Suffering and Grace

38 posts

Suffering in 1 Peter

We are in Year A of the lectionary and coming up on the Third Sunday of Easter. The epistle for this season is 1 Peter and I sat down to read it through. Many of you have likely read it or at least have seen verses picked here and there from the letter, it is very quotable.  One of Peter’s themes is perseverance through suffering and so we often find that 1 Peter is cited […]

How about a little grace?

The start of a new calendar year is a reminder that we are constantly entering into a new era of our lives: an era without some that we love, an era with a new job or career, a time with a different government, a period of growth and change. Always change and we hope always growth. Moving forward is not an option, each day will follow the last whether we want change or not, but […]

Intent is important

I am working my way through D. A. Carson’s How Long, O Lord? In his section on “The Suffering People of God” Carson deals carefully and gently with what I consider the heart of the problem for the suffering of the faithful. How do we know what is “discipline” from God and what is, in Carson’s wonderful phrase, “the effluent of a fallen world”? He opens this section with an extended quote from Hebrews 12:5-12 and what follows is […]

Toppled Cross

Do all deserve to die or do all die?

Reading D. A. Carson’s How Long, O Lord is bringing me to terms with some of the more basic premises that I was raised with, that on some level I still believe, but when taken to an extreme I realize are not only problematic, but wrong. For example, Carson here is commenting on Luke 13:1-5, a very important passage for understanding how Jesus viewed the issues of suffering and guilt. Jesus does insist that death by […]

Good Grief

Faith plays a major role in grief of any kind. But not in the way some people think. They often seem to have the idea that a person with strong faith does not grieve and is above this sort of thing. Moreover, these people imply that religious faith advocates stoicism. They might even quote the two word from Scripture, “Grieve not!” They forget to quote the rest of the phrase in which these two words […]

SBL Paper: Recovery and Restoration Through Scripture (images)

This is the paper I presented to the Chronicle-Ezra-Nehemiah and Exile combined session. I was invited to speak about how the destruction and restoration of Jerusalem can be understood through the waters of Katrina. I have images that go with this (see a few images from Katrina at my flickr account) that I will post eventually and I recored the audio as well and I hope to have that up later as well. Restoration and […]

Run Away! (From Atonement?)

That is what I always thing of when I hear the word “retreat.” I helped out (last minute addition) with a teen retreat in Central PA. The area was gorgeous and it was a lot of fun. Sharing a cabin with 8 barely pubescent boys, however, never gets better. The title of the post also refers to a tendency among many mainline ministers to run away from the theology of Jesus’ death as an atoning […]

Reflecting on Suffering

This evening I was at an event where the Episcopal Bishop of Rhode Island, the Right Reverend Wolf spoke. She recalled her time spent living in homeless shelters as a homeless person (this was during her sabbatical and she readily admits that the fact that she always had a home to go to made a great difference in her experience from those she was with). Bishop Wolf compared her time with the experiences that those […]