The Father Did Not “Turn His Back”

Jean_Jouvenet_Descent_From_The_Cross

Above is a painting by Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet entitled Descent From the Cross.

For the Christian church, we identify this week as the most important week in the history of humankind – Holy Week.

In particular, we have Maundy Thursday, focused on the Last Supper of Christ with the twelve. This is followed by Good Friday, whereas Christ is sacrificed upon the cross for humanity’s sin. Next we have Holy Saturday (or Silent Saturday), a day that many evangelicals might not call to mind, the day that lies between the death and resurrection of Christ. Lastly, we have Easter Sunday, the day of celebrating Christ’s defeat over death through resurrection.

I want to examine something that often gets taught and preached about Christ’s death on the cross. While it seems this perspective would be true, I think it falls short of the full story of Scripture. Continue reading

When Mercy Triumphs Over Violence

cross & blood

A man walked into a large hall. He had just endured a sleepless night. Betrayed by a confidant; abandoned by his closest friends.

He was spat at, whipped, beaten, bloodied, mocked. They shoved a crown of curse upon his brow. Continue reading

The Myth of Redemptive Violence

belgian flag

Today, yet another violent attack reigned down in our world, one to which ISIS lays claim. Perhaps this was retaliation for the Belgian police’s capture of Salah Abdeslam this past week, a major suspect in the Paris attacks from 4 months ago. However you slice it, bombs were detonated at the Zaventem-Brussels airport and the metro station of Maelbeek. The attacks left at least 30 people dead and more than 230 injured. Continue reading

Re-telling a Disturbing Story

jesus and scrollThe storied accounts of Scripture are there to challenge us, transform us, and shock us at times. However, we have become so acquainted with Scripture that we rarely have such encounters, me included. I’m not necessarily talking about a writhing moment of crying out at the top of our lungs in repentance, though that surely might be needed at times.

But many of these biblical accounts have lost their punch.

Knowing this, I like to re-tell stories at times. I’ve done this before with the Good Samaritan, so I want to do it again. Continue reading

My Working Thesis on Our Fear of God’s “Earthiness”

earthinessIt’s possible I might have come on to something. A few weeks ago, an idea hit me pretty strongly. It might simply be some bad pizza from the night before, or I might be on to something. So I’m simply using this as a place to think through some thoughts, a kind of journal, if you will.

A few months ago, I had already written on the problem of our fear-driven biblical interpretation. Not healthy fear, as in reverence for the Lord, but a fear that the Bible really doesn’t fit the paradigm for which many of us argue. But I want to talk about another fear.

What’s that fear. I’m calling it the fear of God’s “earthiness”. Continue reading