It was the summer of 1519 at Leipzig, in debate with John Eck, where Martin Luther said those fateful words, “Ja, Ich bin ein Hussite”—I am a Hussite. With this, the gallery exploded with murmurs and shouts of dispute. But why?
With so many others, I once thought that e-books were the future. Imagine owning something that moth and worm cannot touch, and thieves cannot steal. But a decade or so on, and I find myself reaching for the real thing. Hardcover. Softcover. I’ll take either.
I’m a drug addict. Specifically, a recovering drug addict. More specific, a grateful recovering drug addict. And as I sit here now, clear-headed, I can reflect on what it was like just before drug use pushed me over the edge of sanity and I hit bottom.
God made Adam and Eve in His perfect, holy image; He placed them in Eden to live in His rest, peace, and goodness; and He gave them His Word. And they failed to keep it. God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations; God made a covenant with him all while he was asleep, and He formed life in Sarah’s barren womb.
I am not a pastor. I also have a hard time staying in one place for a long time. As a result, I have spent the last several years visiting many different churches. The sad reality is that “the goods” are not always handed over on Sunday morning.
Nothing sums up the identity of a Christian better than the phrase: "Simul Iustus et Peccator." The Christian is, at the same time, wholly (totus) a sinner, who deserves God’s temporal and eternal punishment, and wholly (totus) righteous* before God on account of Jesus' Good Friday.
Do you know the paradox about the beloved who has the complete love of her lover? She has it all, but she always needs more. She is still in need of his love, not just reminders of his love.
I once saw a man holding a sign that read: Divorce is an abomination. Repent! That’s it. Nothing else. Nothing about forgiveness, nothing about God, nothing about Christ or His blood soaked cross and empty tomb.
Since God is most high, He can only look down. Nothing is above Him. No one is more exalted than He is. So His eyes have no need to look up, only down. His eyes bend downward, earthward, to behold those who are in the depths. There He sees us.
Out here in sunny California the church is watching as storm clouds are billowing in Sacramento. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the unsettling bill, AB 2943, being presented in the California State Assembly. If I understand it correctly (and I would be happily corrected), this bill, if it passes, would make sexual orientation change efforts illegal.
There was a time when everyone thought Jesus was nuts, His mom included. The Pharisees accused Him of being possessed and His family thought He was insane. They actually wanted to take Him away, maybe get some help, or hide Him from the public for a little while.
In the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus there are two theologies expressed: a theology of scarcity and a theology of abundance. Nicodemus thinks out of his scarcity. That's why he asks Jesus, "How can anyone be born when he’s an old man?" Nicodemus' whole theology, the way he relates to God, comes from a place of scarcity. Jesus. Spirit. Water.
I live in southern California, which has aptly been described as the land of fruits and nuts. It is a place where people deride religion while promoting a vague spirituality devoid of merit, meaning, or morality. Here you can find all manner of talk about experiences of the spiritual variety.
What does peace add up to? Is it just a word? Is it even true that there is, in fact, such a thing as peace? When Jesus talks about peace in the gospels he means, "to join, to tie together into a whole." That's the kind of peace Jesus points to.