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- Story problems (7/2/2022). Once you start down the road of insisting that the only permissible stories are ones that align with your sense of how the world ought to be, you are on the road to ideological indoctrination.
- Keeping the Declaration of Equality (7/4/2022). The most basic claim of the document that announced the birth of the USA as a nation is not the independence of this nation. It is the equality of all humans.
- What Angela Rigas said at the school board meeting (7/20/2022). Michigan state rep candidate Angela Rigas swoops in and fires off a wild shot in the direction of the Caledonia Community Schools.
- All those who practice it (Psalm 111) (7/20/2022). So we praise God for his works but tell ourselves that God doesn’t require us to do anything? What Bible are we reading, anyway?
- JAMES ERNEST FOR CALEDONIA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (7/21/2022). Announcing my candidacy for trustee on the board of education for Caledonia (MI) Community Schools. This is the long form of my platform. Please read and consider donating.
- Acquiescence is complicity; love requires truthtelling (7/23/2022). Until we have agreed that we will speak truthfully and respectfully to and about each other, and that we will not choose as our representatives people who are unable to do either, we cannot hope for progress on anything else.
- Pray for Mike Pence (Do not congratulate) (6/19/2022). David French, I see your Daniel 6 and raise you Luke 17: A servant who does his duty does not deserve, and must not expect, to be thanked and praised.
- Roe v. Wade and everything else (5/4/2022). On praying the Lord’s Prayer in the context of current events.
- On reading Psalm 93 (5/6/2022). The Lord is high and lifted up, but the scripture he has given us is given through our own mouths, and portrays our own plight, is right down here on the ground with us, in the mud and the blood and the gore.
- Needing redemption (Psalm 137) (5/9/2022). A guest post by Jeff HansPeterson. The bright burning intensity of righteous anger may still fail to illuminate our desperate need for reconciliation.
- “Social-justice warrior” as a term of abuse (3/2/2022). There is no clearer way to announce that you scorn the Bible and its God than to use “social-justice warrior” as a term of derision.
- SKANDAL! A Sermon on Mark 9:42–50 (3/20/2022). For American Christians today, Mark 9:42–50 warns sternly against destroying the credibility of the gospel by confusing Christianity with nationalism.
- Illegitimate totality transfer (on praying Psalm 44) (2/6/2022). You can’t apply every last bit of meaning from an ancient psalm to yourself and your setting.
- Why Christotrumpians admire Putin (2/20/2022). The same logic that that says abortion justifies Trump says the existence of transgender people justifies Putin’s invitation of Ukraine.
- How COVID-19 has sorted us out (1/3/2022). Mature citizens follow leaders. Infantile citizens follow saboteurs.
- Trump-Russia is not a hoax (1/10/2022). It is a disturbing family of connections, common interests, shared traits, and unexplained coincidences connecting Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
- Grief and gratitude (1/15/2022). My mother died Thursday evening. For me she is an icon of the fruit of the Spirit.
- The omicron spike matters (1/18/2022). A personal anecdote to persuade you to get vaccinated and follow suggested safety protocols.
- What to do with suffering (1/19/2022). How I make sense of the pain I saw in the hospital last week.
- Reading Exodus: Holiness means obedience (1/29/2022). The ending of Exodus tells us how to read the book as a whole.
- Reading Matthew: Make disciples (1/29/2022). The Great Commission tells us how to read the Gospel of Matthew.
- Celebrating the birth of Antichrist in Kentucky (12/6/2021). In this nativity scene, what lies in the manger is the serpent. But to Congressman Massie and those who see with like eyes, it is sweet baby Jesus.
- Christmas, typology, and Antichrist (12/19/2021). If anyone invites you to a Christmas celebration honoring “Jesus Christ AND . . .,” run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
- The real choice (11/5/2021). The most basic choice you make is not between left and right, liberal and conservative. Something else is more basic.
- One Ring to Bind Them All: Conservative Christians and the Theocratic Impulse (10/4/2021). For conservative White Christians in the USA, theocracy is the Ring of Power, and abortion is the reason for wanting to use it. But the Ring has its own purposes and will not be commanded by us.
