The Politics of Paul, Pt. 3

It would be an outrageous understatement to say that when he saw the exalted Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul’s perspective changed. Of course, it did. But we must take some time to unpack just how it changed and what aspects of it were transformed. First, when Saul saw the resurrected and ascended […]

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The Politics of Paul, Pt. 2

Paul’s thought is most fundamentally shaped by the Scriptural narrative of the Creator God and his call of Israel as his special possession. The God of Israel created the world and everything in it. He spoke a creative word, ordering the world and placing humanity within the garden of Eden. God charged Adam and Eve […]

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The Politics of Paul, Pt. 1

*In the election cycle in 2012, I participated in several discussions bringing biblical and theological perspectives to bear on politics. I wrote several posts stemming from my reflections on Paul’s political vision. I’m going to re-post them over the next few days. Over the last half-century or so, evangelical Christians have envisioned the relationship between politics […]

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Christian Discipleship: An Introduction

In moments of cultural unrest and political crisis, identities become confused. I find it helpful in such times to review the basics of what it is to be Christian. To be Christian is to identify with the cross of Christ, knowing that this secures to us eternal life now and in the future. When we […]

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Refugees, the Church & Security

One would think that churches would be clamoring to welcome and support Syrian refugees in the midst of the current international crisis. After all, providing hospitality for these people would mean more of Jesus and more of God among us. Jesus said that when churches welcome those who have nothing, they welcome Jesus himself and […]

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Falwell, Muslims & the Offense of the Cross

Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, an evangelical Christian institution, ignited a firestorm in his comments about carrying guns and killing Muslims: “I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,” he says, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud […]

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The Church, Refugees & Jesus’ Love

Christians often speak of “showing others Jesus’ love,” or perhaps “demonstrating the love of Jesus to others.” We may speak this way with reference to the poor, those in need or others whom we are serving. When we take the initiative to do good to those in need, we are extending Jesus’ love to them. […]

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God Abandons Corrupt Institutions

  I’ve been enjoying David Garland’s excellent new work, A Theology of Mark’s Gospel, especially his treatment of Mark 13. This paragraph sums up the relevance of the chapter brilliantly: Contemporary readers should learn from this historical disaster of the temple’s destruction that they should not be blind to the corruption of their own sacred […]

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Refugees & the God of Israel

The God of Israel was intensely concerned that the nation treat foreigners, including immigrants and refugees, with justice, compassion and love. Israel’s Scriptures reflect this concern throughout. Fundamental to Israel’s identity was that they were an alien people who were badly mistreated. They were refugees who had been settled in the land by God. This […]

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Refugees & the Church

Early this morning I read this article in today’s NY Times about Syrian refugees who have been settled in Michigan. After having experienced relief and being grateful for safety and some measure of security, many in this Michigan community are becoming fearful in the wake of growing anti-refugee sentiment and the reactionary rhetoric from public figures. After our church […]

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