Human Sexuality and Holy Marriage

I concluded in yesterday’s post that marriage is in deep trouble as a social institution in Western culture. After centuries of development, and developing legal support, the institution is now falling apart in a little more than one generation. This tragic loss has little, or nothing, to do with the same-sex debate that is raging at the moment. I ended … Read More

Radical Love and Kingdom Generosity (2)

Yesterday, I suggested that Luke 6 provides a pattern for how we can live extravagant, generous lives rooted in the love and mercy of God himself. This sixth chapter of Luke has often pushed me to deeper resolve to follow Jesus in his radical love. Let me illustrate this by commenting on a few particular words of our Lord in Luke … Read More

Radical Love and Kingdom Generosity (1)

At the very heart of the kingdom message of Jesus is a call to radical love that will not easily go away under convenient readings of the text, readings that fit comfortably with our way of treating people in a modern “Christendom” culture. We encounter this radical teaching in many parts of the Gospels but no text has redefined my … Read More

FDR's Holocaust Legacy – A Lesson in the Failure of Moral Courage

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was, and still is, one of most admired and esteemed presidents in American history. I grew up hearing a lot of good things about FDR. I also heard some bad things from those who felt the “New Deal” created the modern welfare system with all its contested problems. One thing is certain, FDR’s name was esteemed … Read More

Why Politics Matters and How We Got the Wrong End of the Stick (3)

The liberal church’s response, against the backdrop of the social presumptions that I discussed in yesterday’s blog, has very often been a weak-kneed call for “peace with justice.” Hauerwas and Willimon (photo at left) put it this way: “Most of our social activism is formed on the presumption that God is superfluous to the formation of a world of peace … Read More

Why Politics Matters and How We Got the Wrong End of the Stick (2)

It has become our unquestioned assumption, in the modern American context, that we have the “right’ to develop our potential to the fullest extent possible. This assumption is constantly fed by pop-psychology and a goodly number of new unexamined religious ideas. We are a culture in love with power and the power we love is our own to be very … Read More

Payback: How We Understand Debt and Revenge

The famous Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood defines the subject of her book “Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth” — which originated as the 2008 Massey Lectures in Toronto — as “one of the most worrisome and puzzling things I know: that peculiar nexus where money, narrative or story, and religious belief intersect, often with explosive force.” In a … Read More

Justice, the Kingdom of God and Reading the Bible

A recent article on the Christianity Today web site brought considerable surprise to many. The article revealed that a recent poll sponsored by LifeWay Research found that owning a Bible is quite different from reading it. Most polls, surveys, and studies that have examined the Bible's influence in America have looked at views of its inspiration and various methods of … Read More

“God’s Preferential Option for the Poor”

Over the last two centuries wealth has grown in the West. Now it spreads to other parts of the world through a growing globalized economic system. I am a huge proponent of this growth and believe one way of addressing the issues of poverty is through global business and the growth of education and jobs that go along with it. … Read More