What’s So Good about Good Friday?

One semester in graduate school I taught Beginning Hebrew to master’s level students at seminary. On this same morning, Good Friday, I woke up in a cloudy mood, and I didn’t know why. At first I dismissed it as the last day of a long week, having to get up early enough to shower, put on a coat and tie, get...

Grace Unbalanced

Something interesting happens whenever I talk about grace, forgiveness, and acceptance. People push back. As much as we like those things, as much as we need those things, as much as we realize that they are central to our faith as Christians, we seem to want to qualify them. To put an asterisk by them....

Safe and Sound

“Safe and sound.” We use the phrase often enough that it’s easy to think that the two words are almost synonymous and that the distinction is a matter of nuance. But it’s not. Someone once illustrated the difference: “The steamship whose machinery is broken may be brought into port and made fast to the...

Jesus Ain’t No Snake-on-a-Stick

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. In Numbers 21 God has just helped the Israelites defeat a Canaanite king. They are heading to the Promised Land, and they start complaining about the food. “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water,...

“Love Your Enemies”: Does God Do It?

A few years ago my parents became friends with a young man from their church who was studying to be a doctor in the Navy. He had finished medical school and was entering residency. He told them once that one of the things he did to prepare himself for residency was to intubate himself. I don’t know if it...

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