Jesus Laughed and So Should You

The fact is, most Christian kids are familiar with the verse “Jesus wept.” Why? In some English translations, it’s the shortest verse in the whole Bible. It stands out. What is so beautiful and comforting about this prominence is that it emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. Believers can know God cries for his friends, as his grief comes at the death of his friend Lazarus. But what is so unfortunate and misleading about the prominence of this verse is that there is no equivalent that pops to mind which reveals that Jesus’ humanity also included his laughter. … More Jesus Laughed and So Should You

Post-Christendom Ethics: Evangelism as Immoral, Confessional, Embodied and Beautiful

If sharing Good News can never be a bad thing, how come its such a turn off in North America? Can a professor “evangelize” in his university class if evangelism is understood as a form of persuasion? How does evangelism relate to sex and beauty? Here I review two books on the ethics of evangelism in a post-Christendom world. … More Post-Christendom Ethics: Evangelism as Immoral, Confessional, Embodied and Beautiful

A Quiet Celebration? Global Scholars Canada at 25 (+1) Years

In the West there is a growing assessment of the wider legacy of Christian mission that may subdue any celebration of global missions because it indites missionaries for their part in colonization, enslavement, and the cultural and racial genocide of countless peoples—a terrible legacy that is said to be the direct cause of global geo-political injustice and strife to this day. This narrative is no doubt the dominant narrative about Christianity on our public university campuses across Canada. But there is more to be said here… … More A Quiet Celebration? Global Scholars Canada at 25 (+1) Years

Confessions and a “No Hate” Religion: Lessons on Racism from Jack

This Pentecost, I tell the story of my Jewish neighbour Jack, and how he reminded me that God created this wonderful diversity, but we have this tendency to want to raise ourselves up and put our neighbour down. Racism, prejudice, anti-Semitism, bullying–its personal, its tribal, its systemic, and it can be transnational–but it is exhibit A in terms of evidence for sin as the chronic human problem. … More Confessions and a “No Hate” Religion: Lessons on Racism from Jack

Making Space not Safe, but Good: Learning to Listen Hard so we Don’t Shoot

Over the last few decades the term “safe space” has been used to name a physical space, event or conversation that intends to protect people from attitudes, words, and perspectives that may be perceived as hurtful to someone or offensive to their own convictions. I hear it frequently in my church, but this new “safe” initiative has been most prevalent on public university campuses, and usually pertains to discussions of controversial social issues. This practise needs to stop, for our own safety. … More Making Space not Safe, but Good: Learning to Listen Hard so we Don’t Shoot

Imagine A New World: The Stretching and Chastening of Our Creative Powers

At every university student poster sale, Einstein’s wild hair (and sometimes protruding tongue) accompanies his quip that “Imagination is more important than logic.” Imagination is not the sole domain of the artsy and literary types, and its good that we have a scientist promoting more than rationality. But Einstein’s next line opens up all kinds of surprises: “Imagination is the language of the soul.” Yes, the imagination is religion’s home country, and every Christian’s gift to steward. Survival is insufficient, as Star Trek’s famous quote tells us. We must all explore beyond the visible and the known to somewhere better. … More Imagine A New World: The Stretching and Chastening of Our Creative Powers

George Vandervelde, Passion Week, and Ecumenism: The Gift of the Hermeneutics of the Gospel

“The closer we come to the cross of Christ, the closer we come to each other.” Here I tell the story of George Vandervelde, Reformed ecumenist, but not until after I make the case for Christianity’s multi-denominational character as a mirror of the four gospels. … More George Vandervelde, Passion Week, and Ecumenism: The Gift of the Hermeneutics of the Gospel

Accented Antithesis: Rich, Creaturely Life or Ruinous Hell in the Book of Proverbs

If you dare, crack open this book and be ready for a jolt. It’s a book that strives to refresh the “literary verve and contentious bite” of Scripture. It’s a call to get with the Holy Spirit in obedience to God’s creation ordinances, his Word for life, or ruin your life in a slide down to hell. … More Accented Antithesis: Rich, Creaturely Life or Ruinous Hell in the Book of Proverbs