All posts by Robert Dean

“It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 2)

Below you’ll find the audio for the second part of my presentation – “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Paul, the Kingdom and Living between the Times – from the Kingdom Come conference held at Bayview Glen Alliance Church this past weekend.  Having discussed the riddle of the apparent absence of the kingdom in Paul’s writings in the first part of the talk, in this section of the presentation I begin to consider the eschatological outlook at the heart of Paul’s theology. Continue reading “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 2)

“It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 1)

I had the privilege of participating this past weekend in a conference entitled, “Kingdom Come: Awakening to a Gospel-centred Life” at Bayview Glen Alliance Church in Toronto.  Seeing so many people of varying ages and from all walks of life who were willing to give up a significant part of their weekend to reflect more seriously on what it means to live as God’s people today was itself a wonderful expression of the reality of the Kingdom.  Noted pastor, theologian and author David Fitch challenged us over the course of three presentations to reflect more deeply on the questions:  “What is the Gospel?” “When is the Kingdom?” and “How does the Kingdom Come?”  Continue reading “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”: Audio Series (Part 1)

The Morning After

The following reflection was originally posted earlier today on the website of Amberlea Presbyterian Church.

I imagine that there are many bleary-eyed Americans arriving at their places of work this morning.  I am simply an interested observer in Canada, yet I found myself up into the wee hours of the morning unable to pry myself away from the television coverage of the final stages of what has been an extremely divisive, and often ugly, presidential campaign.  This morning there is extra spring in the steps of many our neighbours to the South who are elated with the surprising election results.  Others, for whom the election did not go as planned, find themselves in a place of sheer despondency.  While it’s understandable that the candidates and those who have worked so hard to support them would feel such emotions, I would suggest that this should not be the case for Christians. Continue reading The Morning After

The Ruler of the World Has Not Changed

After months and months of campaigning the United States presidential campaign has finally come to an end. Millions both within and beyond the borders of the United States now wait with bated breath for the results to come in. While others are finally able to breathe a sigh of relief at the prospect of no longer having to endure the 24-hour news cycle filled with prickly pundits and surly syndicates attempting to yell over top of one another. Sadly, the presidential election campaign is indirectly responsible for what has become by far my most read blog post, in which I questioned journalist, author and former VeggieTales writer Eric Metaxas’ appropriation of the life and legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Continue reading The Ruler of the World Has Not Changed

Faithful Presence: Hunter, Fitch and Being Church

In his significant, ironically entitled work, To Change the World, James Davison Hunter offers the following diagnosis of the current cultural moment in which the church finds itself in the United States:

“The problem for Christians—to restate the broader issue once more—is not that their faith is weak or inadequate.  In contemporary America, Christians have faith in God and, by and large, they believe and hold fast to the central truths of the Christian tradition.  But while they have faith, they have also been formed by the larger post-Christian culture, a culture whose habits of life less and less resemble anything like the vision of human flourishing provided by the life of Christ and witness of scripture.  The problem, in other words, is that Christians have not been formed ‘in all wisdom’ that they might rise to the demands of faithfulness in such a time as ours, ‘bearing fruit in every good work.’”1 Continue reading Faithful Presence: Hunter, Fitch and Being Church

  1. James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 227.