Good Questions: The Turn of the Year

What a peculiar year 2022 has been – but then I guess every year brings its unanticipated turns of events, personal surprises, news that baffles, hurts you didn’t see coming, and joys you sure didn’t deserve. Some churches have “Watch Night” services to usher in the...

My Christmas Message

When I sit down to type out these emails, I try to picture different faces of folks I think / hope are reading. I rifle through so many stories I’ve heard people tell me about their lives, their dreams, their wounds, their loves. I hold in mind the things I have...

Good Questions: Why Does Mary Matter?   

Protestants, I suspect because they are so determined not to be Catholic, pay insufficient attention to Mary. Yes, she’s there in all the manger scenes, and she plays a sweet role in kid pageants. But it’s not hard to think our way into noticing that Mary is the most...

Good Questions: Was Baby Jesus God?

As we did earlier in our Good Questions series, we ask Who is Jesus and Why does he matter? We saw it’s not just his teachings or touching the untouchables or even his death and resurrection. It’s his identity. Who was Jesus? – a question at the center of Christmas....

Good Questions: Was Mary Really a Virgin?

The creed we declare (or mutter) week by week states that Jesus was “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.” Was it really so? Does it matter? Giving mental assent to this, being quite sure that Yes, she was a virgin! was never a litmus test for...

Good Questions: Why did Jesus come when and where he did?

In our Good Questions series, we asked a common question: Why did God wait so long to come? To that we can add: why come in such an obscure place and time? Hard to ask God these questions… Of course, if God’s eternal strategy to save the world was to do it through the...

Good Questions: Is Jesus the Reason for the Season?

I have a great fondness, both personal and theological, for Christmas decorations, especially the lights. Some childhood warmth is evoked, and there’s no lovelier image on earth of Christ as the “light that shines in the darkness” (John 1:5). Inevitably among the...

Good Questions: Does God as Trinity matter?

A hard question that might make you dizzy is How can God be three in one? Is the doctrine of the Trinity understandable? Or does it matter? Talk about Good Questions / No Easy Answers! Don’t just shrug. Exhale. If you don’t get the Trinity, don’t fret: God isn’t...

Good Questions: Why Bother with the Old Testament?

So many good people I know never read from the Old Testament. I suppose I should be happy if they read any Bible at all. But I suspect that a thicket of misconceptions blind people to the marvelous treasure that these 39 books truly are. My Ph.D. is in Old Testament,...

Good Questions: Christianity & Other Religions

Thanksgiving is a healthy time to ponder the relationship of Christianity to other religions, since Thanksgiving isn’t a distinctly Christian holiday – and all religions are big on giving thanks to God. In my Does Prayer Work? video, I point out that we know for sure...