One of the most interesting books I read this past year was Peter Leithart’s Delivered from the Elements of the World: Atonement, Justification, Mission (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016). Leithart skillfully integrates insights from a variety of disciplines to present a compelling, and profoundly biblical, vision of Christian reality.
Here’s a key quote from the book that powerfully spells out the profound theological reality that the church celebrates at Christmas. Continue reading The Word Became Flesh
A Guest Post by Paul Johansen
This is the seventeenth in a series of posts engaging with the sermons in Leaps of Faith: Sermons from the Edge. This post is a reflection upon a Christmas Eve sermon entitled “When a Hallmark Christmas Isn’t Good Enough” (pp. 78-84). The Scriptural text for the sermon was Luke 2:1-20. Continue reading When a Hallmark Christmas Isn’t Good Enough
Congratulations to Fleming Rutledge, whose book The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ has been named “Book of the Year” by Christianity Today. The full article can be read here.
After publishing several powerful collections of sermons and having faithfully served the cause of the Gospel for many years in pulpits both within her own Episcopal Church and across the ecumenical spectrum, it is wonderful to see her magnum opus receiving this kind of well-deserved recognition. Continue reading Book of the Year
“Sentimentality, not atheism, is the deepest enemy of the Christian faith,” the theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas has averred on numerous occasions. (This particular formulation is from Approaching the End (2013), 88.) Perhaps no time of year is as fraught with the danger of sentimentality for Christians as is Christmas. However, this seemingly owes more to the cultural observation of Christmas returning to its pagan roots in the winter festival of Saturnalia, then it does to the story of the Nativity. Continue reading An Unsentimental Christmas
The Lutheran theologian Robert Jenson once published a delightful collection of theological conversations he had with his eight-year old granddaughter, entitled, Conversations with Poppi about God. While I may lack Jenson’s great erudition, my five-year old daughter certainly has no problem supplying the type of questions and comments that make for “book-worthy” theological conversation. (See, for example her question in the Advent sermon previously posted.) Her most recent question was raised the other day as we were driving home from a church Christmas event. Continue reading A Christmas Conundrum
“Before you ever thought of seeking out God to ask for God’s love, God sought you out and acted in self-giving love for you. Before you even considered choosing Christ and making a decision for him, Christ chose you and made a decision for you. Before you even heard about opening yourself to the freeing and renewing work of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit has already been at work in your life and in the world around you. Before it occurred to you to ask for your own and the world’s salvation, Continue reading A Quote for Christmas