are What You Eat. You Become What You View.

Creative Commons “Mom was right: You are what you eat.” Could it also be true that we become what we view? Here I’m reminded of the short story, The Great Stone Face, published by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. The story is based on an old legend claiming that someone would arise in their midst that would look like the Great Stone Face—a rock formation on a nearby mountainside that had the air of a living human... Read more