Preaching Luther

We are celebrating “Luther Week” at MainStreet as we honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We watched the 2003 Luther movie on Wednesday night, and we will be discussing the movie and Reformation this Wednesday night at Three Taverns. This Sunday I also spent time introducing this truly one-of-a-kind flawed heroes of the faith….

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. 

Going Green 4: God’s Junior Gardeners

You may be thinking, “Sorry, I’m not into gardening, so maybe I’ll skip this series.” Not so fast. We’re talking about something far more central to our humanity than growing vegetables and flowers. God the Creator made human begins in his divine image and likeness, and part of this likeness is our ability to join…

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…

Stanley Hauerwas & the Church as God’s New Language

An old seminary essay from 2004. I was eager to probe the writings of Hauerwas and looking for an excuse to dig into my recently purchased Ante-Nicene Fathers collection. For a 24 year old, I think I was on the right track. “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you.” (2 Corinthians 3:2…

Faith Over Feelings

Theology matters.  And we all “do theology” — whether we’re aware of it or not. Theology is “thinking about God.” The question is not whether we do theology but whether we do good or bad theology. This is why my one of my biggest passions as a pastor is trying to help people begin to think critically…

Moltmann & the Parousia: Who Exactly is Coming Again?

This academic essay explores the character of Christ’s Second Coming in light of the Jesus-shaped theology of Jurgen Moltmann.   Introduction For most of Christian history, the doctrine of the parousia of Christ (his “coming” or “effective presence”, i.e., Second Coming) in glory and judgment has been neglected and pushed to the margins of Christian theology and…

What Story are you part of? (Mike Fox)

I can only answer the question, “What am I to do?” if I can answer the prior question “Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?” – Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue My granddaughter loves to act out the stories she hears.  She is the heroine of a seemingly endless stream of mysteries,…