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”

Blue Christmas: Comfort, Hope, and Healing

I’m not entirely sure what took me out this night, the longest of the year, to attend “A Service of Comfort, Hope, and Healing” at my father-in-law’s church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. By way of explanation, I mumbled something to my wife about Stacey and GW. It’s been months now since the deaths of those close friends, … More Blue Christmas: Comfort, Hope, and Healing

Happy Holidays (The War on Christmas Is Over)

Onward, Christian soldiers: the war on Christmas is over, and the good guys won. Just ask Fox News host Bill O’Reilly: You may remember about 10 years ago, “The O’Reilly Factor” began spotlighting companies that refused to say the words “Merry Christmas.” In fact, some of those businesses actually ordered their employees not to say that. … More Happy Holidays (The War on Christmas Is Over)

Habitation and Homelessness: My Sermon on Citizenship

Having offered some unsolicited homiletic advice last Saturday, I thought today I might share a rare example of my own preaching: a sermon I delivered last month in Denver, to set up a four-class series at Covenant Village of Colorado on the history of Christians engaging with the wider culture. For the Sunday evening vespers service, I meditated … More Habitation and Homelessness: My Sermon on Citizenship

Parables: Roots

One more parable, also from Mark 4: Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. … More Parables: Roots