Category Archives: Church

Theologies: Liberation, Savior, or Blessing

I haven’t posted here in quite a while. There are some excuses for this. Due to the Covid pestilence I have delayed needed cataract surgery. I realize that eye strain has been causing me to avoid reading like I used … Continue reading

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Church in the time of Covid

A large swath of U.S. churches have not reopened for in-person services even though they have legal license to do so. It’s a decision that may very well spell destruction — with dwindling congregations and empty coffers — but it’s … Continue reading

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Yes, there is retirement in the Bible

Sometimes preachers or others say, “There is no retirement in the Bible.” Or “you can’t retire from Christian service.” I think one reason people want to say this is that many of our churches now are composed largely of people … Continue reading

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Limelight and the underlying theme

Since I have retired I have greatly enjoyed being out of the limelight. When I was an active pastor I was–at least locally–in the limelight. I led an assembly of people in worship every week. I published a column. I … Continue reading

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A historical mistake about Jesus and ritual purity

This is a reflection about purity and Jesus. Scholars have frequently used Jesus’ attitude toward purity to explain his teaching about openness to all people. Cecelia Wassen (“The Jewishness of Jesus and Ritual Purity”, here) shows that some of these … Continue reading

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Fredriksen and possible ways to understand the failure of Paul’s eschatology

Paula Fredriksen, in Paul, the Pagan’s Apostle, holds that Paul expected the return of Christ in his generation. If Paul (and Jesus) thought the apocalyptic coming of the kingdom of God would happen in the first century, how are we … Continue reading

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Allison-morality and the impinging of last things

Dale Allison in Night Comes points out that even in movies and novels today the last things often receive more attention than they do in mainline pulpits. He thinks we are short-changing people by not talking about last things. By … Continue reading

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Heaven as a community of freinds

On Labor Day Sunday I’m often called on to preach so that the official pastor can take time off. So it is again. But this is probably the last time I will preach for a while. The congregations that usually … Continue reading

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Jacob’s dream at Bethel

Here is the situation I am in right now. A couple weeks ago I filled in for a pastor who was ill. In the meantime that pastor has very unexpectedly died. So now I am asked to preach again and … Continue reading

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The Lord’s Prayer-issues and beauty

I am preaching this week. Occasionally congregations ask retired preachers to do this. In my case, I don’t encourage it. It still happens. I don’t mind doing it as long as it doesn’t become a long-term commitment. My text will … Continue reading

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