Evangelism (Luke 4:16-19)

In several places on this blog, I point out that our word “evangelism” comes from the Greek word used in the New Testament for “good news.” The church did not invent the word euaggelion. Roman propaganda used the term to refer to the “good news” brought by the emperor as… Continue reading

Why Do We Christians Get It So Wrong? Part Four

THE LEGACY OF AUGUSTINE: Perhaps the theologian who has most influenced Western Christianity is Augustine (354-430 CE) who became the Bishop if Hippo in North Africa. Augustine was a genius whose thought often focused on the inner life of individuals. He was the church father who emphasized Original Sin and… Continue reading

Giving and Receiving

Avarice, greed, concupiscence and so forth are all based on the mathematical truism that the more you get, the more you have. The remark of Jesus that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) is based on the human truth that the more you give away,… Continue reading

An Unfortunate False Assumption

A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to take photos of an immense forest fire in the United States. Smoke at the scene hampered him, so he asked his home office to hire a plane. Arrangements were made, and he was told to go at once to a nearby… Continue reading

The “So What” of the Last Things: Part Two

For most people the word “evangelism” conjures up images of tent revivals, pleading evangelists, threats of hell, promises of heaven, and “getting saved.” Evangelism is all some churches and Christians want to talk about while in other churches it is one of the most uncomfortable topics imaginable.  One of the… Continue reading

Dogs and Swine, Part Two

Franciscan priest Richard Rohr in his very insightful book entitled Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life writes about a most interesting discovery by philosopher Ken Wilber: “Most of us are only willing to call 5 percent of our present information into question at any one point—and… Continue reading

Jesus and the Kin-dom of God

Ancient Near Eastern kings were responsible for bringing justice and peace to their people. Israelite rulers were mandated by God to secure justice and peace for their realms. Every messianic passage in the Hebrew Scriptures presents the longed-for king bringing justice and peace.  In the Lord’s Prayer, we find the… Continue reading

The Wrath of God

Wrath is not as cut and dry a concept as many of us have been taught. We see in the Hebrew Scriptures the priority and abiding nature of God’s loving kindness over God’s limited wrath. As Jesus teaches in Luke 15, God seeks the lost sheep and the lost coin until She finds them. And if we continue our rejection of love, goodness, and shalom, God gives us a free rein to continue our folly. But we see in Paul that even when God gives us over to our sin and consigns us to disobedience, Her mysterious plan finds a way to have mercy on each of us. Continue reading