I came across this excerpt from the writings of Malcolm Muggeridge on Thursday. It seemed particularly timely in light of the attention given by the media over the past few days to the events in the United States surrounding the Presidential Inauguration. Muggeridge writes: Continue reading In the Shadow of the Inauguration
The following reflection was originally posted earlier today on the website of Amberlea Presbyterian Church.
I imagine that there are many bleary-eyed Americans arriving at their places of work this morning. I am simply an interested observer in Canada, yet I found myself up into the wee hours of the morning unable to pry myself away from the television coverage of the final stages of what has been an extremely divisive, and often ugly, presidential campaign. This morning there is extra spring in the steps of many our neighbours to the South who are elated with the surprising election results. Others, for whom the election did not go as planned, find themselves in a place of sheer despondency. While it’s understandable that the candidates and those who have worked so hard to support them would feel such emotions, I would suggest that this should not be the case for Christians. Continue reading The Morning After
After months and months of campaigning the United States presidential campaign has finally come to an end. Millions both within and beyond the borders of the United States now wait with bated breath for the results to come in. While others are finally able to breathe a sigh of relief at the prospect of no longer having to endure the 24-hour news cycle filled with prickly pundits and surly syndicates attempting to yell over top of one another. Sadly, the presidential election campaign is indirectly responsible for what has become by far my most read blog post, in which I questioned journalist, author and former VeggieTales writer Eric Metaxas’ appropriation of the life and legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Continue reading The Ruler of the World Has Not Changed
As the dust settles following last Monday’s initial United States Presidential debate, I took the opportunity yesterday to preach on the question of “What does it mean to tell the truth?” I suggested that for Christians telling the truth is inseparable from becoming truthful people, as we find ourselves caught up by the Spirit in the life of Jesus, who is the Truth. For this reason, the Christian tradition has held a special place for the martyrs. The martyrs are those who have borne witness to the truth at the cost of their lives. Although I didn’t explicitly make the connection, a member of the congregation observed that the sermon implicitly contrasted the richness of the faithful witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Maximilian Kolbe with the poverty of the two presidential candidates. Continue reading The Truth Will Set You Free
When people discover that I have written a book on the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, they often ask me what I think of the popular biography written by Eric Metaxas. My standard answer runs something like this: “Well, Metaxas is certainly an engaging writer. However, he does seem to be in over his head when it comes to understanding the politics of the Church Struggle in Germany and the finer points of Bonhoeffer’s theology. That being said, he has done a great service for the church in helping to make Dietrich Bonhoeffer more widely known.” Usually, this is all the person is looking for. However, if I were to go into more depth I would comment, among other things, upon Metaxas’s failure to understand the centrality of Bonhoeffer’s peace ethic to his theology, his lack of engagement with Bonhoeffer’s prison letters, and his tendency to portray Bonhoeffer in the terms of right-wing American evangelicalism. Some recent public comments by Eric Metaxas have led me to believe that I have perhaps been far too generous in my assessment of Metaxas’s reading of Bonhoeffer up to this point. Continue reading “What Would Bonhoeffer Do?”: Metaxas’s Misappropriation
The following is the text of a sermon I preached this past Sunday as a guest speaker at Toronto Chinese Alliance Church. The congregation has been working its way through a sermon series on the book of Judges. I was assigned the daunting task of preaching on the Samson story (Judges 13-16).
For the past week, my thoughts have been preoccupied by a single figure. A blustery and boisterous man, noted for his both his crudity and his cruelty. A man whose track record of troubled relationships with women is well-known. A man who is thought to stand as a paragon of strength and power, despite the strange coif of hair on his head. A bully, who always seems to be the last man standing. A man seemingly tasked with the responsibility of making his nation great again. Continue reading A Matter of Life and Death: A Samson Sermon