Rob Grayson reviews “That All Shall Be Saved”

I’ve begun to wade into David Bentley Hart’s strident but powerfully argued book, That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation. But I’m not ready to write my response yet. I have been reading other reviews, however, and thought I would share one of them today. Rob Grayson has written for us before,Continue reading “Rob Grayson reviews “That All Shall Be Saved””

CM – Decade’s End: 30 Favorite and Important Books I Read — 2010-2019

DECADE’S END 30 Favorite and Important Books I Read — 2010-2019 This list by no means represents all the books I read and enjoyed in the past ten years, but I have tried to boil it down to some of the most important and eye-opening ones I’ve had the privilege of digesting. • • •Continue reading “CM – Decade’s End: 30 Favorite and Important Books I Read — 2010-2019”

“God’s people have begun to know the manger of their Lord.”

The great Raymond E. Brown has often been a guide to me when it comes to the Christmas narratives in the New Testament. Here is an example of his insight — applied to the Christmas Eve Gospel (Luke 2). May God grant us all a blessed Christmas Eve. • What is of importance is theContinue reading ““God’s people have begun to know the manger of their Lord.””

The “No” and the “Yes” of Jesus

One of the resources I use as a Lutheran to help people understand the tradition is a small book called Baptized, We Live: Lutheranism As a Way of Life, by Daniel Erlander. One of the book’s strengths is its consistent rejection of a “theology of glory” for a “theology of the cross,” and its insistenceContinue reading “The “No” and the “Yes” of Jesus”

“We sanitize what isn’t safe and therefore lose what is nutritious”

From The Weight of Advent by Ian at Mockingbird [T]he prophetic word of Advent authorizes us to tell the truth about the world. As Edgar pronounces in the final scene of King Lear, “The weight of this sad time we must obey/ Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.” John the BaptizerContinue reading ““We sanitize what isn’t safe and therefore lose what is nutritious””

“Nothing can make us more blind to the Holy Spirit than the ordinary”

Each week during the winter months and until Easter, I preach to a little country congregation. The congregation is over 180 years old, the building 150. Like many small, rural churches, our pews are populated by members in the second half of life. We have a few children, fewer teens, a couple of college studentsContinue reading ““Nothing can make us more blind to the Holy Spirit than the ordinary””

Another Look: Let’s Go Marveling

Let’s go marveling. “This felicitous phrase is taken from the great Methodist preacher Fred Craddock, who tells of the ancestral practice of taking walks every Sunday afternoon and finding things to marvel at and to share with others” (Wm. P. Brown). A sense of wonder is essential to the attitude of thankfulness. It is whenContinue reading “Another Look: Let’s Go Marveling”

IM Recommended Reading: Late Migrations

I am reading a remarkable, luminous book by Margaret Renkl, called Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss. This book of meditations and and short essays reminds me of Annie Dillard’s writing, with its intermingling of nature observations and reflections on life. Maureen Corrigan said the following in her review: “Late Migrations isContinue reading “IM Recommended Reading: Late Migrations”

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: On Changing the Subject

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann On Changing the Subject The test and norm is the reality of Jesus. Look at Jesus, because Jesus confronts all the throne talk of the world. You want to know about joy, and well-being, and truth, and goodness. Look at Jesus. Not being served, but serving. I have no doubt thatContinue reading “Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: On Changing the Subject”