A Case for a Cruciform Justice

It seems hardly necessary to make an argument for the universally experienced suffering and injustice prevalent in the world. If pain really is God’s “megaphone to rouse a deaf world”, as C. S. Lewis argued, then the message is deafeningly clear and God might consider turning the volume down a bit. What then is the church’s appropriate response to the world’s injustice and suffering?

QUOTABLES: The Suffering God

“The theology of Bethlehem and Golgotha—that is, of the enfleshment and the cross-bearing of the divine Word—directs us from the lonely and morbid contemplation of our own real suffering to the suffering of God in solidarity with us. Because God is “with us,” our suffering, though abysmally real, is given both a new perspective and…

Sermon: ‘Faces Downcast’ to ‘Eyes Opened’

Sitting around that table the hidden face of God suddenly becomes visible. The stranger becomes a dear friend. The empty hole in our heart is suddenly filled. The darkness is vanquished by piercing light. Hope is resurrected to dance a jig on the corpse of Despair. At that table the lump in our throat is replaced by an irresistible burning in our heart.

The Most Powerful Force of All

“I always tell my kids that while most people in the world just want to kill and get rid of the bad guys, Jesus wants to change bad guys into good guys. While guns have the power to kill bad guys, only love moves us toward an enemy with the compassion and hope for transformation. A gun or nuclear warhead can destroy our enemy, but only love has the potential to transform an enemy into a friend.”

Going Green 5: Thorns and Thistles

Keri and I were out in the yard doing some spring raking a while back. Keri had made some piles of leaves and weeds, and I was coming around behind her to bag them up. I was in for a painful surprise when I grabbed a pile of leaves with my bare hands only to…

When Darkness Wins a Battle, We Still Win the War

Suicide is an all too common thing these days — especially among adolescents and younger adults. I thought I’d repost an older piece for a Christian perspective on such tragedies. Some of these words also give perspective on the evil of recent events. -JB The forces of darkness are always around us.  Most of the time, if we’re fortunate, the…

ESSAY: A Theology of Suffering (2001)

This essay was my first attempt in college at grappling with the issues related to Theodicy, that is, the problem of reconciling the existence of an all-powerful, all-good God with the presence of evil and suffering in the world.  Like many, my first exposure to this issue led me to the more traditional view influenced…

Mourning Story

I want to share an incredibly powerful and innovative new ministry vision. Meet my friend and former colleague, Mike Lotzer, and his thoughtful new ministry venture Mourning Story. I encourage especially pastors who are ministering to people nearing the end of life to consider this powerful way to share the gospel at your next funeral. Can you…