Wednesday with Michael Spencer “The lived spiritual life is a frequent contradiction.”

Wednesday with Michael Spencer “The lived spiritual life is a frequent contradiction.”  From a 2007 post: “Mother Teresa and the Mystery of God’s Absence” Christianity’s promises of the present presence and apprehension of God are not simple. In many ways, it seems to me that neither scripture nor recorded experience gives a coherent, teachable viewContinue reading “Wednesday with Michael Spencer “The lived spiritual life is a frequent contradiction.””

Sunday with Christian Wiman: No half-remembered country

Sunday with Christian Wiman No half-remembered country In fact, there is no way to “return to the faith of your childhood,” not really, not unless you’ve just woken from a decades-long and absolutely literal coma. Faith is not some half-remembered country into which you come like a long-exiled king, dispensing the old wisdom, casting outContinue reading “Sunday with Christian Wiman: No half-remembered country”

Another Look: Luther on Good Works

Note from CM: I was going to save this post for October, when we will focus almost exclusively on the Reformation, this being its 500th anniversary. But right now, as I posted last week, I am reading Inhabiting the Cruciform God, by Michael J. Gorman, a book that reorients the whole idea of justification aroundContinue reading “Another Look: Luther on Good Works”

Losers Who Just Keep Walking

Triumphalism is a terrible thing. I heard an unexpected sermon yesterday from a guest preacher in a church we visited. The church is a traditional old Midwest Protestant congregation, not known, at least in recent memory, for their religious enthusiasm or expressiveness. Sunday’s speaker was from a quite different ecclesiastical milieu. The congregation seemed toContinue reading “Losers Who Just Keep Walking”

Frances and Lenny: When All That’s Left Is Love

Frances died last week. Her family all said she missed her husband Lenny since his death a few years ago, and would be happy to be at peace and reunited with him. Frances and Lenny were faithful Roman Catholic members of a city parish. At her funeral, the priest said Frances especially loved to shareContinue reading “Frances and Lenny: When All That’s Left Is Love”

Another Look: Luther on Good Works

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. • Galatians 5:2, NRSV For Christ at the last day will not ask how much you have prayed, fasted, pilgrimaged, done this or that for yourself, but how much good you have done to others,Continue reading “Another Look: Luther on Good Works”

Pete Enns on trusting our beliefs more than trusting God

One of the books I’m anticipating most in 2016 in Peter Enns’s The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs, due out in early April. I believe it will be a great gift to those with the courage to question. For several years now, Pete has been on a journey,Continue reading “Pete Enns on trusting our beliefs more than trusting God”

Charles H. Featherstone: Lent – By Grace Alone

Note from CM: I preached on Abraham from Genesis 15 last Sunday. I love what Charles says about the patriarch here, and wish I had said it half as well as he does. • • • What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has somethingContinue reading “Charles H. Featherstone: Lent – By Grace Alone”

A shepherd’s ambiguous apologetic

I confess. I have no apologetic. There is no defending God. There is no proving his way is right. To do so would require that I understand God, that I can substantiate the claims of truth my faith calls me to hold. I can explain what I believe well enough. I can demonstrate to aContinue reading “A shepherd’s ambiguous apologetic”