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What a Korean Spa Taught Me About Sanctification

Someone once told me about this Korean sauna — he was absolutely obsessed with it. It was a place where one could disappear for hours and hours and emerge refreshed, restored and pampered. It piqued my interest, and after a while, I scheduled a day to go with a friend. I knew very little about […]

The Disruptive Grace of God

From the introduction of George Hunsinger’s book, Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth, p. 16-17. Grace that is not disruptive is not grace […] Grace, strictly speaking, does not mean continuity but radical discontinuity, not reform but revolution, not violence but nonviolence, not the perfecting of virtues but the forgiveness of sins, not […]

Law, Gospel, and “Cruel Optimism”: An Excerpt from The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience

There’s so much to love in Simeon Zahl’s latest monograph, The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience. In addition to being a theological tour de force, the book offers numerous outstanding reflections on how theology might explain the experiences of everyday life. The following comes from Chapter 4, “Grace in Experience”, pp. 172-75 (emphasisadded). [A vital […]

The Sweet Smell of Sanctification by Grace

I think this is a remix of something Key Life’s Steve Brown once said, but the aged man who’s been in church longer than you’ve been alive isn’t necessarily holier than you; he’s just more tired. The fact that he no longer acts on impulses which drove him in his adolescence is due less to […]

Pandemics and the Theology of the Cross: Julian of Norwich’s Hope

This post comes to us from Nathan White. White serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Faith and Resilience, which seeks to connect theology and social scientific scholarship with communities of faith. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Ps 11:3) The psalmist posed this query almost three millennia ago, […]

Review: Reading While Black: African American Biblical Exegesis as an Exercise in Hope

Grateful for this post from Heather Strong Moore: Black people are not dark-skinned white people. This was a mantra used over and over again by the first black man to work in advertising in Chicago. He began his career in 1961 when all advertising was targeted at white consumers. As the field began to realize […]

Learning in Coronatide: C. S. Lewis on Going Back to School

On October 22, 1939, C. S. Lewis climbed up to the pulpit of the University Church of St. Mary in Oxford to preach about “Learning in Wartime” at the start of the school year. France and the United Kingdom were at war with Germany, and Poland had just been conquered. The day before, many of […]

The Shape of Modern Morality: Swapping Jesus for Hitler?

The hippies of the 1960s didn’t kill Christianity. Adolf Hitler did. Let me explain. From the 1960s onwards, discussions of the decline of Christendom and the cultural influence of the church gravitate toward a number of topics of moral controversy. The pill, abortion, youth culture, and the sexual revolution are all usually viewed as flash-points […]

Bottom of the Ninth: Baseball and the Eternity of God’s Love

Baseball’s back — with a truncated season, the universal DH (a bitter pill for this National League snob to swallow), and deep uncertainty involving the ongoing pandemic — but it is back nonetheless. I could hardly be more grateful. Besides the joy inherent in the game itself, it’s a huge relief to transfer some of […]

Adverbs Are Not Your Friends: Learning Gospel Grammar From Stephen King

Grateful for this post by Jason Micheli. During this hiatus of coronavirus quarantine and online worship, I’ve found myself reflecting on what I’d like to change about the way my tribe of Christendom, the UMC, celebrates the eucharist once we return to recognizable times. The changes I’d like to make have nothing to do with […]

“Christianity and Morality: A Story of an Uneasy Relationship”

A phenomenal lecture from Giles Fraser on impossible morality, Augustine, our crisis of capacity, and the free grace of God to losers.

The Folly of the Cross in Our Divided World

Crucifixes are kind of everywhere, if you look closely enough. We wear them as necklaces, earrings, or tattoos; we use them to decorate our houses; and most churches usually place a cross front and center. Athletes make the sign of the cross when they excel in competition. Vampires are repelled by the mere sight of […]