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Category Archives: Ecclesiology

“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. […]

Rivenness

The Lord’s meal is about a body and its blood. The body and blood that the Lord’s meal is about is a body that is broken and a blood that is poured out. Those are the descriptions that matter in the Lord’s meal: broken and poured out. The body of Jesus comes to us broken, […]

A (plagiarized) letter

From: His Exalted Darkness Malaphar, Denizen of Darkness and Strife, beloved Lieutenant of Beelzbul, Prince of Darkness and the Powers of the Air** To: Barakiel the Accursed, Faithful Servant of Division Re: COSK Portland 2014 Line Item Action Plan My most foul, impish, and dear colleague, it gives me the most sublime delight to hear […]

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 […]

Use Mammon: A sermon of freedom (Luke 16:1-17)

Preached at Church of the Servant King in Portland, Oregon. As with many of Jesus’s parables, this one sounds utterly strange to our twenty-first century ears. Here we have, seemingly, the story of an utterly corrupt middle management employee. He is embezzling from his employer, gets caught, and in a last-ditch effort to avoid becoming […]

No Escape: A Short Sermon

(Preached in trust and great weakness at COSK Portland, on Psalm 139) The heart of the gospel is God. At the center of our proclamation, at the center of our life together, at the rock-bottom core of each and every one of us lies God. What we have to proclaim is God. Why do we […]

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 […]

Freedom from innocence: A Sermon on 1 John 1:1-2:2

Brothers and sisters, let me tell you what I am doing in speaking to you today. Let me tell you what exactly I am trying to declare and proclaim to you. I’m here to tell you about that which is eternal, that which is ultimate, that which is greater than any and every created thing. […]

A really wordy paraphrase of Ephesians 2:1-10

A Sermonic Midrash on Ephesians 2:1-10 Preached on Sunday, March 18 at Church of the Servant King in Portland, Oregon. Hear, listen, understand, and know, brothers and sisters what state you used to be in. Do not forget the slavery you once labored under. Do not forget the bondage that once owned you, dominated you, […]

Idolatry and participation

Lately, I’ve noticed several re-articulations of a theological trend we’ve talked about here plenty of times before, namely the position that the church’s practices mediate God’s presence and action in the world, form Christians to be virtuous selves in contrast to the acids of modernity, and make Christ concretely present in the world, when otherwise […]

Christ’s baptism, Christ’s confession

A fitting reflection I think, for this Sunday, the Baptism of the Lord: When He had Himself baptised with water by John, Jesus confessed both God and [humankind]. A better way of putting it is that because He confessed God, the God whose will was soon to be done on earth as it is in […]

Christian distinctiveness

The epistle to Diognetus is perhaps one of the more well known works from among the Apostolic Fathers these days, at least in popular theological discussions. This is due, less to its remarks on the “common silliness and deception and foolishness and pride of the Jews” (4:6 — yikes), than for the chapter that immediately follows […]

Christianity is not a cultural project

One of the central features of what we might call “post-evangelical discontent” is the general state of being sick of hearing about a “personal relationship” with God as central to the meaning of being a Christian. Talk about “personal relationships” with God is pietistic and individualistic drivel through and through, and we must move beyond […]

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