May 22, 2014

Untold millions of women and girls around the globe are victims of physical and sexual violence. In the U.S. alone, over one million women suffer a physical assault by a partner. 25% of American women have been or will be victims of sexual assault. In many countries, structural and systemic violence against women results in even more horrifying statistics. How can we possibly wrap our minds around the violence committed towards women globally? The recent kidnappings of Nigerian girls by... Read more

May 21, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from Don Sullivan, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. A significant part of the last nine weeks of my academic life has been about the intersection of science, (primarily evolution) and theology. Up to this point, and I assume for the remainder of my academic career, I have had very little education in science in general and none in biology. To this day I have never... Read more

May 14, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from AnnMarie Vennerstrom, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science. Often times in our Christian circles we talk about God’s interaction with the world. Sometimes we’ll talk about it in terms of the little things, like how we feel him working in our lives, answering prayers, etc. And sometimes it’s on a much grander scale, like a beautiful sunset, the amazing earth we live on, or a... Read more

May 13, 2014

Recently Tony Jones suggested that seminaries are “training people to repair phone booths.” Sadly, he has a point. Seminaries are struggling to find new students–and even to keep the ones they already have–because they are becoming increasingly disconnected from the realities of our complicated world. In the Integrative Seminar I’ve been teaching this semester, we’ve been using case studies as a way to think about the ways that theology, biblical studies, spiritual formation, leadership studies, and social science can come... Read more

May 7, 2014

The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, to take everything to the Lord, not only the dire hardships and trouble. And so for those more ordinary days, I offer seven short prayers borrowed and revised this morning from friends who wrote a little book of uncommon prayers—prayers of transfiguration for those moments when you probably pray but just need to pray better. The first is a prayer For Lost Car Keys: “Lord Jesus, when you promised to find the lost... Read more

April 30, 2014

I was first asked this question many years ago. I’ve revisited it Monday and Tuesday in a post for The question gets at the basic nature of human identity and personality. As people we perceive ourselves as more than our bodies and brains; what we think and believe extends beyond our neurons and synapses. Such an understanding of human identity and personality (sentience, soul or mind or the variety of other words we use to describe this understanding) famously... Read more

April 28, 2014

Tomorrow I make my way to Copenhagen to participate in a conference at the University of Copenhagen’s Kierkegaard Research Centre. The conference is titled: “Kierkegaard Sources and Reception: The State of Kierkegaard Studies Today.” (click the link to view the schedule). The occasion of the conference is to celebrate the 2/3 completion of a massive research series, called Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception, and Resources (Ashgate). The “Sources” and “Reception” volumes are completed and available for purchase. My talk, “Kierkegaard Among the... Read more

April 24, 2014

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the publication of a new book on Barth and evangelicalism, co-edited by Christian Collins Winn (my friend and colleague here at Bethel) and John Drury. My contribution is on the connection between Barth and the Missional Church around the theme of “witness.” The publication date hasn’t been released yet, but Christian has given me permission to share the table of contents. Hopefully it will stir up some interest in anticipation of the volume. Discussions of the... Read more

April 17, 2014

In Practice in Christianity, Kierkegaard writes this: Let us look at him and his life; let us speak altogether humanly about it; he was, after all, truly human. He began his life in lowliness, led his life in lowliness and abasement to the very end, then ascended on high–what does this mean? It means that temporality in its entirety was suffering and abasement; not until eternity is there victory, loftiness. Therefore it is not like what one ordinarily sees at times in... Read more

April 16, 2014

Jesus deliberately stays silent before Pilate and brings Isaiah to fulfillment. When he finally speaks from the cross he speaks from the Psalms of lament. God stays silent and allows the evil, further prodding skeptics to malign a heavenly Father who would commit what looks like savage child abandonment and abuse. However, in the mystery of trinity, the Jesus who silently suffered and died was God the Father himself, crucified for sin and suffering with those whose voices never get... Read more

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