- How to get people to do good things: coerce, persuade—or agree (10/10/2021). Better to find allies and change the culture than sell your soul in an effort to control others’ behavior.
- Claiming innocence (Psalm 69) (10/14/2021). On moving from self-justification and self-pity to introspection and honest prayer.
- What I heard at the school board meeting last night (10/20/2021). What I heard and saw at the 10/18/2021 meeting of the Board of Education of Caledonia (MI) Community schools.
- On labeling and name-calling (10/24/2021). There is no good reason to categorize every thought in the world, and every person in the world, using one or the other of two labels. There are very good reasons not to.
- Evangelicalism in the USA: Discipleship failure owing to catechesis failure (10/24/2021). The components of the recent discipleship disasters in evangelical Christianity in the United States. The evangelical churches were left vulnerable because they did not catechize well.
- The choice we make (Psalm 1) (9/1/2021). Psalm 1 is about two kinds of people: wicked and righteous. The point is not polarization but moral choice: we can, we inevitably do, decide which type to be, and we are being urged to be one way and not the other.
- All day long (Romans 10:21) (9/11/2021). When we see disobedience and recalcitrance, we may wan to give voice to the divine words of coming judgment. But we are living in the long now during which God’s hands are held out to us in pleading. Maybe it is our job to imitate that posture.
- Hiatus (8/22/2021). My posts have been sparse lately. Work has been consuming, and sometimes one takes a break.
- Ecology as doxology (Psalm 104) (7/20/2021). To understand the structure of the cosmos and expound its workings in a way that acknowledges its creator is to be filled with wonder and overflow with praise.
- Living between divine love and human iniquity (Psalm 36) (7/8/2021). Abiding in God’s love does not make us pious dopes who think that everything is always wonderful. It enables us to see evil clearly, call it what it is, and understand that in the end it is powerless before the power of Love.
- The President and the Fourth (7/5/2021). July 4 is not about celebrating the president, but it’s good to have a president who understands and supports the values that July 4 celebrates.
- On observing July 4 as an American Christian (7/4/2021). When the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday, Christians need to be careful about how they relate patriotism and worship.
- Defining human existence (Psalm 139) (7/1/2021). To be is to be known by God. God’s omniscience is knowledge not only of everything but of everyone. My existence resides in the fact that God knows me. My identity is this: I am who God knows that I am.
- Fifty ways to say “there is no God” (riffing on Psalm 14) (6/30/2021). We have so many elaborate ways of saying “There is no God” in our hearts without saying it out loud. We are such fools.
- The South has risen again (6/23/2021). The recent devolution of American politics is best understood as the resurgence, once more, of the politico-religious pathology that gave rise to the Confederate States of America.
- In Memoriam: Richard N. Longenecker, 1930–2021 (EerdWord) (6/1/2021).
- Remembering Eerdmans author Richard Longenecker.
- Psalm 119:17–24 (Gimel) (6/1/2021). I experience longing for God’s ordinances because I do not experience ownership and mastery of them. And each time the opening of the eyes is once again granted, I experience delight.
- Henry Wallace, varieties of fascism, and two classes of Trumpists (an experiment in diagnosis) (5/30/2021). Taking off from Henry Wallace’s typology in his 1944 essay about American fascism, I suggest two different types of Trumpism and conclude that both types are fascist—if we define fascism as Wallace did.
- The point of Psalm 139 (5/29/2021). The point of Psalm 139 is not theological speculation, and certainly not prooftexting for contemporary partisan politics, but to move me to desire to seek God’s leading.
- Nation-state myth and the Kingdom of God; or patriotism and salvation history (5/28/2021). If we are Christian, the story that we tell about our nation will be compatible with and subordinate to the story that God is writing in the history of salvation.
- On dissing (or not) the ESV (5/11/2021). The ESV is in part a bowdlerization of the RSV by complementarians and anxious inerrantists, but it also contains some improvements. It’s still mostly RSV and mostly a good, usable English translation.
- You thought that I was one just like yourself (Psalm 50) (5/10/2021). We can deceive ourselves that we are right with God, thinking that God is like us. But we cannot deceive God. Judgment awaits.
