Fleming Rutledge, in her book on the Crucifixion, breaks down the difficulty we truly have in American Christianity with the concepts of justice AND mercy.Continue reading “The difficulty of relating to justice AND mercy”
From time to time I like to look back and see what I’ve been reading and what has been challenging my thinking and my prayer life.Continue reading “Reading (and listening) Round Up”
I read or listened to 37 books this year, if I’m counting correctly. Here are a few that stood out to me. Continue reading “Reflecting on reading”
A project I began in 2018 was to read more theological and biblical studies books by women and people of color. I want to extend that in 2019.
Fill up my reading list. Who have YOU read and recommend. (I don’t want who you DIDN’T read, but wish you did.)
Part of a hidden belief (or sometimes not so hidden) in American Christianity is that somehow coming to Christ will help some situation get easier. Or better. Or the bad situation will at some point go away. What if the circumstances don’t change? Continue reading “What if the circumstances DON’T change?”
I have two main problems with Mark Batterson. Correction. I have ONE main problem with him and then I have a major problem with his current book, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God. (Now that I typed out that title, make it two main problems.) Continue reading “The journey to Troas — Listening Prayer”
Miroslav Volf and Ryan McAnnally-Linz have authored a new book called:
Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity
Their main contention is that Christian faith belongs in the public square. It’s beyond the voting booth. It is engagement and there is a goal. The goal is not to “win.” The goal is to understand the activity of the Spirit that isn’t just about our own personal “flourishing” but also about the world around us to understand what is possible in true human flourishing.
What brings “Kingdom best” to the world around us? It is about abundant life. Not just our abundant life as individuals, but the life of the world around us.
Three measurements the authors use in defining “human flourishing”:
- Leading life well. How do I conduct myself in the world? Have I received God’s gifts well? Am I living in discernment of how to use those gifts? Am I acting “well” in light of, and in spite of, circumstances around me?
- Life going well. Working for our life circumstances to be “genuinely good.” Life going well depends on circumstances beyond our control. Our upbringing, our general health, the economic and political stability/instability of our country, etc. In Jesus’ day, he lived in a place where for a lot of people life wasn’t “going well,” so he delivered Kingdom power (healing, deliverance, etc.) into their lives so it had opportunity to “go well.” It is the understanding that we don’t minister to the “spirit” alone. We need to establish physical space of “going well” so physical needs aren’t huge obstacles.
- Life feeling good. There is an emotional component to the whole picture as well. The flourishing life is a life of joy. It is Paul saying no matter where he found himself, he was content.
Volf’s book is a challenge to go beyond our own spiritual “well being” to understand we can powerfully engage the world around us. We must engage the world around us. We need to do it with our own souls “being well.”
A challenge I like to bring to people from time to time is this question: “Is it well with your soul?” The deepest part of who we are can indeed be satisfied in Christ. And when that goes well, we can thoughtfully and joyfully engage our world to bring human flourishing more into a reality.