Do not be ashamed to enter the Church

John Chrystotom once said, “Do not be ashamed to enter again into the Church. Be ashamed when you sin. Do not be ashamed when you repent. Pay attention to what the devil did to you. These are two things: sin and repentance. Sin is a wound; repentance is a medicine. Just as there are for … Continue reading Do not be ashamed to enter the Church

Contemplating salvation in the depths of depression

As I grapple with my own depression I am reminded that there is an already / not yet tension in the way the apostles spoke of salvation. They had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, but the resurrection of the dead was still to come. They had witnessed the defeat of death, and yet the threat … Continue reading Contemplating salvation in the depths of depression

Is something essential being overlooked?

A man who has never had that experience, be it only very briefly, who has never felt that he is exiled from God and from real life, will never understand what Christianity is about. And the one who is perfectly “at home” in this world and its life, who has never been wounded by the … Continue reading Is something essential being overlooked?

What did Jesus achieve?

What did Jesus achieve? Jews at the time of Jesus expected the messiah to achieve a number to things: to defeat the enemies of Israel; to restore the Temple; to gather the exiles of Israel; and to teach the Torah to the nations. The earliest Christians, who were Jewish by and large, saw Jesus as … Continue reading What did Jesus achieve?

The story of the sower

Spring has me thinking of the story of the sower. This image illustrates the story from a variety of cultural perspectives. For those unfamiliar with the story, the Gospel of Mark retells it like this: Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got … Continue reading The story of the sower

How can one death make any difference?

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) When we consider the blood spilled every day in the wars that rage across the surface of the earth, it is difficult to comprehend how one more death can … Continue reading How can one death make any difference?

Jesus as Teacher of Moral Transformation

I have often wondered why Evangelicals tend to imitate the teaching style of Paul more than Jesus, even though Jesus was clearly a popular and profound teacher. What would it mean to teach more like Jesus? Here are some reflections on Jesus as Teacher by Nicholas C. Burbules: As with Socrates, too, these disputatious dialogues … Continue reading Jesus as Teacher of Moral Transformation