Graven Images

It was the kind of thing that was bound to get them crawling out of the woodwork. There is a certain type of Christian that just cannot resist embarking on a Crusade when anything that vaguely resembles a “just” cause presents itself. When Comino Carvallo intended to display his sculpture – a life-sized, anatomically correct [...]

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Miserable Worm Theology and the Light of the World

I call it Miserable Worm Theology. Its creed goes something like this: I am a miserable worm. My heart is completely bad. Even when I want to do good, I cannot because every inclination of my being is towards evil. God shouldn’t even look at me. I am unworthy. I understand why God wants to [...]

Dealing With the Problem of Sin

Metaphors matter. The ways that we understand ourselves and our place in the world are firmly grounded in the pictures we design to represent key abstract principles. Plainly speaking, in order to make sense of an overwhelming universe, in an attempt to create order out of the chaos, we tell stories, we develop languages, we [...]

What It Means To Be The Light of the World

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” L. R. Knost   I have been accused of [...]

Not Singing From the Same Songsheet

I hate going to live music concerts. I know that in terms of popular culture this is the equivalent of being a leper, but I have made my peace with it. The reason I hate them is because my reasons for attending them are not always in sync with the reasons driving the adoring masses, [...]

A Kingdom Without Walls

People like walls. Walls make people feel safe. People have formed the impression that by keeping Them out, letting Them be with Their own kind, and by keeping Us sheltered inside, everybody can live in peace and harmony. As long as everybody stays on their own side of the wall, everything will be okay. Unfortunately, [...]

One Big Happy Family?

Picture, for a moment, a hypothetical, completely dysfunctional family. The son’s academic performance is poor and he has become rebellious at school. The daughter’s devotion to her work borders on the obsessive and – although very few of her classmates know it – she cuts herself compulsively. Dad demands perfection from his children. For him, [...]

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life

The reason I get passionate about theology is because it matters. Not because of any eternal consequences, but because theology determines how we treat others in the here and now. If our picture of God is of an angry and violent brute, we tend to become violent and brutish ourselves. And it so happens that [...]

How To Read The Bible

If you read the Bible and find comfort there, then I suspect you are not reading the Bible properly. Almost certainly, you have not fully understood what you are reading. The various texts that comprise the Bible were penned for a lot of different reasons: to preserve the history of a people, and to tell the stories [...]

Of Goldfish and the Gospel

Goldfish seemed like a good idea at the time. Somehow these things always do. After all, Nathan (my almost five-year old son) could learn about responsibility and develop empathy by having to care for other creatures that would be dependent on him. And all the experts on child-rearing seemed to think it was an imperative. [...]