Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

(Posts Archive)

The Politics of Jesus

If Jesus was a king, he was a different kind of king. His politics and policies call for a different kind of revolution. His wars are to be fought with a different kind of spirit. His victories with a different understanding of outcomes. If Jesus was a king, his face doesn’t need to be seen […]

Touch Wood

Touch wood. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring? So much wonder. In such simplicity and complexity. In a Japanese cell phone commercial. Geek.com describes it like this: “We promise you’ve never heard Bach’s Cantata 147, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” quite like this. It’s rare to see an advertisement so artfully and skillfully done, but Sharp’s […]

Who’s There?

There’s a story going around the Internet suggesting that some of us may not see or hear ourselves the way others do. It goes something like this: Knock. Knock. Who’s there? Jesus. What do you want? Let me in. Why do you want me to let you in? So I can save you. Save me […]

Does Love Make us Gullible?

From time to time I’ve wondered what the Apostle Paul was thinking when he wrote that love “always believes”— or as some translations put it “always trusts” (1Cor 13:7). Could he possibly be urging the kind of love that believes whatever anyone tells or promises us? Over the years I’ve tried to take his words at […]

Alive Inside

Earlier this week I watched a documentary about the effect of music on persons with dementia and memory loss. I hope I never forget what I saw. You may be aware of the work of Dan Cohen since video excerpts of his research and work have gone viral on social media. The film is an […]

Mercy

With the thought of mercy, what comes to mind? The cold kindness a bully shows when his victim admits defeat? Or Jesus on the cross praying, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” My guess is that if we could sit down around the same table— and share a meal of memories about […]

Who for Who?

Does God exist for us, or do we exist for God? Isaiah spoke of the God who acts for his own Name and glory (Isaiah 48:9-11). Yet, the Apostle Paul asked, “If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). He follows with, “He who did not spare his own Son, but […]

Legalists Anonymous

While spending time in Paul’s letter to the Galatians I’ve begun to wonder whether getting intoxicated together at the open bar of the law is actually more dangerous than alcohol. Early on, Paul describes how violent he used to be— while living by a system of Law he thought he was keeping (Gal 1:13-14). Now […]

Irenaeus and the Word

Irenaeus was a second-century follower of Jesus known for his writings against heresy and for his summary of teachings handed down from the Apostles. Tutored by the martyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who in turn was taught by the Apostle John, Irenaeus is important because of the way he used both Old and New Testament […]

Empathy

Why does the Bible say nothing about how Eve was feeling after her first son killed his younger brother? Did word get back to her that, when asked where Abel was, Cain had said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Did she know that he seemed more concerned about losing the affections of his fields than […]

Connecting Epic Dots

In Genesis, the Serpent shows up as an accuser and a deceiver. In the story of Job, Satan shows up as an accuser of both God and Job— allowed to do violence to Job—to deceive Job and friends… In the story of the Cross—Satan is allowed to enter Judas to do violence to the Son […]

On the Ground

I appreciate your willingness to smile and reflect with me on the stunning repetition Moses used to describe what happened on the ground—shade in the day, warmth and light in the night—as God led in The Cloud overhead (Numbers 9:15-23). Your comments show that in the wilderness of then and now, the direction of God depends […]

Day in Day out

I’ve been thinking again about a section of the book of Numbers that we’ve looked at together in years past. But it always makes me smile. It’s about how the LORD led his people— day in day out, as he protected and provided for them through the wilderness on their way to a Promised Land […]

On Wikileak Sea

How can we make sense of a world where all who have something to hide live in constant fear of being exposed by a power seeking, money hungry— or ever loving rival? How different are such thoughts from the “What is truth?” asked by a cynical judge when he was asked to seal the fate […]

Why?

Why did God create us with such an enormous capacity for hurt, misunderstanding, bad blood, family division, and tribal warfare? Could it be for the same reason Jesus was born not just to die, but to be crucified? In allowing himself to be insulted, tortured, and killed, did the Source of all power, authority, and […]

Acts of God—2

An interesting thought surfaced in the comment section of the last post. In misunderstanding the Acts of God, there are two possibilities: Attributing to God the acts of Satan and attributing to Satan the acts of God. In both cases, misunderstanding the consequences of demonic darkness results in blaming God for what he allows. Confusion […]

Stockholm Syndrome

In 1973 four hostages were taken in a Stockholm bank robbery. When eventually released the victims defended their captors and refused to testify against them in court. Their experience led to the coining of a term that represents, by some estimates, 8 percent of persons who have been intermittently harassed, beaten, threatened, abused, or intimidated […]

Glances and Glimpses

One of the stubbornly resistant facts of the Bible is that all of its words, affirmations, and denials have to be interpreted. Take for instance a hint of of God’s goodness spoken by the LORD to Moses and remembered by Paul, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15). Anyone […]

Trauma

I’ve been reading a book about the effects and treatment of trauma titled, “The Body Keeps the Score.” Written by psychiatric researcher, Bessel Van Der Kolk, it describes how different parts of our brain need to work together to help us avoid and survive danger. In general terms, Van Der Kolk describes at great length […]

Thanksgiving for Better or Worse

National days of Thanksgiving happen for better or worse. Unless we stand together in gratefulness for a shared harvest— or unless our prayers are childlike enough to not stir up adult issues, our family and political differences can overcook more than the turkey. Thanksgiving Holidays seem to have the unintended result of reminding us of painful […]

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