Not the Gospel

Last week our kids took the dogs for a walk (bless them). Along the way they encountered a couple of friendly folks handing out free fire insurance and a ticket to heaven, otherwise known as a “gospel tract.” You know what I mean. Maybe you’ve had someone stop by your house with a “gospel tract,” …

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Fifteen Lessons I Learned (or Learned Again) in Teaching on the Cross this Lent

Through Lent this year I taught a Bible study on “The Meaning of the Cross.” We packed a lot into four weeks! We talked about crucifixion in the ancient world and the specific circumstances surrounding Jesus’ execution on a Roman cross. We talked about the theological puzzle this created for the early Christians (“Christ crucified …

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Does Jesus’ “Temple Tantrum” Negate Pacifism and Nonviolence?

It’s probably the story most people turn to when they want to throw a wrench in the gears of pacifism. “Jesus advocated nonviolence, you say? Well, what about when he flipped over tables and drove the moneychangers from the temple? Sounds pretty violent to me!” Indeed it does. And, to be sure, this story, found …

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Jesus and Hell

I preach the good news of Jesus, including Jesus’ way of radical, nonviolent love. As one might expect, I get some pushback on this. “What about sin?” I hear frequently. “What about God’s judgment?” “What about God’s wrath?” “What about hell?” Yes, what about hell? After all, Jesus mentions hell more than anyone else in …

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Politics and Power, the Jesus Way

Politics. I saw you cringe. It’s one of those topics not fit for polite conversation. It may be entertaining for some, intensely interesting for others, but for many it’s one of those “change the subject” kind of subjects. But politics are everywhere. There are politics any time we humans organize ourselves in order to make decisions for …

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Jesus Was a Peacenik After All

This past weekend I hosted my seminar on Jesus in history called, “Was Jesus Married? …and other awkward questions.” (The answer to that one, by the way, was, “Almost certainly not—though it is not historically impossible, and shouldn’t be theologically problematic.” Can you say, “can of worms”?) But one of those other “awkward questions” was …

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