I’ve had the privilege of spending this week with the Doctor of Ministry cohort at Providence Theological Seminary leading them a week-long intensive course entitled “Thinking and Interpreting Theologically.” While not large in size, the members of the cohort manage to represent both coasts of Canada, the province of Manitoba, and the country of Nigeria. Continue reading The Meaning of a Sermon: Some Wisdom from Flannery O’Connor
“Who are the mourners?
The mourners are those who have heard the good news of God’s good future and weep because it is not yet, still sadly not yet. Their eyes have caught a glimpse of God’s future, and their eyes fill with tears because they see it challenged and contradicted in the present. Their spirits ache for the coming of the kingdom Jesus announced, the future he made present in his words of blessing and his works of healing. It is because they hope that they mourn. Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
My “Christian Ethics” course this semester is following an innovative schedule where students gather on campus for five full days spread out over the course of the semester. While having three weeks between classes may impact upon continuity and classroom dynamics, it does present the opportunity to have students engage with significant works in preparation for each class. My students are currently in the midst of reading Norman Wirzba’s From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving the World. Wirzba, who teaches at Duke, is one of the leading voices working at the intersection of theology and ecology. While there is much to commend in the book, I was particularly taken by the following passage describing what Wirzba refers to as “iconic seeing”: Continue reading Iconic Perception
Alan Jacobs, an influential Christian public intellectual who teaches at Baylor University, has published an important piece that traces the morphing of the word “evangelical” in public discourse. He describes how the term that once referred to a vital, denomination-crossing, renewing impulse within Protestant Christianity has now in the public imagination come to refer to a political and social movement characterized by nationalistic sentiments and a vague religiosity. Continue reading The “Evangelical” Crisis
One of the more prominent homiletical metaphors that is operative in the imaginations of preachers of many different stripes and backgrounds is that of the preacher as a bridge-builder between the ancient world of Scripture and our current cultural moment. Through careful rhetorical engineering, the preacher is able to construct a bridge that is capable of carrying the biblical freight across the chasm of the ages, in the process demonstrating its relevance for today. Continue reading The Preacher as Bridge-Builder: A Misguided Metaphor
Upon returning from holidays last week, I found myself thrust back into a series of meetings and obligations. As things settle down, I hope to catch up on a few posts that I have had in mind. This past Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at First Presbyterian Church in Kenora. While some significant challenges lay before the city of Kenora, it is a beautiful spot and home to my family’s favourite town mascot/statue: Husky the Muskie! This morning, in the wake of Tullian Tchividjian’s announcement that he was starting a new church, I talked with Alissa Moffit at CHVN 95.1 FM in Winnipeg about the potential of pastors being restored to ministry after abusing their authority. You can read excerpts from the interview here.