on Pentecost: deeds, creeds, and the Holy Spirit

What help to us are Jesus' birth, life, suffering, and death; what help to us are His victory, His resurrection, ascension, and sitting at the right hand of the Father; what help to us are our knowledge and worship of God and Baptism and Communion, if the Holy Spirit does…

faith in faith or faith in Christ

Living in Texas, Christianity here is highly influenced by revivalism and its decision-theology. Even traditions and denominations that reject this belief and practice can't help but be influenced by it, even if only to interact with other Christians around them. Yesterday some life-long Christians were asking about conversion experiences and…

clothed in righteousness: thoughts on moral trauma

War is messy. It is a mess of dirt, sweat, blood, gunpowder, rubble, tears, death, and destruction unparalleled by anything else that comes about by the brute force of humanity. Those affected by war as either its practitioners or its victims get this mess on their bodies, their lives, and…

on Jesus' baptism

This Sunday, January 12th, the church celebrates the baptism of Christ. This event is recorded in all four Gospels, which clearly points to its importance. Matthew's account is given as the reading for this Sunday: Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But…

on silence

After posting this quote from Bonhoeffer, I couldn't keep it from running around in my mind: We are so afraid of silence that we chase ourselves from one event to the next in order not to have to spend a moment alone with ourselves, in order not to have to…

exceptionalism and American Christianity's love of war

American Christianity--especially American Evangelicalism--has a love affair with war, guns, 'freedom,' and the military. Christians in America are historically very supportive of our military, our various interventions around the globe, and all things pro-gun-related. This support is manifested in Evangelicals' love for patriotic church services, their admiration and gratitude…

the economics of Christ (link)

justifiedandsinner has some remarkable thoughts on luxury, simplicity, and our idols to ring in the new year. They are hard words to read but ones we must nonetheless take to heart: The Gospel that talks of our being freed from idolatry, as we are united with Christ, as we walk…

duck dynasty and drones: a failure of American Christianity

Two high-profile events events occurring within a week of one another demonstrate an utter lack of contemporary American Christianity's ability to grasp the whole of scripture and get beyond the culture-war-focused, civic religion that passes for authentic faith is so many conservative American congregations. Unless you live under a rock,…

to the lowly, not the exalted

Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety--that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him…

mysterious God

Part of the wonder of Advent is meditating on the mystery of our God...or perhaps I should say, our mysterious God. As much as the systematic theologians want to smooth out all the wrinkles of Scripture and theology to present us a God who is tidy, neatly-packaged, and predictable,…