Chalking Our Home at Epiphany?

I confess that until recently I had never heard of the ancient Christian custom of chalking the door. (Some say it began in Bavaria.) This custom is an Epiphanytide tradition that is either celebrated on the eve of Epiphany, or on the Sunday of Epiphany (today). The purpose is to bless one’s home. The tradition is still practiced by many Anglicans, … Read More

Lord, Orchestrate My Desires (Revised)

You received a blog from me just a few minutes ago. As soon as I posted it I saw so many errors in the text that I was mortified. (I wrote this after prayer this morning and did not do a serious edit after I finished it.) So, please read this same post with my numerous corrections. While I am … Read More

Living My Way Into the Life of the Trinity

No truth is (perhaps) more complex than that of the Trinity, one God in three persons. But I am persuaded that no truth is more central to living well as a follower of Christ. The Trinity is not a debate, at least for me. It is revealed yet it is a stunning mystery. A professor, playing on an earlier line, … Read More

A Sleepless Night and a Gentle and Powerful Morning Reminder

In Matthew 19 Jesus welcomes little children to himself, (gently) touches them and prays over them. The disciples, in contrast, seem too stern and busy to feel the is important kingdom work. The story tells us: 13 Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly … 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

“I tweet, therefore I am!”

It seems difficult to imagine, but there was once a time when human beings did not feel the need to share every waking moment with hundreds of millions, even billions, of complete and utter strangers. If one went to a shopping mall to purchase an article of clothing, one did not post minute-by-minute details on a social networking site; and if one … Read More

The Life and Last Days of a Saint: Dr. Ben Campbell Johnson

Dr. Ben Campbell Johnson, a Presbyterian minister, and author, served as Professor of Evangelism and Director of Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia (1981-2000). Since his retirement at CTS Ben has been a professor emeritus and taught many classes, written more books, and touched countless lives. I read several Ben Johnson books decades ago. Several of his better books are … Read More

The Signs of Love Should Not Be Obscured

The world roils in bad news and the story of immense tragedies. These painful realities are quite real. But the great danger we Christians face in 2016 is to focus our attention on this “bad news.” In his final public utterance of 2015, Pope Francis on Thursday, December 31, insisted that the horrors of the past year are often “weighed … Read More

The Passing of My Friend Joseph F. Girzone

Several years ago I shared the story of how I met Fr. Joseph F. Girzone (1930-2015). I had read Joe’s wonderful book, Jesus: A New Understanding of God’s Son (New York: Doubleday, 2009). I simply loved it. Frankly, it changed my life in many profound ways. I wrote my first ever review on Amazon and as a result someone showed it … Read More