Follow the bulls: part 2, the return of the bulls (Psalm 51) (2/11/2021). This is the only possible solution to the problem of failure in self-knowledge, the problem of the locked room of delusion and self-deception: to be known by The Other, to invite and open oneself to the knowledge that only The Other has, but which The Other has offered to share.
Fearing and not fearing (Psalm 56) (2/11/2021). Fear is a fearful thing. It can cause blindness. It can undermine our rationality. It can make us shoot our wife or betray our country. It can be both a symptom and a cause of unfaithfulness to our God.
The simplest psalm (Psalm 117) (1/24/2021). St. Athanasius said that the Psalter contains in itself a perfect summary of every other part of the Bible. I think we could also say: Psalm 117—the shortest and simplest of the Psalms—sums up the entirety of the Psalter, and so in some sense the entirety of the Bible.
The lord of all sabbaths is a fearsome surgeon (1/15/2021). The Word of the one Lord who is the good creator of all, like that Lord himself, is not dead and stuck, rigid and uncaring, but living and active both in compassion and in judgment.
Seeing unexpected things (Luke 5:17–26) (1/14/2021). It does not come naturally to see what you are not expecting to see. But to hear Jesus speak, and to see his deeds, is to see unexpected things.
The American Abyss, by Timothy Snyder (1/11/2021). Reposting a vitally important Timothy Snyder article for accessibility to my friends. The republic known as the USA is in serious danger.
Fearing and laughing: Psalm 52 and the demise of Trump (1/10/2021). The more usual, expected phrase is “fear and trembling.” But there comes a time for fear and laughing. Psalm 52 contemplates the fate of the powerful person who is evil and boastful, contrasting it with the faithfulness of God toward God’s covenant people.
By the dawn’s early light (1/7/2021). Thoughts on the morning after the Trumpist Capitol Hill insurrection. The flag was still there.
When Jesus went on his way, where did he go? (Luke 4:31–37) (1/2/2021). Jesus will never be our homey who assures us that we are OK until we first hear him as the stranger who tells us that we are not OK, until we accept his exotic words as authoritative, as so authoritative and powerful that they cast out the demons that indwell us (verses 33–37), until we have been unmade and remade by his word.
WSJ Down the Rabbit Hole (10/2/2020). Rebutting a ridiculous opinion column in the Wall Street Journal regarding the first Trump-Biden debate.
Dumpster Fire (10/1/2020). I remember my elementary school janitors and reflect on literal and figurative dumpster fires.
The tragedy of fractional-issue politics (9/24/2020). And the devil, taking her up into a high mountain, showed her one more Supreme Court justice. . . . (Thoughts on an interview with an anti-abortion activist.)
Naming racists and racism (9/5/2020). We should not call a person whose soul is tainted by racism (which includes all of us) a racist—no more than we call a person who has a physical disability a cripple—unless we have given up on them and want them to give up on themselves.
My American reflections on the news from Belarus (8/20/2020). It’s good to listen to news from abroad because foreign places and peoples matter. But it’s also good to let news from abroad jolt us into seeing our own domestic situation more clearly.
Going to heaven? Why the heck not? (6/22/2020). I can’t fathom why some people out there seem so urgently compelled to spread the good news that nobody is going to heaven.
Procopius of–Gaza!? (6/20/2020). The places where Christian life and learning thrive in one moment can become desolate in another.
On eating Aunt Jemima syrup sacrificed to idols (6/19/2020). Paul was willing to give up meat for the rest of his life to avoid causing offense to a brother or sister, and you can’t give up the denatured black mammy on your syrup bottle?
In memoriam: Vinson Synan (3/18/2020). An EerdWord post marking the death of an Eerdmans author who once served a church in my home town.
Truthfulness and the Word (Christmas 2018)(12/24/2018). To honor the incarnation of the Word that was in the beginning is to align our words and deeds with him in truthful speech that is congruent with grace-filled action.
Can I trust you? (Greg Sterling) (5/21/2018). Psalm 15 gives a divinity school dean a basis upon which to charge graduates to uncompromising integrity and truthfulness in a society where both are scarce.
In memorian: Gabe Fackre (2/9/2018). An EerdWord post marking the death of an Eerdmans author who was also one of my teachers.
My strangely unedifying Facebook posts (12/16/2020). On building up and tearing down: my apologia for denouncing Trump as a necessary, godly, and biblical thing for a Christian pastor, teacher, or disciple to do.
God bless America? (6/25/2016). In what sense a Christian should and should not say “God Bless America.”