Showing posts from 2013

On Being a Parent

Michelle and I were talking at dinner and I realized that I have been parenting wrong.  I have been teaching my child to be a good person, to follow the rules and that going to church is a good thing.  I have tried teaching her morals and to obey her parents.  All of those are good things.  But I am thinking that I am creating a moralistic therapeutic deist. This idea was made popular by Kenda Creasy Dean and has five basic tenants:
A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earthGod wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneselfGod does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problemGood people go to heaven when they die.
While similar to Christianity this is not what we believe.  In the United Methodist Church we have realized recently that we have missed the true goal …

Jesus: More Than We Expect

So I am on a big NT Wright kick lately.  For my devotional I am reading his "Mark for Everyone," a verse by verse commentary on the book of Mark that is, well, for anyone.  It is very accessible but several times I have had my mind blown.

Today I was reading about the raising of Jairus' daughter and NT Wright said something that I thought was important for all of us to hear: "Why doesn't (Jesus) prevent awful things like the Holocaust from happening in our own day?" This is the type of question that causes many to stumble on Christianity.  How can God be a good God and yet let bad things happen? I come across this question all the time in my ministry.  Wright has a great answer: "Just as Jesus wasn't coming to be a one-man liberation movement in the traditional revolutionary sense, so he wasn't coming to be a one-man emergency medical centre.  He was indeed bringing starting a revolution, and he was indeed bringing God's healing power, but…

Two Distractions

I am continuing my reading of Surprised by Hope, by NT Wright and I just wanted to reflect on two big distractions of Christianity. These are two worldviews that can somewhat be developed from scripture, however, they are not what the Bible actually teaches about the end of all things.
The first is the myth of progress.  This enlightenment way of thinking essentially says that know that we have reached a point of our existence that humanity can see what needs to be done, God decided to step out of the picture and allow humanity to do the work.  This way of viewing the world was especially prevalent in the late 1800s and early 1900s but was deeply wounded by the two great wars of the 20th century (and all of the things that happened in them like the Holocaust and Hiroshima). NT Wright says, "the myth of progress fails because it doesn't in fact work; because it would never solve evil retrospectively; and because it underestimates the power of evil itself and thus fails to see …

Surprised By Hope

So I am exploring the blogging thing again, just to get a few thoughts out.  It is going to be a part of my spiritual practice each day to blog a little-hopefully as a way for me to reflect on what I have been reading that day.
I am reading Surprised by Hope by NT Wright. I must have some kind of thing for the after life right now because I just finished re-reading Love Wins by Rob Bell. 
The passage that struck me the most in the preface to the book was this one: "Most people, in my experience--including many Christians--don't know what the ultimate Christian hope really is.  Most people-again sadly, including many Christians-don't expect Christians to have much to say about hope within the present world.  Most people don't imagine that these two could have anything to do with each other (pg 7)."
My hope in  reading this book is to be able to better express the hope of the resurrection so that I am able to help share that hope in both the present and future real…