Taking Up the Cross

Sorry about the cold last Sunday.  Still learning about the building’s reaction to crazy Texas weather.  So our conversation was brief, but good. I shared a little (maybe a lot) about the context of Romans.  Paul is often read through the eyes of previous interpreters and, in our contemporary context, Romans is often the source of our ideas about what …

Suffering and Redemption

Because Lent is a time when we tend to talk a lot about sin, I endeavored on Sunday to explain my framework for thinking about sin.  Some folks asked for a write-up, so here it is if you’re interested. The reason this alternative view is important is that sin, in the Christian mindset, is thought to be responsible for evil, …

My Understanding of Sin

Because Lent is a time when we tend to talk a lot about sin, I endeavored on Sunday to explain my framework for thinking about sin.  It differs from things we might have heard growing up in a modern American Christian context, whether Catholic or Evangelical.  In the spirit of this church’s emphasis on questioning and conversation, I am not …

Hallowtide

Last night was good.  As has become our annual tradition, we made a lot of food and bought a lot of candy.  Good friends come over to help us eat and drink and pass out candy to thousands of kids that swarm our neighborhood.  As always, it was delightful seeing all the tiny adorable kids in their tiny adorable costumes.  …

The Freedom to Be Formed

We have just passed Juneteenth and we are quickly approaching the Fourth of July, so freedom is on our minds.  Perhaps it is always on our minds as freedom-loving Americans.  And we are a Baptist church (it’s true!), so freedom is at the heart of who we are.  However, Paul did not write in a time of freedom.  Everyone lived …

Come, Ye Sinners

I lamented in church last Sunday that I miss the altar call.  Certainly, it is damaging in a lot of ways.  However, what I like about it is it puts a person to a decision.  If Jesus is, in the words of theologian Schubert Ogden, the decisive re-presentation of God in that the words and works of Jesus put a …

Holy Week: A Meditation on Death

Next week is Holy Week, the culmination of Lent and the gateway to Eastertide.  During Holy Week, we remember the last week of Jesus’ life and the death that has come to mean so much.  Growing up in a prosperous Southern Baptist church, we didn’t do Holy Week, or even Lent, for that matter.  We talked about Palm Sunday, but …