The Impulse of Jesus

(This post originally appeared in the online publication Undoing Domination.) The central impulse at the heart of Jesus’ teachings was the proclamation of the Reign of God, or what Walter Wink called “God’s Domination-Free Order.” It was the creation of a new community, a new citizenship, built not on national, tribal, or familial bonds, but…

“I desire mercy.” Go and learn…

In describing the miracles of Jesus, John Dominic Crossan argued in his book Jesus (1989) that Jesus’ was acting “as an alternative boundary keeper in a way subversive to the established procedures of his society” (82). Jesus was not so much a miracle worker as a healer, and healing was not so much the curing of a…

Sermon Prep and Lectionary Prayers for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

For July 17, 2016 SCRIPTURE READINGS Colossians 1:15-28 Luke 10:38-42 RESPONDING TO THE TEXT The story presented in this week’s Lectionary reading will be familiar for many. The main characters, Martha and Mary, are also very familiar. While they are mentioned in several other places in the New Testament, this passage is famous for identifying Martha…

To Whom Does Your Heart Belong?

Revelation 5:1-14 At the heart of Christian worship is the belief that God is worthy of worship. What are we here after? Do you ever walk into a room or go to the store and ask yourself “Now what was I here after?” We all know that feeling, don’t we? That feeling of not being so sure…

A season of promise and the lie of a crossless grace

This is the Easter season, post Resurrection, on the other side of the cross. And while some Americans shout “Make America Great Again,” most of the American church has liturgically moved into the season of Easter promises, failing entirely to notice the significance of Easter’s cross. By the cross here, I do not mean that…

A Cosmic Revolution: The Jubilee Explosion

6“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they…

“Faith and Fratricide”: A repentant response

One of the most important books I read in seminary was by Rosemary Radford Ruether, titled Faith and Fratricide. Her approach failed to take seriously hardly any of the traditional claims about God by Jews or Christians. Nevertheless, her rebuke of the triumphalist theology of Christendom and its approach to Judaism is something I believe every seminary student…