Suffering and Grace

35 posts

Living in Exile

As usual, it is probably better heard than read. The audio is here. Proper 23 (28) (October 9, 2016) First reading and Psalm Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Psalm 66:1-12Second reading 2 Timothy 2:8-15Gospel Luke 17:11-19 “The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him” It is tempting to preach from the Epistle for today, but as a textual scholar, Paul’s injunction “warn them before God that they are to […]

God in the Storm: Season of Creation Week 3

“Where is your faith?” God in the Storm: Season of Creation Week 3 – September 15, 2019, St. Raphael’s Lexington This congregation was working through the “Season of Creation” lectionary. The readings were Job 28:20-27, Ps. 29, 1 Corinthians 1:21-31, and Luke 8:22-25. Some of the commentaries online (here and here) have a woeful misreading of Job, “God discovered wisdom imbedded in nature.” (Perhaps written by the same person?) I may post something another time […]

Why “It is better to go to the house of mourning.”

This quote comes from Ecclesiastes which I have been working with (as I strive to finish my book by the August 1 deadline!). For the first time I noticed the rest of the verse. It is better to go to the house of mourningthan to go to the house of feasting;for this is the end of everyone,and the living will lay it to heart. Ecclesiastes: 7:2  “For this is the end of everyone and the […]

The Color Green

Green is not life It is not verdant, growth, eternal It is not a leaf or a clover It is nothing but Green is a color, a slice of spectrum Green is not those other things It is color, frequency, not even universal Some see gray, some see nothing at all Still they know life, growth, eternal Green is just a color Green is a memory Blue is bluer with green It is promise, hope, […]

Suffering: “Our net of meaning is too small.”

To the ‘why’ of suffering we get no firm answer. Of course some suffering is easily seen to be the result of our sin: war, assault, poverty amidst plenty, the hurtful word. And maybe some is chastisement. But not all. The meaning of the remainder is not told us. It eludes us. Our net of meaning is too small. There’s more to our suffering than our guilt. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, (Grand Rapids, […]

Charles Darnell Brady ✠ 26 March 1937 – 18 April 2019

This past week family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of my father, Charles Darnell Brady, and affirm our faith in the resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus our Savior and the transformation of our own death into life. The audio from the entire service can be found here. Click on these links for the audio (and text) of my brother’s remembrances of our father and my sermon. Below is the text upon which the […]

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 […]

C. S. Lewis on God’s Sovereignty, Free Will, and Suffering

It turns out, judging by the notes in the margin, I had read C. S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain some time ago. I did not remember having done so, but perhaps it impacted my thinking more than it did my memory of the actual reading of it. Or perhaps I had already come to similar conclusions before I read his book. I have no way of knowing. Below are a few quotes from that […]

The Utter Unacceptability of Death

My SEC colleague from Vanderbilt this week graciously gave me the gift of a slim volume by a former professor of his. The book is A Boy Thirteen: Reflections on Death (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1975), by Jerry A. Irish. Their 13 year old son Lee died of meningitis in 1973, the second of their three sons to die within 4 years. The younger son had been born with a serious heart defect and died before […]

Beautiful and Terrible Things Book Contract

I am very pleased and proud to announce that I have signed a contract with Westminster John Knox Press to publish Beautiful and Terrible Things! The publication date is Fall 2020. I am so thankful for everyone who has and continues to engage with me on matters relating to the biblical theology of suffering and grace. This book is intended for all audiences and your feedback, pushback, and questions are integral to the refining and […]