The Politics of Preaching

Yesterday I received the electronic issue of Didaskalia‘s forthcoming issue on the theme of political theology.  From scanning the table of contents, it looks like it could be quite an interesting issue.  It includes engagements by established and emerging Canadian theologians with Žižek, Barth, Bonhoeffer, Cavanaugh, and Newbigin, among others.  Appearing in the issue is my essay, “Unapologetically (A)Political: Stanley Hauerwas and the Practice of Preaching.”  Rather than summarize my own work, here’s how the editor of the issue, H.C. Hillier, introduces my essay in his preface to the issue: Continue reading The Politics of Preaching

Upcoming Public Lecture on Climate Change

For those in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), Tyndale University College and Seminary is hosting what promises to be an interesting public lecture on the subject of climate change by leading climatologist Katharine Hayhoe.  Hayhoe, a self-identified evangelical Christian, was recently named to Time Magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People.”  The title of her talk is:  “A Climate for Change:  Paris and Beyond – A Christian Response to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.”

The event is this coming Saturday, January 16 beginning at 6:00 pm.  More information about the event and about purchasing tickets can be found here.

Persuasion vs. Proclamation

Picture of a TrainIn his posthumously published collection of lectures, Theology of Mission, John Howard Yoder introduces an interesting analogy to differentiate between communication that is truly evangelical, as opposed to that which is simply manipulative.  The former, which he describes as proclamation, begins from a theological starting point.  The latter, which he describes as persuasion, starts from an anthropological starting point.  Yoder introduces the analogy of a train compared to a taxi in an attempt to introduce the difference between these two modes of speech.  As someone raised on the music of Johnny Cash, I’m probably partial to the suggestion that “the kingdom is more like a train,” but I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.  Here’s the quote: Continue reading Persuasion vs. Proclamation

“The Believer’s Life as Mission”

“Paul generally does not urge his readers to proclaim the gospel to their neighbors, nor to go to the ends of the earth with the saving message of Christ. Rather, he urges them and commands them to live a life of holiness, to walk worthily of their calling, to demonstrate in loving and harmonious unity the new powers which have entered into the world in Christ, to demonstrate through victorious living the present victory of Christ over the powers of evil. It has been suggested that the reason why Paul does not urge his readers to a life of verbal witness is primarily because the early churches were not deficient in this respect. Though this is possible, it should be emphasized that what Paul is really doing in his letters is stressing the significance and importance of the believer’s life as mission.” – Edwin Roels, God’s Mission: The Epistle to the Ephesians in Mission Perspective (Franeker: T. Wever, 1962), 57, quoted in John Howard Yoder, Theology of Mission: A Believer’s Church Perspective, ed. Gayle Gerber Koontz and Andy Alexis-Baker (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2014),  103.

An Interesting Juxtaposition

“I’m afraid to say, but I must say it . . . I think mPicture of Lewis and Tolkien Booksuch of [C.S.] Lewis’s attraction to the Protestant evangelical world lies in his individualism.”

This assessment was offered by Ralph Wood, Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University, in a lecture delivered in Toronto in 2004 which compared the writings and sensibilities of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I had the opportunity to re-listen to the lecture this morning. Continue reading An Interesting Juxtaposition

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