Was Hurricane Katrina really God’s judgment on New Orleans? How about the 1906 earthquake that devastated San Francisco—was that a judgment on the Barbary Coast? When tragedy strikes people are quick to assign a moral cause. Luke 13:1-9 shows us pious judgments designed to explain away bad things. This reflex goes way back.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Spirit
I’ve heard the story in Luke 5:1-11 most of my life, as far back as pre-K, in Sunday School. This is where Jesus tells Peter to put his nets back in the water after a night of unsuccessful fishing. Peter then gets the biggest catch he’s ever pulled in. At the end of this interaction, Jesus says, from now on you will be catching people. This story is a children’s Sunday School favorite. It’s easy to turn into pictures. Someone even turned it into a catchy children’s song, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men…if you follow meeeeee.” Jesus makes a side comment to one guy and it got turned into bad theology, that we peddle to toddlers.Continue reading
13th Sun after Pentecost: Ephesians 6:10-20
This Biblical passage is quoted often. This encouragement has inspired many sermons, children’s costumes, and for some a prayer practice of mentally putting on the armor. It seems like we gravitate to these instructions in America, because they imply a sentiment of war or striking back. The individual-centric picture of putting on armor is attractive to independent people.
I feel like the imagery of this text is often remembered out of context. This has fueled a false picture of Christianity as one where throughout history we have justified warring against unbelievers (and believers who disagree with us)—a dangerous premise that has cost the lives of many people whom God also loves. Continue reading