All posts by Robert Dean

A Sermon for Trinity Sunday

I preached on Trinity Sunday (June 12) at Prairie Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg, MB.  Below is the text of my sermon on the lectionary texts:  Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8Romans 5:1-5John 16:12-15. Continue reading A Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Pope Benedict on the Innermost Simplicity of Christianity

“Here we have reached a point at which the innermost unity and simplicity of Christianity show themselves for what they are.  I may declare that the heart of Christianity is the Paschal mystery of death and resurrection.  Or I may say that this midpoint really consists in justification by faith.  Or, again, I may affirm that the center of it all is the triune God, and therefore, love as the alpha and omega of the world.  These three statements are, in fact, identical.  In all three the self-same truth is indicated: sharing in the martyria of Jesus by that dying which is faith and love.  Such faith and love are simultaneously God’s acceptance of my life and my will to embrace the divine acceptance.  And all this is from the God who can be love only as the triune God and who, in thus being love, makes the world bearable after all.”

  •  Joseph Ratzinger, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1988), 100.

Cultural Encounters: Apocalypse Now and Not Yet – Leaving No One Behind

I have an essay entitled, “Reclaiming an Eschatological Imagination: A Dogmatic Sketch” appearing in the most recent issue of Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture on the theme “Apocalypse Now and Not Yet.”  Friends and former students will know that I have been teaching and lecturing on these themes going all the way back to my comprehensive examination on Apocalyptic Eschatology written years ago under the supervision of Joseph Mangina.  You can access a preview of the issue, which includes the first few pages of my essay here.  The issue also includes an essay by Rodney Clapp entitled, “Apocalyptic Hope in a World Consumed by Apocalypse” and an essay by John Morehead called “The Truth is Out There” on extraterrestrial salvation.

“Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid”

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt offers an insightful diagnosis of the divisions and stunted intellectual discourse that have characterized American public life in recent years in his essay “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” appearing in The Atlantic.  It is a longer read, but it does reward those who put in the time.  (For that matter, there is also an audible version of the article available on The Atlantic’s website.  I was able to listen to the essay while driving today.)  Haidt compares the fallout of developments such as the “share” and “like” buttons in Facebook and Twitter to the splintering of the ancient peoples into different language groups at the Tower of Babel.  There is much to ponder here for those of us who reside in Canada, who face similar, but not identical social dynamics.  Russell Moore, the former SBC ethicist, reflects upon Haidt’s piece in a column, “Fragmentation is Not What’s Killing Us.”  Moore agrees that there is much to learn from Haidt’s analysis, but suggests that a theological reading of the Tower of Babel story might suggest a different framing of the problem and understanding of the solution than Haidt proposes.  For my part I could not help but think of Stanley Hauerwas’s important essay “The Church as God’s New Language,” which juxtaposes Babel with the Spirit’s animating of the Church at Pentecost.