- What I have seen and where I stand: my Democratic manifesto (5/6/2021). Why and how I have come to believe that as a Christian citizen of the United States of American in 2021 I must support the Democratic Party.
- My voice to the Lord (Psalm 142) (4/30/2021). If I always speak first to the Lord before speaking to others, how might my speech to others change?
- When the crowds of followers gather, watch for hypocrisy—in our leaders, in ourselves (4/30/2021). When Jesus warned his followers about the leaven of the Pharisees he was warning us Christians about ourselves, not about someone else. Hypocrisy is the sin crouching at our own door.
- How to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122) (4/27/2021). Christian Zionists who cite this Psalm in offering uncritical support to Israeli government policy are engaging in a pattern of biblical interpretation that is flat, strange, and untenable.
- Whose friend can I be? (Psalm 119:63) (4/25/2021). What do we mean when we say, “I am a companion to all them that fear thee”? What are the aims and limits of friendship in Christ?
- Divine child abuse, or human God abuse? (4/23/2021). Any teaching that requires us to imagine God as less compassionate than a naturally compassionate and loving human parent, and any teaching that requires human parents to abandon a child, is false.
- How to pray for government leaders: a biblical model (Psalm 72) (4/14/2021). Talk to God. Praise God. Do not praise the leader. Prayer for the leader is focused on the leader’s serving the good of the poor of your people.
- Who is the “you” in “fret not yourself” (Psalm 37) ? (4/8/2021). To cover complacency, inaction, and complicity in injustice by appropriating to oneself the “Fret not” that was spoken to someone else is bad faith.
- You, me, them: the moral mindset of Psalm 26 (4/5/2021). The Psalmist does not want us to refuse to be around elements of “the world” that practice wickedness. Rather, we are required to distance ourselves from people who claim to be our fellow Christians but practice wickedness.
- Orla in 2008 (4/3/2021). Today, April 3, 2021, our beloved Irish Terrier, Orla, died. I’m consoling myself by digging through old photographs. This post has pics from 2008, the year Orla came to live with us.
- Getting vaccinated in Grand Rapids (3/30/2021). It is encouraging to see what people can do with unity in mission. I am so grateful. I am also uneasy. How will we perpetuate the yes, share the yes?
- Where we are politically in the USA, and where I am (3/29/2021). What has happened, what has not happened, and why I now pay dues to the Democratic National Committee and the Michigan Democratic Party.
- The most important thing we can say to each other (Psalm 95) (3/19/2021). What is the one thing that we human beings can habitually say to each other in order to stand our best chance of fulfilling our telos as human beings?
- Seeing the glory (Luke 9:28–36) (3/11/2021). We have to make the same decision, on the basis of the same physical evidence, that the ancients had to make. And closely related is our decision about how to read the Bible.
- How to know if you are a demon (Luke 8:26–39) (3/1/2021). It can be hard to know if you are a demon, but you can watch for telltale signs. (A poem-meditation based on the story of the Gerasene demoniac.)
- Why doesn’t reasoning (with people) work? (2/26/2021). What is wrong with their (and our) heads? Why do truth and reason not persuade us?
- Gestalt shift: Jesus and the woman in Simon’s house (2/25/2021). Read the story. Enter the story. But this time try being the woman.
- This is my story, this is my song: the story we enter when praying Psalms 95–97 (2/19/2021). The story wants to draw you and me in. It wants us to say, “This is my story.” The story doesn’t want to be accepted passively by us, with flat affect. It wants us to say, “This is my song.”
- For better or for worse, faith comes by hearing (thoughts on the silencing of a malignant voice) (2/18/2021). Paul says that faith comes by hearing the proclaimed word of God. But listening repeatedly to malignant, mendacious voices also produces faith. Anti-Christian faith.
- A thousand days elsewhere: reading Psalm 84 on Ash Wednesday 2021 (2/17/2021). We have been living the Thousand Days Elsewhere, but even now The Presence is available. Let us journey toward joy together.
