A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Without the House of Doctrine, The Church Is Morally Homeless

I have been a United Methodist pastor for over thirty years and an adjunct professor teaching theology for more than twenty. I find both enterprises in which I am engaged to be complimentary. Indeed, I would not know how to be a pastor if it were not for the theological reflections I have engaged in over the years with the voices of many contemporary friends and thinkers as well as listening to the great theological wisdom that has come down to us through the ages. Pastoral ministry must be theologically oriented. My work as a pastor is formed and shaped on the potter's wheel of theological reflection.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Philosophy and Theology-- A Lover's Quarrel

"The philosophers and the theologians go for the 'ultimates,' the deepest questions we ask ourselves, or better, that keep imposing themselves upon us. Philosophers and theologians are slightly unstable types, people who have been knocked off their pins by such questions, who have been drawn into an explanation of the outer and inner space of our lives. Each proceeds with a wary eye on the other, ranging over much the same territory-- God and ethics, our origin and our destiny-- sometimes jealously and combatively, sometimes cooperatively, conducting a kind of lover's quarrel over the ages."

John Caputo, Philosophy and Theology, p. 2

Monday, October 09, 2017

God Is Not an Absentee Landlord

Approximately twenty years or so ago, I went through a very difficult time in pastoral ministry. I began to question my call. I started thinking of ways to find employment other than in ministry. It was an extremely depressing situation. I suffered through this for several months. I never shared my thoughts and feelings with anyone except for my wife, and she did not share my struggles with anyone either. I prayed hard about it, but it seemed as if God was simply not answering my petitions for help. I felt I had reached the end of my rope.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Scriptures and Prayer for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 or Isaiah 5:1-7

Psalter: Psalm 19 or Psalm 80:7-15

Epistle: Philippians 3:4b-14

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-46
Holy God, you love justice and hate oppression; you call us to righteousness and not to exploitation. Give us generous and loving hears, and eyes to see the splendor of your reign, that we may live in truth and honor, and praise you for the transformation of our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Hatched and Matched on the Same Day

Born in same hospital, on same day. Now they're married

From Associated Press
October 03, 2017 2:07 PM EST

TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — A couple born on the same day at the same Massachusetts hospital have exchanged vows more than two decades later.

The Taunton Gazette reports that Jessica Gomes and Aaron Bairos got married Sept. 9. Each was born on April 28, 1990, at the same hospital in Taunton, about 40 miles south of Boston.

The two grew up in communities a few miles apart before meeting through mutual friends in high school.

Gomes says she and Bairos figured out they were born on the same day "pretty early on" when they took a drivers education class together and saw the proof on their learner's permits.

She says it was love at first sight.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

At Times, Jesus Is Just Not Nice

I like nice... nice is...well... nice. But nice is really boring.

Jesus wasn't boring. The crowds didn't follow him all over Judea and Galilee hanging on every word he spoke because we was just nice. Nice hardly attracts crowds. Nice doesn't radically transform lives. Nice doesn't get one strung up on a cross.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Full Speed Ahead: A Lectionary Reflection on Philippians 3:4-14

Philippians 3:4-14

In a race, whether it is a hundred yard dash or a cross country trek, the one thing the runner never does is look back. Winning the race depends upon looking forward, of setting one's sight on the path ahead. The finish line cannot be viewed from behind, but only as one moves forward and focuses on what is in front. It is impossible for an athlete to run at her top speed if she continues to look over her shoulder while running.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Suffering Servant as Moral Example: A Lectionary Reflection on Philippians 2:1-13

Philippians 2:1-13

The problem with rights language as it is employed in the modern West is that it is primarily a selfish enterprise. We are quick to assert our rights while ignoring or opposing the rights of others. Of course, rights language is quite problematic from a Christian perspective, as I have argued on this blog over the years. The fact that Christians have so casually picked up the language of rights suggests that our beliefs and practices are much less theologically informed and more absorbed by modern Western individualism.