Category Archives: Quotes

Atonement and the Ordinary

Last year, I read Julie Canlis’ wonderful, little book A Theology of the Ordinary (2d, ed.;Godspeed Press, 2018). The book emerged from the author’s “extended meditation on this cultural obsession with greatness and being ‘impactful'” (2). Canlis ponders whether “our culture’s emphasis on supercharged emotions and measurable success blinded us to Romans 12 and the fact that our ordinary lives are our ‘spiritual act of worship'” (3)? In the rest of the book she precedes to sketch out a brief “theology of the ordinary” organized around the themes of creation, redemption, and new creation.

Continue reading Atonement and the Ordinary

On Pilgrimage

A short quote from Jim Forest’s devotional book, Pilgrimage as a Way of Life (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2007):

“You can walk to some great shrine on a journey that takes weeks or months and fail to become a pilgrim.  Walking a pilgrimage route, wearing a pilgrim’s badge, and sleeping in pilgrim’s hostels, are not what make a pilgrim.  Pilgrimage is more an attitude than an act.1  If all you are seeking is exercise, diversion, or a deed that will slim your body or impress your friends, you might be happier racking up miles on an exercise cycle at the local gym.  Pilgrimage is a conscious act of seeking a more vital awareness of God’s living presence.  As was said in medieval times, ‘If you do not travel with the King whom you seek, you will not find him at the end of your journey.’”

  1. I would be inclined to say that pilgrimage involves both the activity and the disposition.

The Theological Task Today

In preparation for an upcoming paper I will be delivering at the annual conference of the Canadian American Theological Association entitled, “Reimagining Ethical Preaching,” I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in Garrett Green’s insightful work on imagination. Here is a particularly rich passage from his recent book Imagining Theology: Continue reading The Theological Task Today

Calvin on Faith and Hope

“For if faith, as has been said above, is a sure persuasion of the truth of God – that it can neither lie to us, nor deceive us, nor become void – then those who have grasped this certainty assuredly expect the time to come when God will fulfill his promises, which they are persuaded cannot but be true.  Accordingly, in brief, hope is nothing else than the expectation of those things which faith has believed to have been truly promised by God.  Continue reading Calvin on Faith and Hope

Root on Transformation vs. Change

“Modernity,” according to Root, “is the constant process of speeding things up.”1  Under the accelerating forces of modernity, human beings and communities are constantly scrambling to keep up with the rapid rate of change, leading to increasing levels of anxiety and depression.  Root illuminatingly contrasts change with transformation: Continue reading Root on Transformation vs. Change

  1. Andrew Root, The Church in a Secular Age: Keeping Sacred Time against the Speed of Modern Life (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2021), 14.