- How to ruin the perfect prayer (Psalm 63) (2/13/2021). Why should we let the Psalms—or our own prayers—be ruined by the inclusion of unworthy emotions and desires?
- 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.
- Follow the bulls: part 1, the banishment of the bulls (Psalm 50) (2/10/2021). Psalm 50 is a psalm of judgment. When God’s people fall in with thieves and adulterers, God rejects their sacrifices.
- The oldest biblical political principle; or, How I learned to stop worrying and love libertarianism (2/8/2021). Discovered and revealed! The Bible verse that clearly and irrefutably establishes small-government libertarianism as THE biblical principle governing economics and politics for Christians.
- My mouth filled with blessing: Psalm 34 as rule of life (2/7/2021). What would it mean to take the first three verses of Psalm 34 as an individual and communal rule of life?
- Jesus, the Lordists, and the flash flood (Luke 6:46–49) (1/27/2021). We have lived in the beautiful foundationless house, and we have seen the flash flood. Now what?
- 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.
- Jesus will always level with us (Luke 6) (1/21/2021). In Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks to his followers, but in Luke’s Sermon on the Plain Jesus speaks to everyone—plainly.
- Reading Psalm 102 on Inauguration Day (1/20/2021). Today is Inauguration Day in the USA, which means that something is ending and something is beginning. But what is ending, and what is beginning?
- Being, having, doing: theological roots of political disaster (1/19/2021). How a weakness in recent popular evangelical theology produces a susceptibility to mythic history and fascistic politics.
- Choosing leaders (Luke 6:12–16) (1/17/2021). The only time Jesus spent all night praying was when he was going to select leaders. And even so, they didn’t turn out all that well.
- Jesus and the Make Israel Holy Again movement (1/16/2021). Jesus healed many, but he did not heal the mindlessness of those who were filled with self-righteous religious zeal. That religious zeal nailed him to his cross.
- 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 old is nice”: Jesus meets the reflexive conservatives (1/13/2021). Is conservativism somehow inherently good? Jesus offers new wine. Do we wave him off with a mild and dull “we’re good—the old is nice”?
- An open letter to the president of Wheaton College (1/12/2021). More and less courageous responses to the guilt of the president and the complicity of his Christian supporters in January 6 insurrection.
- 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.
- A statement from Denver Seminary president Mark Young regarding recent events (1/9/2021). Reposting an exemplary evangelical statement regarding the events culminating in the Capitol Hill insurrection.
- 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.
- Jesus meets the Nazareth-firsters (Luke 4:14–30) (1/1/2021). What happens when Jesus fails to affirm our “us first!” expectations? Things get ugly fast.
- All and every, for ever and ever (Psalm 145) (12/13/2020). Pondering the emphatic language of one of the greatest psalms of praise.
- By the waters of New Zion (Psalm 137, nationalized) (12/10/2020). An American-exceptionalist rewrite of a psalm of exile.
- Allen C. Myers (1945–2020), longtime Eerdmans editor (EerdWord) (12/9/2020). Remembering a man who knew that Wisdom is often slow to speak, and sometimes adamantly holds her peace.
- Psalm 125: On earth as it is in heaven? (11/21/2020). Longing for the incarnation in our world of biblical Wisdom.
- The self-mutilating apostasy of White American Evangelicalism (11/21/2020). Noticing who the national leaders of Christotrumpism are (and are not) clues us in that Christotrumpism is evangelicalism separated from the head and heart of evangelicalism.
- ReMEMbering Psalm 119:97–104 (11/12/2020). Sometimes praying the psalms can help us because we find it impossible to find ourselves in their words.
- Trump as mirror and shadow (11/6/2020). What we need is not to annihilate or even deny our Trumpish side but to understand it and integrate it into a healthy whole. This will not be easy.
- Are you calling Trump a fascist? (11/4/2020). Why we all need to read Justin Stanley’s How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them.
- Speaking of Hitler (October 30, 2020). A friend asks, “Are you comparing Trump to Hitler?” Well, no, and yes.
- The dark turn of Psalm 106 (October 27, 2020). What do we do with a recital not of the mighty acts of God but of the perfidious response of his people?
