Charles Allen

About Charles Allen

Fr. Charles Allen is an Episcopal priest who has served GraceUnlimited since 2004. Rather than providing all the answers, he prefers to ask a lot of questions, and he welcomes yours, too.

The Resurrection of Jesus

The earliest testimonies to Jesus’ resurrection are exasperatingly divergent. Attempts to harmonize them inevitably look forced. But they display some common themes: 1) After his shameful execution Jesus somehow started showing up. 2) His showing up somehow engaged all the senses. 3) [...]

By |2021-05-07T11:50:21+00:00May 6th, 2021|Categories: Theological Musings|Comments Off on The Resurrection of Jesus

For September 19 (Proper 20, Year B)

Mark 9:30-37 “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” This is the second time, according to Mark, that Jesus said something like this. [...]

By |2021-05-04T10:17:33+00:00May 4th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 19 (Proper 20, Year B)

For September 12 (Proper 19, Year B)

Mark 8:27-38 In this week’s Gospel Jesus gives his disciples a pop-quiz. “You’ve heard what people think of me. Now … what do you think of me?” And Peter tries out an answer he hopes with all his heart is true: “You’re [...]

By |2021-04-29T09:56:43+00:00April 29th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 12 (Proper 19, Year B)

For September 5 (Proper 18, Year B)

Mark 7:24-30 If you grew up thinking that Jesus was God dressed up as a human being, only pretending to be human, this story might be troublesome. From this non-Jewish woman Jesus seems to have learned something about his own ministry, something [...]

By |2021-04-28T13:28:53+00:00April 28th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For September 5 (Proper 18, Year B)

For August 29 (Proper 17, Year B)

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 This is not Jesus versus Judaism. Despite what Mark says, not “all Jews” were preoccupied with handwashing or with what looks to us like washing the dishes. There were indeed some Jews who regarded these symbolic acts of [...]

By |2021-04-26T12:27:32+00:00April 26th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 29 (Proper 17, Year B)

For August 1, 8, 15, & 22 (Propers 13, 14, 15, & 16, Year B)

John 6:24-69 While the lectionary splits this passage into four separate lessons to be covered on four successive weeks, it’s really important to take this passage as a whole. First, some reminders about John’s Gospel. 1) The Gospel itself does not say [...]

By |2021-04-24T11:10:03+00:00April 24th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For August 1, 8, 15, & 22 (Propers 13, 14, 15, & 16, Year B)

My 1990 Outline of Christian Faith

This is how I outlined my own understanding of Christian faith in 1990 as I was considering how I might teach a course in systematic theology. I stumbled across it recently while rummaging through some old files. It follows the example of [...]

By |2021-05-07T09:25:34+00:00April 21st, 2021|Categories: Theological Musings|Comments Off on My 1990 Outline of Christian Faith

For July 25 (Proper 12, Year B)

John 6:1-21 As miracle stories go, this one has to be one of the most popular. Maybe that’s because it’s about food. In any case, there are six versions of it told in the Gospels. The numbers fed vary. Sometimes it’s 4,000, [...]

By |2021-04-16T08:33:34+00:00April 15th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For July 25 (Proper 12, Year B)

For July 18 (Proper 11, Year B)

Ephesians 2:11-22 It’s almost impossible to hear this lesson from Ephesians without thinking of where we and our conflicted nation are today. We hear that Christ “has broken down the dividing wall,” and I’m very tempted to turn this sermon into a [...]

By |2021-04-14T10:50:06+00:00April 14th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For July 18 (Proper 11, Year B)

For July 11 (Proper 10, Year B)

Mark 6:14-29 Around 2000 years ago there was a man who proclaimed that God's beloved community was just around the corner. It upset the powers that be, and so he was executed. But shortly afterwards rumors began to circulate that he had [...]

By |2021-04-14T10:25:31+00:00April 14th, 2021|Categories: Notes on Weekly Readings|Comments Off on For July 11 (Proper 10, Year B)