At the lowest point: hope

This year 2020 is a low year in the life of American Christians in so many ways. I will not enumerate them here, because we all know it, but we have different perspectives on how bad things are, and on what exactly is making them bad, and by enumerating them I would necessarily convey myContinue reading “At the lowest point: hope”

How to think and pray about wicked rulers (Psalm 58)

Psalm 58, like so many psalms, complains about human injustice but has a slightly different way of presenting the problem. Here the issue is cast as a drama in which the human actors are adam, the people, and elim or elohim, the “gods.” The narrator and suppliant—the psalmist—speaks on behalf of the people to elohim,Continue reading “How to think and pray about wicked rulers (Psalm 58)”

Striking a pose: Psalm 18 and positional righteousness

Picking up from yesterday: what has gone wrong with us—members and heirs of certain American Christian traditions—that what we believe and do diverges so starkly from the ways of the one we claim to follow? I said yesterday it’s all about truth. It’s also all about righteousness. The two are closely related. With regard toContinue reading “Striking a pose: Psalm 18 and positional righteousness”

Psalm 1 again: verses 1 through 3

Blessed is the man ESV retains the traditional masculine singular because unlike pluralized rewordings it preserves the possibility of figural reading as referring to Jesus Christ as the ideal human who fits the description given. And I guess somehow “Blessed is the human” or “the person” doesn’t quite have the same poetic resonance. Some ofContinue reading “Psalm 1 again: verses 1 through 3”

It’s not always about John Calvin; or, What’s God got to do, got to do with it?

There’s a lot of anti-Calvinism out there. I guess there’s also a lot of Calvinism. People love bashing predestination. Or other Calvinist expressions of the essential importance of the sovereignty of God. And other people like promoting those things. Closely related: there is much controversy over universalism—the idea that in the end, all will beContinue reading “It’s not always about John Calvin; or, What’s God got to do, got to do with it?”

God gets refractory, haughty brought down

I really admire people who are always on an even keel, don’t you? They are grounded, centered. They know who they are, which means they know where they stand vis-à-vis God: lower, but accepted and loved. They tend to know, as well as any of us can, where they stand with other people, and theyContinue reading “God gets refractory, haughty brought down”

Can I trust you?

An Address by Dean Gregory Sterling of Yale Divinity School Today at the Yale Divinity School commencement exercises, Dean Gregory Sterling offered some sobering words to graduates in the class of 2018 regarding the context into which they are stepping to begin their service as ministers, scholars, workers for nonprofits. Along with his description ofContinue reading “Can I trust you?”

A leaf from the journal of a theological publisher

I guess in any line of work one invited to lead will now and then gather the team and ask: what do we imagine we are doing? If you take someone who might really rather be reading the ancients reading the Bible and put him in that position in your publishing company, you might getContinue reading “A leaf from the journal of a theological publisher”