Barth, Niemoller, Fear and Freedom

I have been rereading Eric Metaxas’ recent biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy Thomas Nelson, 2010) and I came across two haunting quotes from major influences upon my favorite dead German theologian, Dietrich. The first is Martin Niemoller, whose advanced age at the time of Adolf Hitler’s ascent to power led him,…

Beware of One Another

We have admitted to God, to ourselves and to another person the exact nature of our wrongs. This is Step Five of the Twelve Steps for those unfamiliar with the world and language of recovery. The first three steps are about coming to terms with the world as it really is (I am out of…

The Gospel According to Arcade Fire

It might be a bit too revealing to admit, but one of the proudest moments of my life had to be a few weeks ago when a favorite band of mine called Arcade Fire won this year’s Grammy for best album. Personally, I have been a fan of this band since their last album, Neon…

Watch for Falling Leaves

The most audacious despiser of God is most easily disturbed, trembling at the sound of a falling leaf. -John Calvin Self-made-man. Autonomous individuals. Man liberated from the oppressive rule of God. The last century was supposed to be our graduation from dependence upon God to reliance upon nobody but our strong selves. Man, after centuries…

Two Pictures of God

Everything I ever needed to know I learned from the genius we know as Monty Python. How to decipher a live parrot from a dead parrot? Done. How to deal with a cheese shop that has no cheese? Done. What the ministry of “Silly Walks” might look like? Done. They taught me everything I know,…

The GodMan…behind the curtain?

Do you remember the Wizard’s great appearance in The Wizard of Oz?  Of course you do, everybody remembers that scene. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and our comrade the Cowardly Lion defeat the great Wicked Witch of the West and report back to the great and powerful Oz. Their first encounter with him inspired…

Put ’em up, Put ’em up!!!!

When was the last time you were called a coward right to your face? Yeah, it has been a long time since somebody told me that, too. Then again, there is a whole lot of really true statements out there that do not get said on a regular basis for one reason or another. After…

Our Proud Older Brother

Those of us who grew up in and around the church naturally associate the term “pride” with the phrase “older brother”. Many times we do this due to personal experience. As a younger brother, I can certainly attest that there is a pride about all older siblings that pervades their dealings with their younger comrades.…

Warts and All

We could go on for days and days laying out the benefits and the beauties of community. We could proclaim that, in Jesus, we have the answer to real peace on earth together as one people of God. We could sing John Lennon’s entire library from front to back (with the possible exclusion of “I…