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Theology


The Emotional Plausibility of Faith vs. Doubt

When many think about Christian doubt, they tend to imagine it as a kind of midpoint between faith and unbelief, existing in hues of grey. Matters of faith in a transcendent God are rarely so black and white, it is said, and the stance of faithful doubt is perhaps the appropriate stance all Christians should […]

Scared and Sacred, Faith and Fear

During the quarantine, I’ve spent many afternoons sitting quietly on the trunk of a tree that had fallen across the neighborhood creek—a small body of water that meanders through the woods behind my home. One recent afternoon, as my three young children splashed, I watched the sunlight in the treetops render the green leaves almost […]

Come Get Your Manna: Feasting on the Mysteries of God’s Justice

Trying to understand someone else’s predicament lies at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian. – Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion My younger son’s kindergarten class is doing a unit on farms this term and they’ve been learning about chickens and cows and pigs and the like. The other day he came […]

Justification, Work, and Me: A Parable of River Jack Stones

One is not justified by works, but through faith. Saul of Tarsus may have been the best press agent ever. In several letters he wrote the above words, but I somehow find that talk difficult to walk. Paul murderously pursued the small collective of Jewish believers in the Messiah. They blasphemed against God, and Paul […]

“You Meant It for Evil”: The Gift of Unintended Consequences

Thankful for this post by David Clay: In his 1956 essay, “On Being Conservative,” British philosopher Michael Oakeshott speaks not so much of a conservative ideology but rather of a conservative disposition, which is that of preserving what is good about one’s present circumstances in the face of inevitable change. According to Oakeshott, to be […]

Horrifying Piety: The Real Villain of The Witch

Thankful for this post from Derrick Bledsoe: I have not always been a fan of horror movies. Perhaps it was a mix of legalism coupled with an exposure to a more lurid kind of horror (read: the Saw franchise), but it wasn’t until all that long ago that I truly began to appreciate the art […]

God Has Made a Decision About You

Once upon a time in the 1970s, a midwestern theology professor and his former student sat down to write a guide to Luther’s Small Catechism for teenagers, which sounds the most thankless task ever conceived by mortal mind. Breathtaking beauty is rarely associated with confirmation curriculum. However, these two were rare birds, and as they […]

“A Story Unleashed”: Jesus Couldn’t Keep a Lid on the Gospel, and Neither Can We

We all get a “gospel according to…” and that is both terrifying and liberating.

Great Marriages Don’t Just Happen (And Other Threats Disguised as Sermons)

Disconcerting Signs and Statues, and the Unnaturalness of Unlimited Grace

My Night of Innocent Sexuality at Maud’s

Spoilers below (for a film a half-century old) Desire, satisfaction, and justice are uneasy acquaintances. They are asymptotes, or Italian dressing. With space, time, and energy enough, they may emulsify, fraternize, or verge, but they will never fuse. Why? And what to do about it? My Night at Maud’s dramatizes this problem. The film’s fulcrum […]

Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

When the Gospel Becomes Quotidian, Still the Spiritual Fire Smolders

Enjoy Your Forgiveness

A few years ago an interesting phrase began popping into my head, and it began to have a big impact on me and my thinking. That phrase is Enjoy Your Forgiveness. I want to share a few thoughts about that phrase, along with its origin in my thought process. It was during an Easter season […]