- Psalm 104: Introduction (10/21/2020). We read a poem like Psalm 104 as a gracious and beautiful revelation of the truth of the world around us.
- Psalm 95 and discipleship failure: An invitation and a warning (10/19/2020). I was thinking about discipleship failure when I happened to read Psalm 95.
- Psalm 40 and the Normal Christian Life (10/8/2020). What if we try reading Psalm 40 as a boilerplate description of the life of the follower of the Lord?
- 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.)
- Prayers for an election season (part 2 of 7) (9/14/2020). Life under a cloud: the passive and active negativities. Psalm 32.
- Prayers for an election season (part 1 of 7) (9/13/2020). A roadside sign: “try prayer.” The Penitential Psalms. Prayer from a season of grave illness. Psalm 6.
- A note of appreciation to Heather Cox Richardson (9/7/2020). Her Letters from an American will stand as a record of these days, regardless of how our political mess turns out. Yesterday’s letter struck me as taking an ominous turn.
- “Trust in the Lord” as a political slogan (9/6/2020). Yes, by all means: trust in the Lord! Here are my thoughts on what that does and does not mean.
- 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.
- The wicked, God, and me (Psalm 5, day 1) (9/3/2020). Psalm 5 encourages us to focus first on God but not to ignore or condone the wicked deeds of wicked people.
- Persuasion does not work; love anyway (9/3/2020). What to do with
- The tragic irony (possibly?) of white American evangelical Christianity (9/2/2020). White Christian nationalists in America have simultaneously fixated and ignored Jesus’s warnings of mass apostasy.
- How to love our atheist (in a sense) neighbors? (8/22/2020). Christians who follow a lying tyrant in believing the worst about a world that God loves have become practical atheists.
- Scriptures for the day (8/21/2020) . Recalling some scripture passages that seemed appropriate to the day.
- 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.
- Faith, Fanaticism, and Trumpism (8/18/2020). Either I don’t know the difference between faith and fanaticism or some of my friends don’t.
- How not to evangelize (usually) (8/16/2020). The “Romans Road” and other canned evangelism methods fail to communicate.
- At the lowest point: hope (8/15/2020). Beautiful words about “hoping against hope” from a seventeenth-century English preacher.
- How to think and pray about wicked rulers (Psalm 58) (8/11/2020). The Psalmist tells us it’s OK to denounce these godlings and call down divine judgment on them. But with some caveats . . .
- Editor James Ernest (Eerdmans): The Editors behind the Great Books in New Testament Studies (Crux Sola) (8/10/2020). Repost of an interview posted at Crux Sola on August 4: my life in editing and my thoughts on books, authors, books proposals, and biblical-studies publishing in general.
- Striking a pose: Psalm 18 and positional righteousness (8/8/2020). What has gone wrong with certain American Christian traditions that what we believe and do diverges so starkly from the ways of the one we claim to follow?
- Our crisis of truth in society and church (8/7/2020).
- I love you, Lord? (8/4/2020). Or is it “I dedicate myself?” Or is it something more outrageous?
- Psalm 1 again: verses 1 through 3 (8/1/2020). How to make like a tree and leave.
- What the Lord does (7/30/2020). What does Psalm 145 tell us about Christians who spend most of their time on social-political issues?
- Our national Sankofa journey (7/28/2020).
- How to read the Bible (7/27/2020). Revelation 1:3 tells us how to read the Bible as Scripture.
- From generation to generation: Comments on Mary Trump’s story of how the Trump family produced Donald (7/26/2020). Mary Trump, Edwin Friedman, and the transmission of dysfunction.
- Let the reader understand; or, Take heed to your(my)selves(self) (7/23 2020). Reading can be enlightening and edifying. It can also be dangerous and even self-destructive. Let the reader understand.
- Think on these things (7/22/2020). A beautiful afternoon with wonderful people in a lovely place. And a contrast, and a question.
- What you can do with an English major; or, How to be a pro bono counterintelligence operative (7/21/2020). Hey, y’all! I’m pretty sure I sniffed out one of those Russian fake blogger accounts!
