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

True Friendships (3)

The goal of life for every Christian should be the kingdom of God. The gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God. Tragically, we have settled for what Dallas Willard calls “the gospel of sin management,” a gospel which is something far less than the gospel of the kingdom. Very early in the church’s history a group of … Read More

A Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue at Moody Bible Institute

Today, at 3:00 p.m. (CST), I will speak before a student-sponsored gathering at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I was asked, several months ago, if I could arrange an ecumenical dialogue and discussion that would feature me alongside of a prominent Catholic theologian and author. My first thought was to invite my friend, Fr. Robert Barron, to join me for … Read More

What Does Christ’s Victory Mean for Understanding His Death?

The New Testament is filled with material concerning the victory of Christ over the powers of evil, a victory finally accomplished, and announced, through his death and resurrection. One of the seminal texts that comes to mind here is in Matthew’s Gospel. 22 Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that … Read More

How the Enlightenment Took the Church Away from Jesus & Him Crucified

The ancient church did not debate ideas about “appeasing the wrath of God through Christ’s death.” The Christ they worshiped, as we’ve seen, was the victor over the powers. They expressed this in their worship. This can also be discovered in their hymns, in baptism, in their preaching, at the eucharist, and in the recorded prayers of the earliest Christians. … Read More

Ancient-Future Faith: What Has It to Do with the Atonement?

The Holy Spirit seems to be working new convictions –based on ancient ideas about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit – into the younger evangelical generation. My generation was attracted to the details of mastering a theological system and often thought in either/or terms about what was true and false. I was trained by evangelicals who were drawn to the … Read More

How Shall We Understand the Atonement?

It must be stated, before we even consider several of the ways Christians have traditionally understood the atonement (the meaning of Christ’s death) and its relationship to our sin(s), that all Christians believe this great central truth – Christ’s death reconciles us to God. Whatever else you read, or think you hear me saying in the next few days, please … Read More

St. Cyril of Alexandria – Our True Unity Flows from Divine Diversity

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not pray only for his twelve apostles, who became the solid foundation of the Christian church. He also prayed, as we read in John 17:20-24, for all who would believe in him in every age since the apostles. He prayed for all of those who would yield to him and obey the words that call … Read More

Mary in Ecumenical Perspective

I mentioned yesterday that I attended two seminars at the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) in Columbus, April 8–11. The second was titled: “Mary in Ecumenical Perspective.” It was taught by one of the leading liturgical scholars in North American Christianity, Dr. Maxwell Johnson, Professor of Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Johnson was marvelous. He was … Read More