Just Do It

Just Do It

One day my pastor invited me to join him on a pastoral visit to a nursing home. I wanted to please him, so I said I would go. I had no desire to be there. I didn’t know this woman we were going to see, but I knew once we got that out of the way we would go to lunch and we could discuss theology. I have never liked nursing homes. In high school and college it seemed like I was always connected with some group of people who wanted to go Christmas caroling at “the old folks home.” I loathed that time. The place was depressing. The old people sat there in their wheelchairs staring out into nothingness or nodding along silently clapping their hands. The places also smelled. They smelled “too clean.” They were always so institutional and if you had been in one, you’d been in them all. This day with my pastor we walked into the room....
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The Image of God

The Image of God

I have written elsewhere about how the opening chapters of the Bible are becoming very important to me. I have also made mention that it is out of this idea that love of enemy and love of neighbor is born. C.S. Lewis said in his magisterial The Weight of Glory that your neighbor is the most holy object that you come into contact with apart from the Eucharist. Why is this concept, “the image of God,” so central to the Christian’s understanding of humanity? What is the big deal? My tradition is often accused of having a very negative view of humanity. We are the people who coined the phrase, “total depravity,” so I suppose the accusation is warranted. One of our most famous preachers is well known for his sermon, Sinners In The Hands of an Angry God. You don’t get much more negative than that title. Nonetheless, I would argue that this caricature is not truly accurate. One of my favorite theologians,...
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“In Accordance With The Scriptures…”

“In Accordance With The Scriptures…”

I believe that the Scriptures are something more than a nice book or a collection of myths. I have come to the conclusion that “the Scriptures” are authoritative for my life. All of us have given authority to something or someone to shape who we are (even if it’s ourselves). For me it is the Scriptures. Writing that feels odd. I don’t really know why, but it does. I think it’s because over the last few years I have really wrestled with the Bible and the way that many in my tribe worship it as a god or god. I have struggled with things that I have read in it and worked through questions in the Greek and Hebrew. There are still questions that I have, but I have come to the conclusion that at the very least, the Scriptures are the best way for me to learn and know about Jesus. Yet, this question has haunted me, “What does it mean...
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From Shame to Honor

Photo by: Joshua EarleIn John 4 there’s a story that grabs me. It’s a story of shame being turned to honor. It’s a story that is, in its purest sense, a story of redemption. In John 4 we read of a Samaritan woman who has to come and draw water in the heat of the day. She couldn’t come in the morning like the other women of her city because she was an outcast. She had five husbands and the one she was currently with, wasn’t her husband. A scandalous woman! She arrives at the well to see a Jewish man hanging out. This was shocking as many Jews would walk around Samaria altogether. Then this man did the unthinkable, he asked for water. It almost certain that he knew what kind of woman she was, coming alone to the well in the middle of the day. How could a Jewish man ask such a sinful woman to draw him water? The encounter presses...
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The Truth is Personal

Shortly after I got serious about trying to follow Jesus I became consumed with “the truth.” I printed off hundreds of pages of articles from the Internet that helped me argue for “the truth.” I wasn’t interested, at that time, with “the truth” so much as I was interested in being right. Often, as I shared my faith I camped out on a specific verse, John 14:6, which reads — I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. It has taken me a long time, a very long time, to grasp the reality that Jesus said he is the truth. Truth is personal. When truth is found in a person, it is relational. It is both, subjective and objective. When truth is a person it means that you can engage with the truth in a much different way than you do with 2+2=4. I desperately want people to know the truth. This means that I want...
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