- What to do about disagreements between Christians? (7/20/2020). Trusting God and each other could move us from anxiety and anger to joy and freedom in our relationships with other Christians with whom we have disagreements.
- The stable genius who harnessed the power of nuclear fission (7/18/2020). We are no crazier than we ever were, but with Trump something is different.
- John McWhorter’s hatchet job on Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility (7/17/2020). How to recognize disingenuous, deliberately distorting, partisan prose (a.k.a. bullshit).
- Ngram Viewer and the human condition (7/16/2020). Does common usage make it right? “It” being spelling, word choice, grammar. And how does language relate to morals?
- Two pathologies of loyalty (7/15/2020). Excessive or distorted loyalty to a principle is curable. Not so sure about excessive loyalty to an undeserving person.
- Psalm 55:6: Wings like a—pigeon? (7/14/2020). Longing to fly away and be at peace. Whose psalm is this anyway?
- Fauci, Trump, and the possibility of progress in knowledge and in morals (7/12/2020). If you think you’re always right, and have nothing to repent of and nothing to learn, you’re probably never going to get any more intelligent than you already are (not).
- Who is the fool who has said in his heart, there is no God? (7/11/2020). Don’t be so sure that “the fool” is someone else. Practical atheism and professed atheism can be two different things.
- Mask Politics (7/11/2020). The discomfort we feel about masks is just one more symptom of our sick misunderstanding of the meaning of politics.
- It’s not always about John Calvin; or, What’s God got to do, got to do with it? (7/9/2020). Commitment to the sovereignty of God may more about how you pray than how rigid you are about doctrine.
- America, be what you are! (7/8/2020). How the Apostle Paul teaches us that to be a patriot you don’t have to pretend that America is and always has been nothing but wonderful.
- God gets refractory, haughty brought down (7/8/2020). Does God show himself to be refractory or make himself seem tortuous? (And does that mean I don’t always have to talk nice about major a**h****s?)
- The year of f/u (7/7/2020). Do we want to be brought together, or do we prefer to be driven further apart? Do we aspire to speak truth in love? Or do we prefer the way of f/u?
- Our wonderful president’s inspiringly patriotic Independence Day speech (7/6/2020). He isn’t and it wasn’t. This may have been the most anti-American speech an American president has ever given.
- A day of freedom (7/4/2020). To my friends on our national holiday.
- Knowing oneself, knowing others (Psalm 139) (6/30/2020). A residual “grievous” way in David’s prayer of confession.
- In Memoriam: James D. G. Dunn (6/29/2020). An EerdWord post marking the death of a great author and friend of the press.
- I have a friend who loves making the Bible strange (6/27/2020). The good exegete lays down his community’s comfortable interpretations to find lost sheep.
- Psalm 119 now! (6/27/2020). The light on the path is good for one more step.
- Hey, Psalm 119! (6/26/2020). How can two people look at the same thing and see completely different things. What are we doing when we think we are knowing?
- Praying Psalm 118: Who is the cornerstone? (6/24/2020). To pray the Psalms is to be knit ever more tightly into union with Israel, with Christ.
- 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?
- On respecting and submitting to the governing authorities (6/18/2020). The American president is not Caesar, and American Christians are not directly addressed in Romans 13.
- Jesus hates rioters (6/10/2020). No wait, white Christian Republicans hate most black people and all white Democrats. Or . . . hang on . . .
- To dominate or not to dominate? That is the question (6/6/2020). What kind of leader says “You have to dominate”?
- The police problem (6/6/2020). They are asked to do too much. And sometimes they dress up like Darth Vader’s imperial stormtroopers.
- On electing a president not a pastor (5/30/2020). Biblically formed people are never going to want a leader who is not a good shepherd.
- Peace, peace: Nice prophets and slight healing (5/26/2020). Sassey Christian leaders who offer lame platitudes to the people instead of firm rebukes to sick leaders get no support from Jeremiah–or Jesus.
- Romans 13 in the USA: Questions for thought and discussion (5/24/2020). You think the Bible says we should suck up to a corrupt fool of a president? Let’s take a closer look.
