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Theology

Mars Hill Gospel for a Confusing World

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. …  Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.  For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you (Acts 17:16-23, NIV) 

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Prayerful Action in the Meantime?

How do we work and pray for justice “in the meantime”?  What does prayerful action for shalom look like when we are caught in that awkward, ordinary time between our painful present and God’s coming future?  

Hope is the Heart of Christmas

“After 13 hours, it finally feels like Christmas!” exclaimed one of my granddaughters.  Her younger sister with a big smile tells me that decorating the tree and our home is the best part of Christmas.  Having my grandchildren come over to help decorate the tree, set up the Christmas village and help to prepare for Christmas dinner has been a long-standing tradition in our home.  A tradition that is held deeply and fondly in my heart.  However, Christmas is more than an occasion to decorate; more than a family feast; more than a holiday from work and school; more than giving and r

A Paradigm for Peace: Peacemaking in Disability Theology, Scripture, and Culture

In this digital space, I’ve written a good deal about how people with and without disabilities can embody equity in the church, in terms of inclusive and accessible activities and facilities, inclusive language, employment, housing, and still other topics. I felt as though it was necessary, recently, to write about war and peace.

Who’s Teaching Whom?

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”  Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” (John 3:1-21, NIV)

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Justice & Mission: Good News for All

In the days following Easter Jesus’ disciples gathered on a hill above the Sea of Galilee. Much of their ministry with Jesus had occurred in these hills, but this encounter was like no other. This time the resurrected Jesus appeared and commissioned them to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus had commanded them” (Matthew 28:16-20). And then he was gone.

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Managing Multifaceted Moods: Depression, Anxiety, Disability, and Life in the Church

In this blog, I’ve written a great deal about the embodiment of equity within the Church for believers with disabilities. I’ve written about some of my experiences of physical and intellectual disability, my relationships to work and housing, healing, oppression, and inclusive language, and how Scripture can help us relate as a community to all those topics. These are good things!

A Bluer Theology: Protecting and Restoring God’s Marine Creation

On the beach in Pacific Grove, CA, eight middle and high school students bend over the wet sand, digging as the wave water recedes to catch sand crabs. Blue Theology fellow Gabrielle Poli leads the group to catch the crabs (Pacific mole crab, to be specific), measure them, write down the data on a clipboard, and release them back into their sandy home. The students are part of a church youth group, one of many who will visit the Blue Theology Mission Station for a week over the summer.

Eternal Word and Changing Worlds

Since 2002, I have been intimately involved with Spirit and Truth Fellowship, a CRCNA church in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Hunting Park.  Our late Pastor, Dr Manuel Ortiz, was a professor of Urban Mission at my alma mater, Westminster Seminary, and he often spoke to me and the other pastors in our community about his dear friend and mentor, Harvey Conn, who was also a professor of missions at Westminster.  In 1992, Dr Conn published a book called “Eternal Word and Changing Worlds,” and in this book he argued for the need to reevaluate our Western-centric approaches to

Being Right or Being Righteous

A question for you: Do you value having the right opinion over doing right by your neighbours?  Or, to use the language of the ancient Hebrew prophets, do you value being right over being righteous – that is, being in right relationship with others?  

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