Ascension Homily: He is Not Here

Along with the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the most ancient confessions of faith have always also insisted that the ascension of Jesus into heaven, to be seated at the right hand of the Father is essential to the gospel, essential to the good news we declare. But in order for us to be…

Wild Truth

Another follow up thought on the Douthat post below: This American “openness to heresy” seems to me to be a peculiarly Protestant stance, particularly, a sort of political/social manifestation of Sola Scriptura. Protestantism rejects human authority as supreme (whether in prelacy or tradition), and insists that Jesus is the head of the Church, ruling through His…

Chestertonian America?

I just starting listening to Ross Douthat’s new book Bad Religion. He makes the fascinating suggestion towards the beginning that while most other western nations had official, established religions, America was founded on a certain openness to falsehood intentionally. But disestablishment was/is not necessarily in itself a capitulation to sects or secularism, though it certainly…

All Grace

Pastor Wilson has reminded us this morning that everything is grace, and that’s what this table means too. Someone has gone through the effort of harvesting grain and grapes. Someone ground the grain into flour, someone crushed the grapes. Someone else kneaded the flour and baked it, and someone else spent a lot of time…

God Had You In Mind

Christ is risen. We’ve just announced that, and we continue to announce that throughout the season of Easter. And really, we mean that every time we gather on the Lord’s Day. As Paul says, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, we should find something better to do on Sunday mornings. We are here…

Word, Sacraments, & Hogwarts

I’m an Incarnation groupie. I love me some beer and brats, sweat trickling down my face with the smell of saw dust in the air, the taste of my wife’s mouth, her small lips. And Jesus gives all those gifts to me. As the brilliant (& unorthodox?) Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann taught me: the sacraments…

Fifth Sunday in Easter: Tenth Commandment: Gen. 18:16-33, Eph. 1:3-22, Jn. 21:15-25

Introduction In the Tenth Word, God forbids His people to covet anything that belongs to another, and this means that God’s people are required to cultivate contentment (Heb. 13:5). Contentment is not apathy or stoicism because true contentment is the life of Jesus inside of you which proclaims and lives both: ‘It is finished’ and…

Twitter Bombs & Modern Judaizers

When pastors attack sin, they are either attacking sin outside the church, calling sinners to repentance, or attacking sin inside the church, calling sinners to repentance. While there is a crucial difference between talking to a corpse and talking to a resurrected corpse, the sin is still sin. And the sin is always a crutch,…

Pharisees Don’t Like Vague Generalities

My Dad sent me this quote on the subject of one of my recent tweets about the tyranny of nuance and exceptions: “In the interpretation of the law there was always a tendency to eliminate vagueness by exact definition. The commandment to love your neighbor as yourself invited the lawyer’s question, ‘Who is my neighbor’…

In Defense of Pastoral Tweet Bombing

What use is Twitter and Facebook when it comes to pastoral ministry? Should we even try? Is it really smart for pastors to lob verbal grenades into cyber space where any number of people in any number of conditions and situations may do anything they like with them? Is it really all that helpful? I…