Matthew 31:1-12 “Preparing the Way of the Lord”

The first week of Advent is usually associated with John the Baptizer. According to the Gospels, John was chosen by God to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. So, he is especially helpful as we approach this season of preparation and expectation.  John was certainly a strange religious figure,… Continue reading

Psalm 100 Thanksgiving: Receiving and Taking

“Receive is a freedom word. Take is not. To receive is to accept what the divine largess provides for us. To take is to plunder whatever is not nailed down. To receive is to do what children do in the family. To take is to do what pirates do on… Continue reading

Matthew 16:13-20 “The Rocky Church”

“Whom do YOU say that I am?” Jesus asked his disciples. And Simon answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” “The good confession” we Disciples call it. And then Jesus sternly ordered the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. Why? Why this… Continue reading

Matthew 12:22-32 “What is the Unpardonable Sin?”

We have all heard the phrase “the unpardonable sin.” Some people worry a great deal about committing such a sin. Others simply ignore this passage, hoping it will go away. When I was a college professor, I was surprised at how many students were plagued by the fear that they… Continue reading

Luke 12:49-56 “Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?”

These words certainly dispel the popular image of Jesus in our culture and, if we are honest, in our churches. Somewhere in time the image of Jesus as a meek and mild, soft spoken, non threatening, harmony-producing, tranquility seeking doormat has taken root in the minds and expectations of Christians… Continue reading

Mighty Mouse Theology

(Based in part on Rob Bell’s Nooma DVD Series) Rob Bell begins an insightful analysis of God recounting a conversation he heard some years ago. Someone was telling about a dramatic moment in his life and summarized the event by saying with excitement and joy in his voice, “and then… Continue reading

Quadrilateral: Experience (Part Four)

IV. EXPERIENCE: (Much of what was written in the previous article about “Reason” could also apply to “Experience.” Reason and Experience are closely related within the human psyche. I will not repeat what we wrote about Reason that is applicable to Experience.)  Definitions of Experience: Direct observation or participation in… Continue reading

Quadrilateral: Reason (Part 3)

III) REASON: At the beginning of my second year of teaching in college, a biologist joined the faculty. We seemed to be kindred spirits, and I looked forward to having a new friend in an academic setting. However, one day early on in our acquaintance, he came to my office… Continue reading