Storms and waters pound states like Florida and Texas while fires rage in the states of Oregon and Washington. They have caused such devastation, destroying anything in their path. Luke 8:22-25 may come as a source of comfort and/or consternation to people facing various dangers and disasters in life. Jesus is found sound asleep in a boat on a lake during a raging storm as his disciples frantically try to cross to land (some of them expert sailors), no doubt… Read more

The dominant outlook on life often appears to be one of wariness, not awareness. What are we often wary of today? Refugees, immigrants, people of other religions, different ethnicities, different orientations? While it is appropriate to be wary of imminent dangers, differences are not necessarily or often dangers. Wariness should not be the dominant impulse of one’s life. Awareness should be. Be aware, not wary. Certainly, consideration of personal and communal safety as well as solidarity are critically important. But… Read more

Photo Credit: Marco Bellucci Many Evangelical Christians are growing discontent with being assigned “Evangelical” as a Christian label. They are experiencing some level of dysphoria. “Evangelical” means a great deal of things to a whole host of people. People of various stripes within the Evangelical movement are struggling to come to terms with these meanings, as well as with the issues dividing the movement. Such dysphoria or discontent is perhaps no more apparent than in dealing with sexuality and gender,… Read more

It’s one thing to be American on paper. It’s quite another to be American in principle and practice, like the “Dreamers” who benefit the country in many ways. The “Dreamers” are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. It was not their decision to come, and it is not their desire to go. Many “Dreamers” work diligently to live the American Dream, and only ask to be granted the opportunity to work, to pursue education, and… Read more

I have always been fascinated with the story of the rich young ruler (recorded in Mark 10, Matthew 19 and Luke 18) as it bears on divine goodness, Jesus, and us. Among other things, I have been struck by Jesus’ response at the beginning and close of his interaction with the man. Here are the opening and closing statements in context: “And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him,… Read more

How would you and Job rate God’s customer service ability in addressing the problem of evil? Good, fair, poor? Read more

Today is my mother’s ninety-first birthday. It is also the beginning of a new academic year. At Convocation Chapel this morning, Multnomah University President Craig Williford drew our attention to the legacy of university professors and administrators of past centuries who suffered greatly for their pursuit of truth. We stand on their shoulders. My mother’s closing words to me in our phone call this morning in which I wished her birthday greetings was how she prays daily for wisdom, anointing… Read more

Whether we are conservative or liberal or somewhere in between, we struggle to account for Jesus. If we are conservative, we might not have difficulty calling him literally God, but we might have difficulty with his claim that it’s harder for the rich to inherit heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle (Matthew 19:16-30). If we are liberal, we might not have trouble with Jesus’ claim that the sheep are those who care for… Read more

Reverend David Wilson is a member of the Choctaw Nation and the conference superintendent of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Wilson was vitally involved in connecting churches to the protest at Standing Rock over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. He graciously accepted my invitation to be interviewed on the struggle and the future work of advocacy for Native peoples and environmental stewardship. Here is a short video of Rev. Wilson on… Read more

Get your solar eclipse glasses out. Today’s the big day when we witness the extremely rare eclipse of the sun. History is filled with tales of how societies and civilizations interpreted eclipses according to cultural norms, values, and taboos. As a New York Times article notes, For instance, for the Arapaho, he said, the coupling of the sun and the moon prompted a discussion of sex and incest. In the Andes, where an Inca-related people believed that the moon was… Read more

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