Like a Mustard Seed

I was in a pew with in the Kensington Community Church, United Church of Christ, with our San Diego family last Sunday. The preacher, the Rev. Darryl Kistler, reminded us that Jesus talked a lot about the Kingdom of God and that whenever he was asked about the Kingdom, when it was coming and what […]

For Mine Eyes Have Seen Thy Salvation

Late last Wednesday night something happened in Cleveland that no one has witnessed for 108 years. Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant fielded a soft ground ball and threw to Anthony Rizzo at first base for the final out of the seventh game of the 2016 World Series. The Cubs won. The Chicago Cubs are the […]

The Unconscious Revolutionary

It was Confirmation day at our church last Sunday. Twenty-two 8th graders sat in the front pews, stood up and answered some questions about their faith and promised to be faithful members of the congregation and of the church wherever they go in the future, and knelt as the minister and Elders laid hands on […]

Humble and Riding on a Donkey

If there is anything better than a large group of children of all ages on Palm Sunday, marching down the center aisle of the church waving palm branches while the congregation sings the great Palm Sunday hymn, “All Glory, laud and Honor To Thee Redeemer King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas […]

Dangerous Words

One of the most vexing and sobering historical questions is how, in the 1920’s and 30’s, a nation and culture that produced sublime poetry and music (Goethe and Bach), important philosophers (Hegel and Nietzsche), and elegant theology (Luther and Bultmann), evolved into a murderous, racist, militaristic dictatorship. Much has been written about the anomaly of […]

People of the Book

I am disappointed at the way Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, one of the leading Evangelical Christian colleges in the country, is dealing with Political Science Professor Larycia Hawkins. Hawkins announced on Facebook that she was wearing a Hijab during Advent to show solidarity with Muslim sisters and brothers. She went on to explain that Muslims […]

Fear Not

Every day, it seems, Donald Trump says something outrageous, offensive, down right mean and frequently contrary to the very highest and noblest values upon which the United States of America is founded. And every day his poll numbers rise. What in the world is going on? Pundits are scratching their heads. Republican Party leaders are […]

A Change of Heart and Mind: Thoughts on Mass Incarceration in America

At the heart of what we believe are two fundamental ideas that have huge social, political, economic as well as personal implications: imago Dei and metanoia. That every human being bears the image of the Creator, and is valued and loved by God surely means that human beings have social responsibilities to and for one […]

Book Recommendations from a Semi-Retired State

One of the many blessings of my semi-retired state is that I am now reading more books not directly related to preaching and the practice of ministry. I planned to read Elizabeth Johnson’s and Walter Brueggemann’s new books for my summer mental exercise. But the ratio between work and pleasure reading has wonderfully reversed itself. […]

The Power of Forgiveness

Even in Chicago, where there are multiple shootings every day and where little children are shot with such regularity that nobody pays much attention any longer – even in Chicago what happened at Charleston’s Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church feels uniquely and unspeakably evil. Nine people, African Americans, attending a Wednesday evening Prayer Meeting, were […]