Memorial Day

This is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s a great day to be an American. And a dangerous day to be a Christian. It’s the sort of national holiday that creates remembrance of freedom, celebration of democracy, a reificiation of our identity as A People–A People willing to die (and to kill) in the […]

Gospel of Deeds?

The May edition of Christianity Today has an article by Duane Litfin (president emeritus of Wheaton College) on the inherently verbal nature of the gospel. He especially has it in for the saying of the great saint, Pseudo-Francis (who will be seated next to Deutero-Paul and Trito-Isaiah in the heavenly banquet hall, no doubt!): Preach […]

Faith and Cross

I keep mulling two recent blog posts in relation to one another. One, inspired by Seth Godin, reflected on being patient with people who are not yet convinced. Patience is the fruit of hopeful expectation (and impatience a signal of weakness and fear). The other was a springboard from an article on abstinence campaigns. The […]

Abstinence is Death

In an interview with Christianity Today Christine Gardner talks about the language that Evangelicals use to talk about abstinence. Gardner’s book is entitled, Making Abstinence Sexy–a telling encapsulation of how Evangelical abstinence are striving to affirm the culture’s obsession with sex–and visions of abundant, great sex in particular–while giving it a distinctive, Christian veneer: They […]

Story Telling & Crisis

This past quarter I had a student whose final project was about storytelling. Working at a Christian undergraduate institution, there was something of a culture in which a veneer of “nice” was masking shallowness and exclusion. The stumbled upon solution? Storytelling night. Or, as they call it, “Yarning in the Round.” I forgive him for […]

Suffering and Redemption

The stories of the suffering Maccabees (see here and here) provide some interesting conceptual frameworks for making sense of how Jesus’ death might transform the standing of humanity before God. But there’s another piece that is not so clear in these passages–an important dynamic in early Judaism that suffuses the NT. Eschatology. E. P. Sanders […]

It’s Still Easter

Just a reminder, especially for all the self-inflicting faithful who suffered through forty days of Lenten fasts: it’s still Easter. I know, it’s Thursday. But really. (Of course, in terms of cosmic reality, it really is always Easter and Lent is a sort of game we play to keep us from taking it for granted. […]