Mixed-Race Kids, the Church, and the Blessing of Manasseh and Ephraim

  Genesis has long been at the center of Jewish and Christian reflection on what it means to be the people of God.  In the Christian tradition, much has been written about God’s declaration that he made man and woman in his image such that all people deserve to be treated with the dignity.  The … More Mixed-Race Kids, the Church, and the Blessing of Manasseh and Ephraim

The Slave, the Foreigner, and the Compassion of Israel

photo credit In the providence of God, he allowed his people to experience an extended period of slavery. This slavery was no passing trial to be endured and forgotten. It marked them and undergirded their ethical reasoning. God called upon his people to remember: Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels … More The Slave, the Foreigner, and the Compassion of Israel

The New Testament and Public Criticism of Politicians

  In the wake of the recent election, I have seen many Christians quote the biblical command to respect authority and pray for the leaders that God has placed over us. Two texts have been prominent in this admonition: Romans 13:1–3 and 1 Timothy 2:1–2. They read: Let every person be subject to the governing … More The New Testament and Public Criticism of Politicians

Alton Sterling, a Son’s Tears, and Psalm 137: A Lament

  By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept –Psalm 137:1 What does it look like to reach the breaking point of orthodoxy?  What does it look like to arrive at the place where the desire for reconciliation gives way to anger and resentment?  It looks like a fifteen-year-old boy weeping uncontrollably over … More Alton Sterling, a Son’s Tears, and Psalm 137: A Lament

Jesus is my Protest (or why I lowered my fist and raised the cross)

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.­ –John 12:32 Long before Freddie Gray lingered between life and death in a Baltimore hospital, with an as yet unexplained broken back, I knew America to be the same, broken and inexplicable. I understood as much when, as an … More Jesus is my Protest (or why I lowered my fist and raised the cross)

Thoughts on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Part IV: What does it mean to follow Jesus?

When standing alongside a dirt road in the wilderness areas of Galilee, Jesus’ command to follow him takes on a certain practicality (see the picture above). It involved actually following Jesus as he walked along the way. If one had decided to follow Jesus you would have heard parables about God’s coming kingdom as you … More Thoughts on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Part IV: What does it mean to follow Jesus?