Across four decades, listening to students (“those who are taught”) has provoked me to action and insight I might otherwise have dodged. When students have moved classes from instruction to provocation, I’ve not only been awakened, I’ve often been reborn.
The form keeps shifting, but the outcome has remained constant for generations. Those on the bottom of the hierarchy have calamity visited upon body and spirit and household. The trouble – racism, greed, violence – crushes people.
Surely life is far more interesting and faithful if we explore how this world works and our spiritual place within it, especially the relationship between divine and human agency.
In our journey to know God’s will, after we have prayed, sought appropriate counsel, considered circumstances, studied scripture and used the brains given to us by God, we eventually have to “put our money down” and make a faith bet.
Autonomy breeds resiliency in kids and in their individual expressions of Christianity, especially when these kids are rooted in congregations brimming over with institutional warmth and opportunities for non-parental intergenerational relationships.
Churches are often wonderful in terms of mobilizing volunteers after a storm, but Hurricane Florence got me thinking: How can my church be a presence for good in the lead-up to the storm?
For a lot of folks these days, that cross on your necklace might as well be a neon billboard declaring that the sermon being preached to everyone you meet is saying, “We don’t want people like you in the Church.”
A popularized theological perspective jumps right past what Jesus said and did and leaps right into the arms of a literalistic version of Revelation that views “end times” as a highly marketable concept for well-meaning Christians. What is being peddled creates broad theological confusion and ultimately wreaks geopolitical havoc.
The church is facing a test unlike any faced in the modern era. It’s not just that the church is bitterly divided over politics. The dilemma is that not nearly enough of the church’s leadership is working diligently from within to frustrate the church’s worst inclinations.