“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…

Loosening the Helmet: Narrative & Communal Dimensions of Salvation

In this essay from 2004, I seek to expand our understanding of salvation emphasizing the significant roles of both narrative and community in one’s conversion. Many years ago, seemingly in a different life,  I found myself on a bus full of zealous Christians headed to a San Diego music festival to pass out gospel tracts on the street corner. Only after…

Move the Stone, Come Out & Be Unwrapped

I’ve been studying the raising of Lazarus recently. I love how a closer examination of a very familiar passage can reveal new spiritual truths. Here are a few little insights I’ve gleaned. First, this story is full of deep emotions and coated with tears, grief, loss and longing. Just think of the last funeral visitation you…