Christmas Lights 2: Flipping the Switch

From the DI archives. -JB In part 1 of my “Christmas Lights” series I explored the Ongoing Epic of God and His Flickering Lights. The Bible tells the story a humanity “unplugged” from the life of God by sin, and how Jesus came to earth to reconnect us to God by dying on the cross…

Christmas Lights 1: The Saga of God’s Flickering Lights

From the DI archives. -JB There is a scene in the classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase) is ready to show off his creativity and hard put into decorating the house with thousands of lights. After the drum roll he plugs in his precious lights only to find….nothing. They refuse to shine….

“It’s Good to See You!”

I wanted to share one other encounter in the nursing home chapel this past week. As I went around shaking hands, I tried to make eye contact and said things like, “God bless you!” or “Have a Merry Christmas!” One gentlemen sat expressionless in his wheel chair, waiting for his turn to be pushed back…

Cross, Atonement & Paul Peter Waldenstrom

“Oh! How dear and precious to your heart you will find God to be when you thus behold him in Christ. Because in Christ you have the true manifestation of him.” P. P. Waldenstrom (1838-1917), Swedish Covenant Pastor & Theologian I’ve been exploring the meaning of Jesus’ death and atonement theology recently. We just watched…

God’s ‘Man-centered’ Gospel & Glory

Human beings glorify God not by curling up in a helpless, hopelessly depraved blob just relieved that God is great enough for the both of us. Rather, God is most glorified in us when we, God’s image-bearers in the world, are living most in tune with God’s purposes for our lives, utilizing our God-given gifts and passions, flourishing in our God-directed pursuits, and accomplishing great things in the name of God and for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. 

Immigration Reform & the Tower of Babel

I wrote this piece 10 years ago! In light of the latest DACA decision and ongoing conversation, I want to repost this today. As a pastor I do not believe its my place to tell folks how to vote on complex political issues, but I am called to help folks think biblically about such matters….

Imagine a World: Treasure Seekers (Matt 13:44-46)

We gathered at the beach for our annual baptism service and potluck. Always a highlight to preach in the open air with the lapping waves and morning breeze coming off of Lake Minnetonka. I resisted making mention (this time!) that just a few hundred yards down the shoreline Bill Bright housed the Campus Crusade headquarters…

Ekklesia: A Radical Social Experiment

My heart breaks for our country and world today. Racial inequality, deep seated mistrust, increasing violence and boiling hatred fill our headlines daily. I write this in the aftermath of the horrific white nationalist rally and car crash in Charlottesville. Followers of Jesus must denounce such evils clearly and in the strongest terms. (Read  statement from…