René Girard: The Passing of an Amazing and Iconic Thinker

I think it is quite unlikely that many readers of this post know the life and thought of René Girard. I discovered him late in life, only about fifteen years ago. I found his work on human desire both insightful and brilliant. Agree or disagree with Girard’s thought he helped us rethink human desire, anthropology and sin. If you reject … Read More

Who Needs a “Jubilee of Mercy”?

“Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.” Each one of us, many times during our lives, have raised our voices and cried, “Lord have mercy.” Mercy is the kind of forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly. From a Christian perspective, it is the gift that God or another person … Read More

The Lord’s Supper: A Roman Catholic and Reformed Evangelical Dialog (Video)

Who should participate in the Lord’s Supper? How frequently should we observe it? What does this meal mean? What happens when we eat the bread and drink from the cup? What do Christians disagree about and what do they hold in common? These and other questions are explored in my book, Understanding Four Views of the Lord’s Supper. This volume in … Read More

The Wilderness and the Desert: Images for Christian Living?

Two of the most lasting images used by the Christian church to describe the spiritual life, especially among the desert fathers and mothers, are wilderness and the desert. Had I not learned these two images in the early 1990s I am not sure I would have profited so deeply from my own spiritual journey. First, the feeling of God’s absence … Read More

An Evening for Ecumenical Conversation @ St. Procopius Abbey

On Monday, February 9, St. Procopius Abbey (Lisle, IL) hosted a wonderful evening gathering dedicated to Catholic-Evangelical ecumenism. Several hundred guests, representing scores of Catholic and Protestant parishes throughout the Chicago area, gathered to listen to two long-time friends engage in a ninety-minute conversation about Christian unity. Taking their cue from the current actions, and written initiatives, of Pope Francis … Read More

Debating Doctrine and Preserving Unity: What Conservative Christians Can Do (1)

A very good friend, who is mature and wise from solid life experience, recently taught what he describes to me as “a somewhat ecumenical message in my adult Sunday School class (while unpacking the Greatest Commandment).” He told his class that when true believers disagree on peripheral matters we are to remember that we are in the family of God … Read More

The Way of Jesus (2)

We welcome once again Rev. Dr. George Byron Koch as our guest blogger. As the Church moved out from Israel into the surrounding cultures, and the leadership of the Church became more and more Gentile, this understanding of following the Way, which was very Jewish and rabbinic, changed into a process of analysis and proposition construction—the development of theology, doctrine and … Read More

The Way of Jesus (1)

We welcome Rev. Dr. George Byron Koch as our guest blogger for today and tomorrow. I remember the first time I learned that the early believers, long before they were called “Christians,” referred to themselves as followers of “the Way” of Jesus. I heard it as an apt and beautiful poetic metaphor—which I assumed they had invented for themselves. I have … Read More