August 7, 2020

Mercy not Sacrifice (part 1)

One of the most important and influential books I have read in the last decade is Richard Beck’s Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality. Along with Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, Beck’s book pulls back the curtain on some fundamental reasons why we think and […]

Racism: One Tragic Outcome of Misunderstanding Grace

• Traditional Western Christian theology has not always served us or our world well. As a particular example of this, I would refer to our accepted understandings of “grace” and its implications. The debates between medieval Roman Catholics and the Protestant reformers focused on the nature of grace as it applied to individuals and their […]

John Fea on U.S. evangelicals and a sorry history on race relations

Today, I would like to direct your attention to John Fea’s overview of American white evangelicalism’s history of entanglement with racism. Fea is Professor of American History at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, where he has taught since 2002. His current book is Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump (Eerdmans, June 2018). READ: How […]

Frederick Buechner: Pay Attention

Frederick Buechner Pay Attention The biblical faith says creation is of enormous importance because God created it. He made it, he sustains it, he speaks in it, he moves in it. He sent the Christ into it, who walked on it, who got sick from it, who ate on it, who wanted a job on […]

Excerpt from “The Sins of a Nation” (Fr. Stephen Freeman)

An excerpt from “The Sins of a Nation” By Father Stephen Freeman, Glory to God for All Things Nations (and individuals) who ignore their wounds and griefs do not leave them behind – they bring them forward and repeat their battles endlessly. Subsequent generations who never knew the first cause, become the unwitting bearers of […]

Riffing on Richard Beck and Why God Matters

Riffing on Richard Beck and Why God Matters In a recent post at the always excellent Experimental Theology blog, Richard Beck opines that the most important question facing Christians and churches today in this pandemic is why God matters to us. He gives two examples of Christian reactions to the Covid-19 crisis that he has […]

The Liturgy of Creation (Introduction)

The Liturgy of Creation (Introduction) As I said the other day, I am working through Michael Lefebvre’s revelatory book, The Liturgy of Creation: Understanding Calendars in Old Testament Context. RJS has also been blogging on this at Musings on Science and Theology. Michael Lefebvre is the teaching elder/pastor at Christ Church Reformed Presbyterian in Brownsburg, […]

Henri Nouwen: “You must keep looking for a new order”

“You must keep looking for a new order” By Henri Nouwen And yet you are Christian only so long as you look forward to a new world, only so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society in which you live, and only so long as you emphasize the need for conversion both […]

Brueggemann: Virus as a Summons to Faith (2)

Walter Brueggemann has published a book during this Covid-19 pandemic to encourage and challenge believers. In the second chapter, “Pestilence…Mercy? Who Knew?” he considers the strange story about David in 2 Samuel 24:1-14. Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go, count the people of […]

Brueggemann: Virus as a Summons to Faith (1)

Walter Brueggemann has written a book of theological meditations about our current state of affairs as humankind deals with the viral pandemic that has stopped the world in its tracks. Such an attention-demanding crisis has (appropriately) preoccupied us with discovering, defining, and putting into practice responsible actions that will protect people, alleviate suffering, and keep […]