Confession: Why pray?

    Before beginning, we should confess what a thoroughly modern question this is: our Scriptures do not so much articulate the degree to which our prayers make a difference, instead teaching us how to pray and that we should. Earlier theological works also address more of the “what” and “how” questions of prayer, rather than the “why”. In the …

Confession: Why is there pain?

    In our lives of immense privilege, our pain can appear seemingly instantly, with a shock and force we weren’t expecting. Especially for those of us in the American middle class, we often live under the false impression that we have earned our security and health, so trauma can be deeply harmful to our narrative. These instances remind us, …

Confession: What is Scripture?

     Scripture is the incomparable source and norm of the Christian life: an authority under which we submit ourselves, and where we expect to find the very revelation of God. The 66 books of the Old and New Testament are not God, but are the holy, human accounts of God’s work and revelation through Jesus Christ and the communities …

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 …