What We Can Do About Race/Racism, Pt. 1

After seeing some of my Facebook posts about race and racism, a friend asked me what we should do. Indeed, what can be done? I must confess that I feel overmatched by the question. I am still trying to figure out what I can do. But here are some thoughts. I am open to the […]

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A Christian Response to Catastrophe, Pt. 2

A wrong conception of God’s sovereign kingship over creation goes hand in hand with poor ways of thinking about suffering and responding to catastrophe. When we imagine that “God is in control,” we envision the trouble we face as having been orchestrated by God. This leads us to intellectualize the problem, trying to discern the […]

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Idolatry Destroys Bodies

In Scripture, idolatry involves at least two things: First, the inappropriate association of the one true God with anything humans create. Humans alone are God’s image, and that is why God commanded Israel not to associate him with any created thing, however beautiful or impressive. Second, idolatry involves the destruction of human bodies. Worshiping Molech […]

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God Is Not In Control, Pt. 5

I wrote that the two creation accounts in Genesis 1-2 portray God’s complex relationship to his creation. He is both transcendent over creation and immanent to it. He is both sovereign king and a genuine participant in unfolding events. I noted how this works out in Genesis 3 when God converses with the humans to […]

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After Easter

This is an edited version of a homily delivered at Midtown Christian Community, April 25, 2009. O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in […]

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God Is Not In Control, Pt. 4

Genesis 3 is an account of the human rebellion that plunged creation into chaos. And it portrays God as a genuine participant in unfolding events. In Genesis 2, God placed the humans in the garden as his “image,” commissioning them to spread God’s order of flourishing beyond the borders of the garden. They were to […]

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Jars

I remember exploring my grandparents’ basement when I was a child. There were hundreds of dusty old honey jars and milk jars, filled with nails, screws, washers, nuts and bolts. Everything was saved; nothing was disposable. It was as if they hadn’t thrown away anything for decades. My grandparents were immigrants, my grandmother a refugee, […]

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A Christian Response To Catastrophe

In Mark 13, Jesus teaches his disciples about the calamities and catastrophes that will characterize life in the present age. He gives them practical counsel for dealing with disaster, and this passage provides us with wisdom for responding to a pandemic. First, some context. In Mark 11:1-11, Jesus entered the Jerusalem temple, examined it, and […]

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Giving Up The Quest For Control

In a previous post, I wrote about the evangelical quest for control and how that shapes both evangelicalism as a culture and evangelicals as individuals. What might it look like to give up control? How does Scripture indicate the kinds of lives we should lead as individuals and as corporate cultures—as churches? One place to […]

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An Education In Sorrow

My education began a few decades ago. I have three healthy and happy children who are grown, but my hands held five babies that did not live. During pregnancies about which I had no illusions, I was told that everything would work out, that I could trust the Lord, and that God was in control. […]

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