The Document of the Origins of Jesus of Nazareth

Matthew’s Gospel has always caused modern readers some consternation when they read the first chapter. Why is this long “genealogy” put here at the beginning of the first Gospel? I prefer to first think of this list of names here in terms of what is clearly said in the first verse, Jesus is “the son of David, son of Abraham.” … Read More

How Does Jesus Speak to Our Modern Religious and Social Context?

I am currently reading, rather slowly I confess, through the Gospel of Mark. It is a fast-paced narrative a rooted in oral tradition, something easily forgotten by modern readers. At the beginning of the second century CE this Gospel was affirmed in several texts as the work of Mark. It was also attributed to Peter, who was his companion. Because this … Read More

Jesus’ Upside-Down Kingdom

The kingdom of Jesus turns everything “upside down.” We settle far too easily for a tame and non-threatening gospel where grace does not surprise us. This sermon was preached at Lutheran Church of the Master, Carol Stream, IL, on June 11-12. I share it because I hope it will edify and encourage you if you like to hear a biblical … Read More

International Justice Mission

My very good friend Mark Moore (Plano, Texas) just became a regional director for a mission called International Justice Mission. I am really thrilled for him and thus I am very excited to share this incredibly fruitful mission with you, my online friends. Some of you already know about IJM. Others can learn from seeing this wonderful TED Talk by … Read More

John Hagee: Reflections on My Facebook Post (Part 4 of 4)

When I previously wrote about John Hagee I defended my link and comment by saying that Hagee is misleading multitudes. I believe this is apparent once you read the biblical texts above and then read what Hagee is saying. Then follow his actions on behalf of the state of Israel. (Have you ever seen photographs of his studio/auditorium where his … Read More

John Hagee: Reflections on My Facebook Post (Part 3 of 4)

In the case of John Hagee very few people within the larger culture are paying attention to his prophecies. Last week I scanned a copy of John Hagee’s book, Can America Survive?: 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are The Terminal Generation (Howard Books, 2010), in a Half-Price Bookstore near home. The copy I looked at was called an “Updated Edition.” … Read More

John Hagee: Reflections on My Facebook Post (Part 2 of 4)

So what did Jesus teach about his coming again and the End? We read the words of Jesus in Mark 13:32-37. These are often read as words about this age and his coming again: “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do … Read More

John Hagee: Reflections on My Facebook Post (Part 1 of 4)

Several days ago I posted a comment about John Hagee on my Facebook wall. Hagee is a New York Times best-selling author and pastor from San Antonio, Texas. In this comment I posted a link to a site that was critical of Hagee about his growing predictions of “the end of the world.” John Hagee is the founder and senior … Read More

Stay Awake for Advent (A Sermon)

Advent began last Sunday, November 30. I had the joy of preaching, and leading the divine liturgy, at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream, Illinois. This is the audio of my sermon based upon the lectionary Gospel text in Mark 13:24-37. I pray that this sermon will encourage you in your worship, edification and spiritual transformation during this … Read More