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Does the 21st century nation state of Peru play an essential role in salvation history? Short answer: Of course not. God loves Peruvians! But Peru the cultural/political body is not critical to the plan redemption. So why do many American Christians suspect that the US, as a nation (or a cultural dimension of the nation), is a divinely ordained act…
 
How do I, as a white, well-educated, heterosexual, Protestant, cis male, who would never knowingly sanction racism of any sort, reflect on "systemic racism"? For those of us who try hard to so very hard to be good people (defined in no small part by being not-racist!), the phrase can spark a reflexive defensiveness ("Not me!"). Yet the enduring eff…
 
Hope is the belief that things can change for the better. And it is the question the gospel persistently sets before us: Are we naive in thinking that meaningful transformation is possible? And more naive still to believe that love is the means by which such transformation truly occurs? These questions of hope, love and change are especially pressi…
 
"How does one appease a deity? Gain a favor? Avert a curse?" Such questions stood at the center of Ancient Near Eastern religion (and of many cultures since...). And thus great effort has been dedicated to rituals and ceremonies and strict adherence to divine instructions. So what does the God of Israel want from his people? What are our instructio…
 
As those called to share in God's project of restoration, justice is at the heart of our work. But what does the Bible mean by "justice"? The term easily conjures feelings and images not shalom (peace), but punishment - that divine justice is defined by the reward of the righteous and the proper condemnation of the wicked. (This is where much of th…
 
Essential to the life of faith is recognizing that hope is rooted in reality, in what is actually possible. The gospel has no room for fairy tales or wishful thinking, only for what can be accomplished in this time and place. And thus the work of maturity is to expand our vision for what is possible with God (short answer: healing, peace and restor…
 
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