A Prayer for the First Weekend of Lent

Cross-bearing Lord, Come to all those places where the power of death would hold and force its way and say a redemptive word: Where there is human wreckage, like those precious children of yours bombed out and foreclosed; Where refugees and immigrants wonder where next they will sleep and if anyone wants them anymore: Where […]

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Ranking NFL Announcers

Have you seen Sports Illustrated’s ranking of NFL announcers? I think it’s dead-on with putting Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth at the top.  In fact, NBC’s Sunday Night lineup was loaded with intellectual heavyweights (relatively speaking).  They had Dan Patrick hosting discussions with Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and that was only the warmup. Before […]

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Homily for Ash Wednesday

*A homily given on Ash Wednesday at Midtown Christian Community, Feb. 17, 2010 Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, […]

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The Paradoxes of God’s Beloved Son

I love the several sections in Paul’s letters in which he meditates poetically on the cruciform paradoxes of apostolic ministry.  The death/life paradox saturates 1 Corinthians 1-4 and 2 Corinthians 4. I came across this lovely passage the other day in the volume on Mark in IVP’s Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture that sounds a […]

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A Prayer for the Lenten Season

This is a wonderful prayer for the season of Lent.  It beautifully captures the death and resurrection paradoxes of God’s way of working.  Leaning into this season of reflection and repentance opens us up to renewal and restoration. O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole church, that wonderful and […]

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Paul on Worldly & Cruciform Uses of Rhetoric

In 1 Corinthians 1-2, Paul sets the cross in opposition to “cleverness of speech” (1:17).  He also opposes his ministry mode of embodying the crucified Christ with a mode of ministry characterized by “persuasive words of wisdom” (2:2-4). What is Paul opposing and what is he endorsing? Is Paul calling for a kind of anti-intellectualism […]

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Lent Begins Next Wednesday

The Season of Lent begins this Wednesday, a unique time of year with specific purposes for shaping Christian identity. The Christian calendar helps to train us in being fully and truly Christian.  Many of us are used to having our brains trained to be Christian brains.  We just haven’t given much thought to our bodies […]

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Prayer for the Weekend

  Psalm 103 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of his benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; […]

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The Company Jesus Keeps

I’ve often heard Christians express doubts about their fitness to participate in the Lord’s Supper.  They say things like, “I don’t feel worthy to take it,” or “I feel like I need to get some things right before I take communion.” I think I know what they’re saying.  We know ourselves and our failures and […]

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The Fundamentalist’s Error

Scot McKnight posted about zealotry the other day, describing it as going beyond the Bible to protect things that aren’t necessarily in the Bible.  And zealots feel that their zeal for God makes them immune to criticism. The self-deception of zealotry, which is all-too evident these days, is closely related to a very common error […]

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