This is the transcription of a sermon that I preached at Elk Grove Congregational Church on 6/29/14. It is, in fact, the first transcript I’ve ever shared and the form is different from what I normally post on an irenicon.
[Lectionary: Jer 28:5-9 | Mat 10:40-42]
Good morning, friends.
Thank you, James, for this opportunity to speak and, as he says, “it’s better when we’re together.” It’s good to be with you all.
My name is Allen and, as some of you know, I am a recent seminary graduate. In my past life I was a youth pastor, had even received my bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies, but attending Seminary has given me a new (and ever growing) appreciation for the significance of what we do.
It’s a big thing to speak the words of God.
It’s a big thing to identify as a Christian and claim to know that God would have us do “X” or that God would have us do “Y.” Read more “The Christian community validates Jesus’ legitimacy (or at least it should)”
Out with the Old and in with the New,
let’s figure this stuff out;
those who are in, those who are out.
Preachers and theologians routinely tell me that Paul argued for a post-Law community of Christians united not by the outward markers of faithfulness, but by an inclusive ministry of the Spirit that moved past traditional boundaries (some of which were set up by Scripture itself).
Because in Christ the Christians are Law-completed (Rom 10:4).
Because the only covenant marker of any value is “faith expressed through love” (Gal 5:6).
Yet some of these preachers and theologians will turn around and fashion a law code from Paul’s own words. Obviously they don’t call it a “law code,” because they’ve been trained by Paul to look beyond law; Faith alone! Christ alone! they shout from the mountaintop, yet quickly descend to hand out copies of their commandments, fresh and updated. Read more “Let’s Make A New Testament Law Code!”
Nicolas Cage is slated to one-up Kirk Cameron in the latest Left Behind movie this October. The movie is based on a novel based on a theology based on Darby’s method for reading prophecy in the Bible.
I myself read all 16 of the Left Behind books in high school and college. Voraciously. With pleasure. Read more “Leaving Behind Left Behind Theology”
Someone at the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood recently read an article that Rachel Held Evans wrote back in 2012. In it, Evans referred to God as “She.” Read more ““God Isn’t A Man, But He’s Male?””
The evangelical obsession with purity.
Reminds me of ritual purity law.
Especially when it determines who is inside the circle.
And who is not.
The Gospel of Mark is full of little devices I like to call “Markan sandwiches,” though more reasonable people use the term interpolations. The author of Mark creates these textual sandwiches by starting a story, inserting a second, then finishing the first.
If the sandwich in Mark 5 were real, the text would be grilled cheese and the author Alton Brown. Read more “Purity Culture, Jesus, and the Markan Narrative”
Whenever you preach, preachers, for the love of God –
Represent the opposition fairly.
Standing in front of an assembled congregation and making claims about God, the world, and what God has to say to this world will inevitably place certain ideas, practices, and people on the opposite side from your propositions. Depending upon Read more “A Rule For Every Preacher”