- STEM and the humanities (5/23/2020). People who know math, science, and technology can really suck at reading texts and detecting moral charlatans.
- Masking the image of God (5/22/2020). What dishonors the image of God? Covering the face with personal protective gear or filling the air with insults, slanders, and lies?
- How to love other Christians in the Age of Trump (5/21/2020). Why we should be prodding each other into paroxysms of good works.
- 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.
- The genealogy of white supremacy and vote suppression in the USA (3/17/2020). Vote suppression in America from KKK to GOP.
- The abortion distortion in current US politics (6/29/2019). Why abortion is not analogous to slavery as a blight on US history, and is not a valid excuse for supporting a grossly unfit president.
- Read Timothy Snyder; skip Ben Sasse (5/24/2019). Snyder’s version of stability encourages you to face facts and effect positive change. Sasse’s leads to denial, complacency, and complicity.
- The profanity presidency (5/19/2019). The ugliness is not an embarrassing blot on the Trumpist movement. It is its essence, flowing from the top and permeating the whole.
- 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.
- On publishing books in a world in turmoil (8/20/2018). When the foundations are shaken, what can a religious book publisher do?
- Do you have any patience for argument? (7/26/2018) People who believe that what became flesh in Jesus Christ was the Logos should be slow to give up on words, on speech, on patient, reasoned explanation and persuasion.
- 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.
- Politics, sabotage, and the meaning of government (7/30/2017). Ideological disparagement of government is not a political philosophy, it is political sabotage.
- International leadership and national self-awareness (6/2/2017). On the difference between humbling yourself and humiliating yourself (and your country).
- Streets and statues, truth and reconciliation (5/21/2017). New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu’s exemplary speech on Confederate statues prompts me to reflect on growing up in territory soaked in Civil War memories.
- Faithful stewardship? (3/4/2017) How Christians can support trashing the environment and gutting environmental protection is beyond me.
- On the impossibility of failing to condemn anti-Semitism (2/18/2017). President Trump’s rude rebuff of a question from a Jewish reporter about increasing threats of anti-Semitic violence is absolutely inexcusable.
- Rebuke-slogans that I will not use, and what I think we must say instead (1/21/2017). “Not my president!” “Get over it!” Or how about some “We shall overcome”? We must overcome.
- Politics in church? (1/14/2017) A Christian who wants to keep God out of politics is probably about as thoroughly converted as a Christian who want to keep God out of his wallet.
- Politics and hope: Thoughts from Charles Mathewes (1/2/2017). How to be thoughtful and hopeful in the face of political challenges and adversity.
- Tu quoque, yer mom!, and the way forward (12/30/2016). We are going to have to get a lot less stupid with regard to how we argue if we are ever to dig our way out of this mess.
- Hard questions, correct answers, and pastoral wisdom (12/28/2016). Pastors who give rote doctrinal answers when pastoral wisdom is needed, and parishioners who demand that they do just that, do not serve the gospel well.
- My strangely unedifying Facebook posts (12/16/2016). 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.”
- A response to Swaim’s “Stott Bowdlerized” (4/19/2016). An EerdWord post responding to an unfair review of an Eerdmans edition of a John Stott book.
- A leaf from the journal of a theological publisher (10/10/2015). Meditating on the applicability of Psalm 1 to the mission of a religious publishing company.
- Uncertainty about the book (9/4/2012) Drawing on Doron Mendels’s description of the “media revolution” launched by Eusebius of Caesarea to reflect on the potential of Christian publishing today.
- Jesus comes down the mountain (2/7/2010) Jesus walks down off the mountain of lawgiving to offer forgiveness and healing. What are we to make of that?
- High school valedictory address (6/14/1977). The speech I gave at my high school graduation in 1977.
Every morning my iPad Pro somehow chooses a picture to feature in the little photos gadget on its home screen. This morning it is this photo from July 21, 2021. Here my mother, Dolores, is seated on the little side deck of her house in Hopewell VA with my niece Lauren. This is the houseContinue reading “Remembering a funeral at a wedding”
A Christian reading of Psalm 126.
Thanksgiving isn’t just a day. It is the fundamental, permanent stance of a follower of God.