Category: The Bible

The Gospel in G: Guilt

Editor’s note: This is the second in an adapted sermon series tracing the arc of God’s story, as told through Scripture and the created world around us. You can find other installments here. It was an overwhelmingly good morning. The spring sun was loosening winter’s grip and catching dew diamonds in the fields. I was on a training ride with three other bicycle racers. Four men with shaved legs,…  [more]

Why Bible Emoji doesn’t bother me

The world has yet another contemporary English Bible. Well, sort of. Last week, Bible Emoji hit the iTunes store. Subtitled “scripture 4 millenials[sic],” it's a KJV Bible that's 15-percent shorter, employs common web-speak contractions and replaces frequently appearing words with a library of 80 colorful emoji. You can also sample it online. Its anonymous creator — known publicly…  [more]

The Gospel in G: Goodness

Editor’s note: This is the first in an adapted sermon series tracing the arc of God’s story, as told through Scripture and the created world around us. Have you ever felt connected to the transcendent? Has there ever been a moment when the busyness, boredom or banality was brushed back and you were buoyed with awe?  At 19, I spent a weekend in the north woods of Michigan with a dear friend. We ran…  [more]

The Lobster and our idolization of marriage

If Paul had wanted to emphasize his point about marriage to the troubled church in Corinth, he might have shown them the The Lobster, the latest film from Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos. This bracing and blackly comic movie imagines a world in which it is illegal to be single. Those who find themselves without a partner — as an architect named David (Colin Farrell) does after his wife divorces him…  [more]

Last Days in the Desert: finding Christ in a fictional Jesus

Christianity could be described as a religion of action rather than one of words or ideas. In the beginning was the Word, yes, but the Word became flesh and dwelled among us. Last Days in the Desert makes the brazen suggestion that this emphasis on action is something of which even Jesus needed to be reminded. A dramatization of Christ’s trial in the wilderness, the movie imagines that Jesus, here called…  [more]

When Bono met Eugene Peterson…

Fuller Studio released a short film today wherein a middle-aged rock star and an older pastor sit sipping coffee and discussing the nature and significance of the Psalms. I’ve never craved a seat at a table so strongly in my life. Anyone with even a passing awareness of U2 will know that the Psalms have been a key text for the band since their very beginning four decades ago. As chief lyricist, Bono has often…  [more]

Defending FOX’s live Passion extravaganza

On Palm Sunday I gathered with 30 or so Christians in the parking lot outside of a small church in rural Georgia. When the piano prompted us, the double doors swung open and we processed together into the sanctuary, waving palm branches and chanting, “Hosanna in the highest.” It was a simple ceremony that was likely reenacted at numerous churches throughout the world that very hour. The simplicity of the…  [more]

The importance of being human

What does science teach us about humanity’s uniqueness, importance and place in the universe? Often, the sheer size of space and time are invoked to underscore our smallness and insignificance. But perhaps that has it backwards, says Marcelo Gleiser. Writing recently for NPR’s Cosmos & Culture blog, Gleiser presents the argument that the scope of the universe in fact underscores humanity’s…  [more]

A theology of winning (and cheating)

A recent Scientific American article details a fascinating psychological study. Researchers found that participants who had recently won a skill-based competition, or even recalled a recent situation where they had won, would be more likely to cheat in a subsequent task. Interestingly, participants who were asked to think about a time they had achieved a goal were not more likely to cheat. The researchers posit that…  [more]

Watching Survivor during Lent

Last Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, the church I attended showed a powerful video using the art of Simon Smith to recall Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Smith’s imaginative artwork depicted different dimensions of the 40 days — Jesus’ isolation, his increasingly emaciated body, the sense of pain and isolation. It made my mind go to a place where I had witnessed something similar:…  [more]

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