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Category Archives: Discipleship

“Go forth!” A sermon of following

(Genesis 12:1-4a; Romans 4:1-4,15-17; John 3:1-17) Preached on 3/16/14 at COSK in Portland, Oregon “Go forth!” We could say, and we would be right to do so, that this is the first call to the Gospel recorded in the Scriptures. Abraham, the father of faith is called by God to go. Abandon what is known […]

Jesus brings himself: A sermon unto the kingdom

Matthew 5:21-37 & 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Preached on 02/16/14 Jesus comes to us with an antithesis. His words, in this text specifically, and the whole of his message and life and calling speak of and call us to a break. This comes straight to the forefront in this section of the Sermon on the Mount. […]

Love’s rage

Scrawled on some pages on May 21, 2013 Love rages. It storms about in grief and sorrow, never shying from anger. Love without rage is merely the shallow attraction of gentle seasons. Love does not wither in the face of betrayal, sorrow, grief, rejection. No, love gives full voice to rage, mourning, weeping; love is […]

God’s Fiction: A Sermon of Vulnerability (Luke 18:1-6)

Preached at Church of the Servant King, Portland (10/20/13) “Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).   Losing heart is shockingly easy. We are endlessly vulnerable in this world. We are made vulnerable by powers that rule over us, we are made vulnerable […]

The Truth about Love: A Resurrection Sermon

And now, after the end, now at the beginning, will shall speak, yet again of Love. Love eludes us. Only slightly more frequently and more intensely does love seize us, make us love’s own in the very moment when we find ourselves most lethargic, most unable to take another step. At the moment when we […]

We only know it will be love: A sermon on 1 John 3:1-7

Brothers and sisters, here is the amazing thing that we have to deal with, that is so hard for us to understand. That is even harder for the world to understand. The thing that trips us up, the thing we cannot catch up with, that we cannot ever grasp is how great, how singular, how […]

The severity of hope

The reduction of hope is one of our greatest temptations. Hope, unlike optimism, nostalgia, or raw self-assertion speaks of a space in which all our abilities to “deal” with our situation have vanished. We have no raw data, resources, skills, or powers with which to get a handle on things, and are left only to […]

The irresistible devolution

One of the interesting things about the now old News Corp phone-hacking scandals is how evangelical and radical Christians who publish under their umbrella have gone about justifying their involvement with an entity that is demonstrably evil. For example, radical Christian and new monastic superstar Shane Claiborne is well known for his many books, including […]

More on “place,” ideology, and incarnation

Some of this appears in the comment tread on yesterday’s post, but I thought it needed to be expanded into a post in its own right as well. As we consider what it means to think in terms of “place” and the church’s life, I want to be clear. My point is not that the […]

“Place” and ideology

A while back David Fitch posted some thoughts on the power of “place” to overcome ideology in the life of the church. He states his argument, briefly as follows: . . . it is only through “place” that we can break the cycle of ideological church. It is only through engaging in the practices of […]

The martyrdom of Stephen and narrative theology

In the last few weeks I’ve spent a good bit of time in Acts, and more than a little of it on the story of the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 6-7). The more I read it, the more I’m struck by its profoundly explosive nature, and especially how it stands as a witness against what […]

Good Friday

Ethics and religion and church all go in this direction: from the human to God. Christ, however, speaks only and exclusively of the line from God to human beings, not of some human path to God, but only of God’s own path to humans. Hence it is also fundamentally wrong to seek a new morality […]

The End of Ecumenism

By Halden Doerge and Ry Siggelkow In recent discussions around here the issue of ecumenism has come up, and in particular the question has been raised about what we are to think theologically about the question of the church’s tangible disunity. In light of these discussions, my friend Ry Siggelkow and I spent some time […]

Remember that you are dust

Last Wednesday I facilitated much of our church’s observance of Ash Wednesday, leading out in the reading of Scripture, confession, and the application of ashes. I have done this many years before and it has always been a profound time of mediation on the salvation of the Gospel, but this year it was unique. For […]

Only the devil has an answer

Bonhoeffer’s discussion of Jesus’s encounter with the Rich Young Man seems to me to be a fitting post for Ash Wednesday indeed: The young man’s question [of which commandments he ought to obey] shows him up for his true colours. He is — man under sin. The answer of Jesus completes his exposure. Jesus simply […]

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