Luke 16:19-31 “While the Gate is Still Open”

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus can be compared to a play with three acts. (I first heard this suggestion to approaching this particular parable in a New Testament class I took at seminary which focused on the parables of Jesus.)  We are presented with a very wealthy… Continue reading

Matthew 20:1-15 “The Scandal of Grace”

One of Jesus’ favorite ways of teaching was through parables. Parables were used by other teachers in Judaism. However, Jesus’ parables seem unique. His parables were almost always about situations involving common people: a shepherd looking for a lost sheep; a woman kneading yeast into flour; a peasant awakened by… Continue reading

A Privation of Good

Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but recordOne death-grapple in the darkness ‘twixt old systems and the Word;Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own. (James Russell Lowell)… Continue reading

QAnon, Trump, and Norway

Just when I thought Trump couldn’t get any worse, he demonstrated there is no limit to his evil machinations. On August 19, 2020, he added another group to his base of racists, misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, the lunatic fringe of Christianity, spineless politicians who would sacrifice our democracy in order to… Continue reading

Gettysburg, Lincoln, and Science

Throughout the Democratic National Convention, I was reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address which ended with “that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.” I could only imagine what Lincoln would think of how Trump has perverted the party Lincoln founded…. Continue reading

Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins of Contemporary Society

Mahatma Gandhi was perhaps the greatest spiritual leader of the 20th Century. Albert Einstein said the following about this great Hindu saint: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked this earth.” I believe that Gandhi provided a social,… Continue reading

Genesis 6:5-9:17 “The First Things” (The Great Flood) Part 14

In a previous sermon [Genesis 1:1-12:3 “The First Things” (Ancient Near Eastern Traditions and Historical Context) Part 2], we looked at the similarities between the flood story in Genesis and the account of a great flood in the Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic—a story which dates many years before Israel ever came… Continue reading

Economics as If People Matter

The modern economy is propelled by a frenzy of greed and indulges in an orgy of envy, and these are not accidental features but the very causes of its expansionist success. . . If human vices such as greed and envy are systematically cultivated, the inevitable result is nothing less… Continue reading