Tree of Life

Have you seen the film?   There’s so much I’d love to say about it.   But frankly, I have found it the most overpowering . . .   . . . the truest . . .   . . . most hopeful . . .   . . . theologically richest . . . […]

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Hebrews’ Threatening Christology

Hebrews provides a wonderfully rich depiction of Jesus.  He is highly exalted, already enthroned as ruler over the coming new world. And Jesus is thoroughly human.  Hebrews’ pretty “earthy” description of Jesus may leave readers incredulous. In the days of his flesh, he offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the one able […]

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On Reading the Hebrews Warning Passages in Context

The warning passages in Hebrews are often misused and abused because of interpreters’ prior theological commitments.  In his commentary on 6:4-8, James Thompson says this: If the author meant for this passage to disturb his readers, he managed to disturb interpreters throughout the centuries even more, for this passage has been the center of controversy more […]

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The Power of the Kingdom

I’m reading student papers on N. T. Wright’s Simply Jesus, which isn’t easy when it’s absolutely lovely outside.  Coming across passages like the following (used with permission) moves the task in the direction of something like worship: Jesus launched God’s kingdom project, fought and won the victory that humans were unable to win, and now […]

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Prayer of St. Patrick

I arise today Through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock. I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me; God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye […]

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Not the Messiah You’re Looking For

The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four.  Some imagine that because it’s more concise than Matthew and Luke, who may have taken Mark and elaborated on it at greater length, it’s relatively less complex. Not so. Mark is unsettling, mysterious, and wonderfully iconoclastic.  He challenges his readers, subjecting their assumptions of what […]

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Reconceiving of Hardships in Hebrews

It’s a fairly normal human response to think that something is wrong (either with our lives or in our relationship with God) when we go through hard times. In his commentary on Hebrews, David DeSilva calls us to reconfigure our conception of suffering.  A snippet of his comments on Heb. 5:7-10: Since the Son himself was […]

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Paul’s Transformed Political Perspective

The political season here in the States has me thinking about Paul and politics. Before he was arrested and transformed by the exalted Jesus on the Damascus Road, Paul (called Saul, at the time) was a Pharisee.  As such, he had a thoroughly political orientation and outlook.  He was passionate about the God of Israel […]

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Kingdom Meals in Luke’s Gospel

Luke’s Gospel is filled with eating.  There are 19 meals in Luke, 13 of which are unique to his account.  If you love to eat, Luke is your Gospel! Meals are occasions for Kingdom dynamics, for the experience of redemptive realities. They are occasions for healing and hospitality (9:10-17; 10:5-7) for fellowship and celebration (13:29), […]

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Tiger Woods’s Early Exit

I don’t know exactly why, but sports journalists lose their capacity for critical analysis when it comes to Tiger Woods.  In analyzing and commenting on the state of his game over the last three years, they have largely capitulated to the terms set by Woods himself.  As I’ve said before, athletes usually have no ability […]

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