On Thanking Vets & Martyrs

This Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King, when the church celebrates Christ’s universal lordship and anticipates the coming reign of the Prince of Peace. I share the following reflection as a gentle reminder of where our ultimate citizenship lies. -JB The tread on my tires had run low, so I was sitting at…

Five Cultural Narratives

“Do not be conformed to the culture around you…” –Romans 12:2 In a recent sermon, we explored the way Paul’s poem in Colossians 1:15-20 served, in part at least, to subvert and reshape the imaginations of the believers in Colossae who were immersed in the cultural narrative(s) and values of the Roman Empire, i.e., the Pax Romana. …

The Real Story of Saint Patrick

It’s March 17 again, and that means the international celebration of beer, shamrocks and leprechauns. When I was in grade school we maybe painted a shamrock and called it good. Today schools seem to spend almost the entire week learning about leprechauns and pots of gold on the other sides of rainbows, making “leprechaun traps”…

Taking A Knee for Black History Month

In honor of Black History month, I want to share a piece I wrote last fall in the midst of all the NFL players taking a knee, but did not publish out of fear of ruffing some feathers. But sometimes feathers need to be gently ruffled. Sometimes we need to have our eyes opened and…

Church & Politics: A Jesus-Shaped Approach

“Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” -Jesus My politics actually haven’t changed all that much over the years. When I go to the polls every two or four years to give “caesar” my opinion on how best to run this particular “kingdom of the world” called America, I still…

Don’t Let Fear Win

“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” -Ghandi “Have a safe trip!” we say as they drive out of the driveway. “Safe travels!” we say as we drop them off at the airport. “HAVE A SAFE SUMMER,” the school sign reads as kids leave for summer break. Such commonplace…

My Annual Halloween Rant

The cute little ghosts and goblins, witches and vampires knocking on your darkened door with disappointment that you’re not home are NOT the evil we should be placing in the crosshairs of our spiritual warfare offensives.  Doesn’t the Bible itself warn us that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”?  So, why do some Christians get so bent out of shape over these cute children disguised as angels of darkness?

Social Media & The Sermon on the Mount

WWJT? “What would Jesus Tweet?”  I’ve been asking this question this week as I watch people wax bombastic on their Facebook pages or Twitter feeds. There’s a lot of shouting past one another and very little listening (not to mention loving). Strong opinions abound while grace and civility are in short supply. So, how might…