Recordings of the sessions from the recent Zoom forum on the theme “The Church Post Pandemic” hosted by the Biblical and Theological Studies Department at Providence Theological Seminary are now available on YouTube. These include excellent presentations from my colleagues Lissa Wray Beal and Joshua Coutts and three Southern Manitoba pastors. Alongside of these presentations is my paper that draws upon the work of St. Augustine of Hippo as a resource for understanding ourselves, our world, the identity of the church, and the vocation of pastors in the time of the COVID pandemic.
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→
Michael Gorman, a New Testament scholar whose work I have found to be both insightful and refreshing, has recently published a fictional letter from the Apostle Paul to Christians in the United States in the Christian Century. I heard Gorman present an earlier version of this letter during an address at a theological conference at Northeastern University in Rochester, NY, a couple of years ago, which was subsequently published in the Canadian Theological Review. It is well worth the read. I will be incorporating it into my upcoming Christian Ethics course. You can access it here.
It was able to share an enjoyable evening last night with an engaged group of people at the McNally Robinson bookstore in Winnipeg. One of the things I was attempting to do in my lecture was to recover the eschatological character of the Christian faith, bound up as it is with the coming of Messiah and the pouring out of the promised Spirit. The irruption of the eschaton introduces the distinction between church and world, which is clearly elucidated by Hauerwas and Willimon in the following quote which appeared in my lecture: Continue reading It’s Still the End of the World!→