First Sunday in Advent

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,     so that the mountains would quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood     and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries,     so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that … More First Sunday in Advent

The Boston Declaration

I’ve lost track of the number of Christian declarations, confessions, and other statements that have come out this year. But I encourage you to read one more, just released today: The Boston Declaration. Subtitled “A Prophetic Appeal to Christians of the USA,” it begins: As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds … More The Boston Declaration

The Three Journeys of the Christian Liberal Arts

I originally delivered this address (which pulls together several ideas I’ve chewed on at this blog) last spring and published it at The Anxious Bench. But it struck me last night that it’s actually better-suited to this time of year, when many of us are welcoming new students who may not understand or value the liberal … More The Three Journeys of the Christian Liberal Arts

The Violence of God

The rest of this summer our pastors are going preach on what David’s life teaches us about leadership. Jonna got things started this past Sunday with a fine meditation on how God, when he chose David to be anointed as king, looks beyond the superficial to see the heart. (A good fit with the Tom … More The Violence of God

Pilate’s Holy Saturday

This year our church’s Maundy Thursday service began with each person at our table drawing from a bag the name of a disciple. For the rest of the service, we’d then try to imagine the story from the point of view of that follower of Jesus. My son, for example, drew Simon the Zealot. Fittingly, I … More Pilate’s Holy Saturday

God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good: Revisiting the Pietist Vision for Christian Higher Education

Two weeks ago today, I had the chance to talk about Pietism and teaching with college and seminary faculty, staff, and administrators at North Park University in Chicago. It was the third time that I’ve been invited to another Christian college campus to reflect on themes from our 2015 book, The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education, … More God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good: Revisiting the Pietist Vision for Christian Higher Education

The Bible as “An Altar Where We Meet the Living God”

I’m afraid I’m the kind of Christian who thinks about the Bible more often than I actually read it. So I’m excited to be taking part in a new initiative from my denomination called the Community Bible Experience. Starting this week and continuing up to Palm Sunday, dozens of people in our congregation are re-reading the entire New Testament … More The Bible as “An Altar Where We Meet the Living God”