The Promise to Abraham

June 24, 2019

Whereas the empire of Babel determined to make its own name great, God decided to make Abraham’s name great. This contrast illustrates the two paths humanity might pursue. Babel chose ambition, pride, and self-actualization, but humanity’s authentic path is found in God’s promise and gracious work. Abraham heard God’s call, believed God, and trusted God’s […]

Humanity Degenerated: Creating an Alternative Story

June 20, 2019

It seems God is a realist when it comes to humanity. The power of sin is deeply entrenched in human hearts. Even when God rebooted the creation through a flood, it did not cure the human heart of its ancestral sin. God knew violence would reappear because of sin’s strong grip. God, therefore, issued a […]

Humanity Tumbled: Violence Entered the World

June 17, 2019

East of Eden death lies ahead for everyone in Genesis except Enoch. It seems we’ve already hit rock bottom with nowhere to go but into the grave. Death isn’t good, but it isn’t the whole story. There is more to this picture. Things can get worse. Some things are worse than death. Sin is worse […]

Humanity Tumbled: A Disordered World

June 13, 2019

When God began to create, God took what was unordered and ordered it to make a good, habitable space. God filled it with life, blessed it for growth and development, and gave humanity a choice. This choice is highlighted by the presence of the snake in the garden. The snake is clever but is also […]

Extending the Kingdom Theology of Lipscomb and Harding

June 12, 2019

2019 Christian Scholars Conference Presentation, Lubbock, Texas Part of my academic work has sought to identify and characterize the theological dynamic that shaped students at the Nashville Bible School (now known as Lipscomb University) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This dynamic has its roots in Barton W. Stone and Tolbert Fanning prior […]

Keith Stanglin’s Letter and the Spirit of Biblical Interpretation: Some Reflections

June 11, 2019

Keith D. Stanglin, The Letter and Spirit of Biblical Interpretation: From the Early Church to Modern Practice (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2018). 274 pages. Presentation at the 2019 Christian Scholars Conference in Lubbock, Texas. I welcome this book on several levels. For me, and for others who have worked vocationally in historical theology, it is […]

Theodrama #9: Two Trees–A Wisdom Story

June 10, 2019

Humanity, created out of the dust of the earth, is placed in the Garden to protect it and serve it, much like the priests of Israel protected and served the temple. This is another aspect of our human vocation: we are priests and priestesses. We lead the creation in the praise of God, and we […]

Two Trees: A Wisdom Story

June 10, 2019

Within God’s cosmic temple, God created place called Eden, and this holy sanctuary had a garden. But don’t imagine backyard tomatoes, but visualize something like the garden of Versailles, a royal garden with manicured trees, flowers, and water. Agriculture and horticulture are not the point. God planted this garden for communion, joy, and rest. It […]

A Pentecost Sermon: Race, Slaves, and Women

June 9, 2019

Acts 2:17-18 Only seven weeks ago the future looked bleak. The one whom they thought was the Messiah was dead. The disciples of Jesus hid in fear, and their spirits were broken. They had lost all hope. But that changed when God raised Jesus from the dead, and Jesus began to appear to his disciples […]

Human Vocation: Rule the Earth

June 6, 2019

As the image of God, we represent God in the world, and therefore we are called to partner with God in what God is doing in the creation. Our identity shapes our vocation. We are called to multiply and fill the earth with the glory of God, and we are also called to continue the […]