Category Archives: Reflections

“Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day” (5th Anniversary Reprint)

It has come to my attention that people have been searching for my 2013 article “Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day.”  The article was originally published in Volume 5 (November 2013) of the online journal Missio Dei: Tyndale Seminary’s Journal of Missional Christianity.  The essay was by far and away the most commented upon article to appear in the journal.  It appears that the online journal is no longer active, so I have decided to make the article available here. Continue reading “Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day” (5th Anniversary Reprint)

Responding to “A Plea for Pointless Preaching” – A Guest Post by Lissa Wray Beal

On Thursday, November 1, a surprisingly large and energetic group of pastors, professors, seminary students, and college students gathered at Providence to hear and engage in conversation surrounding my paper, “A Plea for Pointless Preaching.”  The paper was an abbreviated version of an essay that I wrote for Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections.  In the essay, I suggest that the work of “two Stanleys” – the evangelical mega-church pastor Andy Stanley and the theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas – present two contrasting homiletical paths open to preachers today.  Since that volume will soon be appearing in print, I will not be reproducing the essay here.  However, my colleague Lissa Wray Beal, who served as the respondent to the paper, has graciously allowed me to publish her insightful engagement with the essay here on the blog. Continue reading Responding to “A Plea for Pointless Preaching” – A Guest Post by Lissa Wray Beal

Bonhoeffer and the Canadian “Values Test”

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Olivia Lavallee, a student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s views on church and state for an article she was writing about the controversial “Attestation” required by the Canadian federal government on summer grant applications.  You can read the full article here.

Salvation by Allegiance Alone – Chapter 3

This is the fourth in a series of posts engaging with Matthew Bates’s Salvation by Allegiance Alone.  The earlier posts can be read here:  first, second, third.

In chapter 3, “Jesus Proclaims the Gospel,” Bates turns to confronting a longstanding problem in modern Protestant Christianity:  the reconciliation of the Letters of Paul with the Gospels.1  The writings of Paul have long been a haven for certain forms of Lutheranism and conservative evangelicalism espousing the centrality of a particular understanding of justification by faith.  While the Gospels have often been the playground of some liberal forms of Christianity attempting to advance a social agenda based upon ethical principles.  The irony is that in their readings of their respective canons-within-a-canon both groups have lost sight of the animating center of the canon as a whole, as well as Paul’s Letters and the Gospels in particular, namely the crucified and living Lord Jesus Christ. Continue reading Salvation by Allegiance Alone – Chapter 3

  1. Interestingly, Bonhoeffer felt the need to make a similar move in his famous treatise Discipleship.  Although, Bonhoeffer began with the Synoptic Gospels before turning his attention to Paul.

Salvation by Allegiance Alone – Chapter 2

This is the third in a series of posts engaging with Matthew Bates’s Salvation by Allegiance Alone.  The earlier posts can be read here and here.

The second chapter of Salvation by Allegiance Alone is entitled, “Loyalty and the Full Gospel.”  It could have just as easily been titled, “Your Gospel Is Too Small!” or perhaps even, “Your Gospel Is Too Small and Its Skewed in the Wrong Direction!”  These would be appropriate titles because Bates is convinced that the predominant contemporary North American understandings of the Christian faith have both truncated the scope and lost sight of the focal point of the Gospel. Continue reading Salvation by Allegiance Alone – Chapter 2