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For September 27 (Proper 21, Year A)

Philippians 2:1-13 Years, maybe even decades, before the first Gospels were written, the earliest Christians were sharing the story of Jesus through hymns they could quickly memorize. Paul quotes one of them in this week’s reading. Here’s how it probably went as [...]

By |2020-09-24T14:43:15+00:00September 24th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 27 (Proper 21, Year A)

What Schubert Ogden Taught Me

Schubert Ogden taught me this: Some resort to God-talk so that life can have meaning in the face of all setbacks. Others (like Ogden) resort to God-talk to articulate their continuing discovery that life somehow does have meaning in the face of [...]

By |2020-09-22T13:27:01+00:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Theological Musings|Comments Off on What Schubert Ogden Taught Me

For September 20 (Proper 20, Year A)

Matthew 20:1-16 Some people have been working all day, while others show up later and later, right up to the last minute. At the end of the day their employer decides to pay everybody for a full day's work, even the latest [...]

By |2020-09-19T10:04:53+00:00September 19th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 20 (Proper 20, Year A)

For September 13 (Proper 19, Year A)

Matthew 18:21-35 Are there limits to forgiveness? No—and yes. Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who harms him. Jesus answers that he should forgive so often that he's bound to lose count (77 times, or perhaps 490 times—texts [...]

By |2020-09-12T07:54:26+00:00September 8th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 13 (Proper 19, Year A)

The Shared Creativity Response to the Problem of Evil

General observation: The problem of evil is often presented as a theoretical problem (whether “logical” or “evidential”) for theists (those who affirm the reality of God). But there is a theoretical problem of evil only where there is a consensus on exactly [...]

By |2020-09-24T10:04:23+00:00September 6th, 2020|Categories: Theological Musings|Comments Off on The Shared Creativity Response to the Problem of Evil

For September 6 (Proper 18, Year A)

Romans 13:8-14 “The one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” So says St. Paul. You can read passage after passage in the Bible, and more often than not you wind up wondering, "Just what the bleep am I supposed to do [...]

By |2020-09-05T10:39:46+00:00September 4th, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 6 (Proper 18, Year A)

A Discussion Starter on Faith

What is Faith? Here are two answers I’ve heard: 1. Faith is believing what you’ve been told, period. (“X says it. I believe it. That settles it.” For “X” you can substitute “the Bible,” “the Nicene Creed,” “the Pope,” “the Prophet in [...]

By |2020-09-03T12:54:18+00:00September 1st, 2020|Categories: Theological Musings|Comments Off on A Discussion Starter on Faith

God: All-Enlivening, All-Sustaining, All-Embracing—Not All-Controlling

For me, to believe in God is to awaken to reality as such as intimately all-enlivening, all-sustaining and all-embracing, enlivening not just me but all things, sustaining not just me but all things for as long as they continue, and embracing not [...]

By |2020-09-05T11:09:46+00:00August 29th, 2020|Categories: Theological Musings|Comments Off on God: All-Enlivening, All-Sustaining, All-Embracing—Not All-Controlling

For August 30 (Proper 17, Year A)

Exodus  3:1-15 This week’s first lesson tells the story of Moses and the burning bush. Moses interrupts his everyday life to pay attention to something utterly wondrous—in this case it's a “shrubbery” that seems to be on fire, except that it's not [...]

By |2020-08-29T13:36:08+00:00August 23rd, 2020|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 30 (Proper 17, Year A)

St. Paul on the Problem of Evil

[I wrote an earlier version of this, “Groaning Towards Compassion,” in 2005. It’s helpful to know that when I first wrote this I was experiencing a level of grief more intense than any I have suffered beforehand or afterwards—so far. What I [...]

By |2020-09-21T16:53:39+00:00August 23rd, 2020|Categories: Theological Musings|Comments Off on St. Paul on the Problem of Evil