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

Parables: Seeds

A second parable I’ve been thinking about today: The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full … More Parables: Seeds

Parables: Yeast

One of the luxuries of being on sabbatical is that I have time to bake bread, a cathartic practice that helped me cope with the stress and frustration of dissertation writing. So this afternoon, as I tried to cope with the stress and frustration of yesterday’s result, the kids and I are making honey wheat rolls for supper. … More Parables: Yeast