Although we are in the season of Eastertide, a joyous, celebratory time that stretches out towards Pentecost on May 20, I want to return for a few moments to Good Friday. In particular, to Jesus’ “cry of dereliction,” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Scripture records seven “words” of Jesus from the…

The title of this post comes from a guest preacher who spoke at our church recently. He and his wife are active in prison ministry in another country. Prison is one of those places where “forgiveness” really does seem impossible—and a place where the forgiveness wrought by Jesus through his cross is, in reality, the…

I’ve just returned from one of my favorite annual events: a readers’ retreat. Once a year, a group ranging in size from five or six to a dozen or so gets together for the weekend. Ranging in age from late-20s to late-60s, everyone brings a book to share, a book that has made an impact,…

Things Fall Apart Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate…

Well, first, all the necessary disclaimers: I’m not old, not really, not yet. Still in my mid-60s, in good health, approaching retirement and whatever adventures the next act will hold. So I don’t want you to think of me as old, decrepit, a geezer, or anything like that. In a culture that valorizes and prioritizes…

We had Gordon’s memorial service recently. It was a rich celebration of his life, and a time for mourning his death. His children spoke tenderly and movingly of what a good man and a good father he was to them, what a great grandfather to their children. I saw and spoke with people I hadn’t…

“Ash Wednesday” by Malcolm Guite Receive this cross of ash upon your brow Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s cross; The forests of the world are burning now And you make late repentance for the loss. But all the trees of God would clap their hands, The very stones themselves would shout and sing, If you could…

In the first place, is that even possible—is it even possible that you, that I, could be an idiot about something? If so, where might our unique idiot-vulnerabilities lie? For example, a person who never, ever gets a physical from a doctor or pays a visit to a dentist might be making an idiotic choice….

I’ve never had much luck persuading God to explain things to me. Many people reading that statement would chuckle knowingly and say, “It’s stupid to even ask—that lack of explanation you get? Probably a clue that GOD DOES NOT EXIST!” I could point out that an argument from silence (God doesn’t answer my questions) can’t…

Is following Jesus more a matter of assent or allegiance? By assent I mean agreeing with certain specific ideas and beliefs. I affirm the “content” of the Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds; I believe that the Bible is God’s Word, that Jesus is Lord, that God is triune. I agree with, or assent to, these things—but…

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