Theology

len on February 9th, 2014

Maybe Phyllis Tickle is right: every five hundred years the Church has a great rummage sale and decides what to keep, what to revise, and what to leave behind. (The Great Emergence, 2008) The dominant view of atonement for the first 300 years of the Church was not Penal Substitution, but Christus Victor. Jesus death […]


Continue reading about which atonement?

len on February 7th, 2014

At OnFaith they write about the simplistic (cliches?) we too often use that scare off our young adults. It’s an honest and helpful discussion, and I am going to load it up with my own reflections. What else is a blog for? “The Bible clearly says…” We are the first generation to grow up in […]


Continue reading about five churchy phrases that scare people off

len on February 4th, 2014

Scot McKnight cites a letter that summarizes some of the key issues raised by the resurgence in Calvinist thought. “After much restlessness, I just cannot accept a couple of these things as a reality… 1. A notion that the way God governs the world is by absolutely controlling every single thing… And yet, He is […]


Continue reading about those pesky Calvinists

len on January 10th, 2014

Who had heard of “missional” church prior to 1998 (the publication by the GOCN)? Now “missional” is everywhere. What really changed? Sometimes we need new language in order to see. The language of “place” recovers a lost imagination, one obscured in the legacy of Modernity where we traded “place” for “space,” the concrete for the […]


Continue reading about Theology of Place – books

len on January 5th, 2014

“Pilgrimage is an important part of the Christian life, but it was not what we were made for. We were made to make a particular corner of creation our home: we were made for place. And no better defense of the importance of place in the life of a Christian has been written than this […]


Continue reading about No Home Like Place

len on January 2nd, 2014

I Cast from sleep on the edge of a March dawn (Brain as empty as a beach The arch above our bed dark as the firmament) We lie and listen to the birds Seeking in the garden outside the glass: “Light, Light, who let there be light ?” “We are glad for the light and […]


Continue reading about incarnate – Imago Mundi

len on December 31st, 2013

I preached this sermon on Dec. 15. It was fun working on bringing out the contrast – and of course, it frames Christmas in a very different light than the cultural one we inherit. For some it was a very stark contrast. But for most it was another way to put Jesus back into a […]


Continue reading about a tale of two kingdoms

len on December 4th, 2013

I’ve had maybe ten books cross my desk this past few months, and of these a couple have caught my attention. The first is “Tradecraft for the Church on Mission” by four authors: Crider, McCrary, Calfee and Stephens. Urban Loft Publishers are the crew behind this. Short description: For centuries, God has called missionaries to […]


Continue reading about Tradecraft — for the church on mission

len on December 1st, 2013

Art, Luci Shaw says, gives us a glimpse of the indescribable; invites us farther up and farther in. Helping us to better accept a chiaroscuro God. The God who is not there. Or, the God who is there but not here, except for occasional momentary visitations…a chiaroscuro God, some of whose features are highlighted in […]


Continue reading about chiarascuro God

len on November 22nd, 2013

Brad Jersak writes, “French philosopher, Simone Weil, once said that God never interferes with secondary causes. That is, God doesn’t micromanage consequences. Thus, when the Bible speaks of the ‘wrath of God,’ this is simply a metaphor for the fact that God consents to our willful defiance and the destructive trajectories of our selfish choices. […]


Continue reading about limits of “wrath of God” language