Confession: What is Salvation?

        Scripture continually holds two images of salvation in tension with one another, with neither image neglecting the other. First, our tradition is correct in portraying Jesus as the spiritual savior. Especially in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us that left to our own devices we “die in [our] own sins:” the personal wrongs we have committed and …

Confession: Who is Jesus?

        Historically, Jesus Christ was a Nazarene Jew, born in Bethlehem somewhere between 6-4 BCE.1 The existence of an influential rabbi under this name during this time period is not contested, because both sacred texts such as the Bible and government histories attest to Christ’s presence. The question at hand has less to do with biographical facts …

Ash Wednesday

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 1Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near- 2a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their ...

How Did We Get Here?

This tweet caused quite a stir. On one "side", a Jesuit Priest arguing that it is our biblical, Christ-following duty to provide for the poor in our tax plan. On the other, a blogger and radio host seminarian, convinced fully that supporting those in poverty is a personal initiative that would be un-biblical to allow the government to impose. Both ...

What do you do with the Passover?

If you and I are alike, you approach the story of the Passover a little hesitantly. You’re all in favor, and celebrate the Exodus as the absolute pinnacle and climax of Jewish history before Jesus, but get very uncomfortable when you remember that Pharaoh isn’t the only murderer in the story, and that his genocide of the Hebrew babies before …

A World Apart. A World Together.

This week I found myself in a familiar place, and an altogether new place. I’m beyond ecstatic to be working with Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio again. This has become a familiar place to me, and that’s a good thing. But many things are fully new and different than last year as well. You see, summer of 2016 I …

Be Careful

May we be careful if we wave palm branches today, welcoming Jesus to our city. He might get off the donkey, walk into our church, and flip the tables of some of our favorite ministries. He might drive out our injustice with a whip. Be careful if you let Jesus in. He might cause chaos in our town. He might …

A Tale of Two Southern Baptists

…whatever “normal” means. Regardless, political and religious arenas have changed drastically in recent years, and things don’t seem quite as black and white (or perhaps, red and blue) as they once did. After the shocking rise and eventual victory of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the nation’s largest Protestant group stands divided over the bombastic figure. But …

Baptist Catholicity: Thick Ecumenism

I’ll be honest, in the past, I’ve viewed most cross-denominational projects to simply be puppet efforts of the religious right. Think about it, what is the last multi-denominational project you remember? If you’re like me, it’s probably some pro life or “pro-values” conference that rallies around a thinly veiled goal to create more republican voters. Beyond anti abortion efforts, you …

Baptist Catholicity: Creative Retrieval of Tradition

… or so the slogan of a liberal mainline denomination goes. This particular mark is perhaps my favoriteidea in the Bapt-Catholic movement. As we reach back into the past, we are doing so with the hopes of creating something meaningful for the future. As this particular group of Baptists lost their spot in the most prominent protestant denomination in the …