Apocalyptic & Politics

Paul has been underappreciated as an apocalyptic figure, though this, to some extent, is being remedied more recently. He doesn’t write apocalyptic literature, but he writes from within an apocalyptic frame of reference. God has acted to transform all creation by his resurrection power, and the cosmically significant redemption must be embodied by a completely […]

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Lively Pauline Prose

Lively prose fills much of N. T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God. At times I’ve burst out laughing. Who else could get away with a paragraph like this? This brings us to the question of what second-Temple Jews believed about ‘the end of the world’, which obviously impinges on New Testament discussions about […]

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Prayer for a New Semester

I’m teaching a two-week intensive course on Ephesians beginning today. It would’ve started on Monday were it not for the “polar vortex” that shut down West Michigan for a few days. With every new semester, I think of this prayer for Bible study from the BCP: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be […]

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What Satisfies a Teacher

We’re about to begin a new academic semester (if this “polar vortex” ever allows us to open the campus!). At the end of the fall semester, as I was buried under piles of papers, exams, and excuses for late work – and trying literally to dig out from under blizzard after glorious blizzard – I […]

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Today is Epiphany

Today is called “Epiphany,” a term that means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal.” In Western churches, this day is specially marked out to remember the coming of the wise men to bring gifts to the Christ child.  By doing so, they “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. Epiphany – and […]

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Paradox & the Flight to Egypt

The Gospel text for this second Sunday after Christmas is from Matthew 2: When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for […]

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On Nurturing “Moral Ecologies”

David Brooks writes in today’s NY Times about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. I was struck by Brooks’s moral reasoning far more than support or criticism of pot’s legalization. These are his final two paragraphs: Laws profoundly mold culture, so what sort of community do we want our laws to nurture? What sort of […]

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