The Virtue of Freedom

All our early American leaders had read Montesquieu, who differentiated despotism from monarchy from democracy. In each of these forms of society he found a governing principle: for despotism it was fear, for monarchy it was honor, and for democracy it was virtue. Because freedom was practically synonymous with virtue,… Continue reading

I Corinthians 15:3-8, 12-22, 29 “Halloween and All Saints’ Day”

We are in the season of ghosts, goblins, jack-o-lanterns, and trick-or-treaters. For all practical purposes, Halloween has become for us a secular holiday of spooky fun and kids gorging on candy. The name Halloween comes from the phrase “All Hallows Even” or “All Hallow (Saints) Eve.” Halloween is the evening… Continue reading

Why Eschatology is Important (Part One)

My fellow liberal Christians are puzzled by one aspect of my approach to theology. I have always had an interest in eschatology and believe that it is a vital and indispensable part of our faith. Liberals on the whole see little need to speculate about “the Last Things.” In fact,… Continue reading

Mark 9:38-50 “Watching Our Pronouns”

On the whole the disciple John does not come off very well in the Gospels. Along with James his brother, John sought the top positions in Jesus’ coming Kingdom: “Lord, give us first and second places in the Kingdom to come”–a crass, vulgar request without a hint of reluctance or… Continue reading

The Contemporary Relevance of the Book of Revelation for the Church (Part 2)

*Throughout Revelation there is a cosmic focus. The world in terms of nature and cultural achievements is never forgotten. And the cosmos is understood to be participating in the painful and destructive consequences of sin as well as being promised inclusion in the ultimate redemption and transformation. John is not… Continue reading

The Contemporary Relevance of the Book of Revelation for the Church (Part 1)

(Before reading this blog article I would advise readers to read an earlier article entitled “Some Thoughts about the Book of Revelation.” A knowledge of that earlier blog entry will help in appreciating the two articles I am now ready to present on the relevance of Revelation for our time.)… Continue reading

The Disgrace of What Passes for Christianity

Not long ago I overheard a conversation while waiting for my car to be serviced. Fox News was on the screen. There was a mention of Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme court who was removed from office twice for not following the law as decided… Continue reading

Genesis 3 “The First Things” (The Fall and Original Sin) Part 10

Many people throughout church history have believed that this chapter in the Bible is the decisive text for all the rest—that it states the premise for everything that follows. But as Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann points out, this is at best a marginal passage in Scripture. It is never… Continue reading

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