Christianity

89 posts

Pre-Order Beautiful and Terrible Things

Westminster John Knox Press has just posted the page to pre-order my book Beautiful and Terrible Things: A Christian Struggle with Suffering, Grief, and Hope. It is an exciting day! The Amazon link will be coming shortly and I will post that when it goes live. The description from the publisher: Bible scholar Christian Brady, an expert on Old Testament lament, was as prepared as a person could be for the death of a child—which […]

First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns […]

Writing a book on theology.

Sparky passing along wisdom via Snoopy, as always. Charlie Brown: I hear you’re writing a book on theology. I hope you have a good title. Snoopy: I have the perfect title… “Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?” By the way, I checked with my friend artist and cartoonist Michael Jantze and he verified that this is a legit Peanuts comic and not a “meme” hack.  

Billy Graham Warned Us: “The hard right has no interest In rellglon except to manipulate It.”

Billy Graham was a great man, by any estimation. It is often assumed that he was very conservative politically and his son Franklin certainly takes that position. But in many things in life Franklin has not listened to his father. As Franklin calls for his followers to align themselves with the political agenda of the President, many are sharing a “meme” with the above quote from his father Billy. As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, […]

How to Read Ancient Texts

I am reading the proofs of my contribution to The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries. The following quotes from Daniel Boyarin are true not only for dealing with what the Talmud has to say about Jesus but for any time we are engaging ancient texts. The effort must be made to read the texts in their own context and resist the temptation to ask of the texts the questions we have, but […]

Why “Shepherd”?

This past Sunday was “Good Shepherd Sunday,” so-called because of the reading from John 10. The entire chapter is full of sheep and shepherd imagery and, for many of us, it is a reminder of how far away from that agrarian experience we are. A colleague on Facebook asked, “So what’s a good 21st C equivalent of a Good Shepherd? Good Librarian? Good Trash Collector? Good Barista?” I think it is an excellent question, a […]

CS Lewis and George MacDonald on Theological (un)Certainty

This image was on a Facebook meme, so I am not sure of the source of the quotes. The one from Lewis is in keeping with various other analogies which he has made in The Problem of Pain. [Others have pointed out that the quote above is from his Reflections on the Psalms.] There is a passage in his chapter “Divine Goodness” (pp. 32-33) that also provides an analogy with dogs that speaks to this […]

Let’s be honest, why did Jesus die on a cross?

We are fast approaching Good Friday and the interwebs is filling with people post and reposting essays about the crucifixion. The ones that always nag at me are those that seek to argue that Jesus’ death was not somehow an atoning sacrifice offered for our sins.1 The usual objection is based upon a rejection of penal substation or any of the other various models of atonement theory. The link provided has a very nice summary […]

Blessings and Woe: For Everything There is a Season

This past Sunday our Gospel reading was Luke 6:17-26. After a short preamble, Jesus begins his “sermon on the plain.” 6:20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and […]

Confusion is Sovereign

Warning: This short post is the definition of pedantic. I am going to quibble with the use of the word “sovereign” as applied to God by many Reformed theologians.  It is not surprising that exploring the topic of suffering and grace has led me to consider questions of humanity’s free will, predestination, and God’s sovereignty. For many, the origins and purpose of suffering are directly related to the latter, God’s control over all of creation and history. If God is truly “sovereign” then all events in our lives are controlled and dictated by God. God truly is sovereign . […]