Summary: The account of Jesus’ death in the Gospel according to Mark highlights the abuses of power perpetrated against him. It appears inevitable that someone like Jesus would meet such a fate in his time and place. Against whom is the deck stacked in our society?
Category: ON Scripture–The Bible
Summary: The Gospel according to John describes Jesus as a new temple, a new “place” where God is accessible to people. This suggests that we might encounter God in any and all aspects of life. What does this mean for our public speech about religion, and for the political rhetoric offered by presidential candidates?
Summary: Healing a man with a skin disease alters the course of Jesus’ ministry. It’s a reminder that God’s entrance into human existence involves God in the vagaries of human existence. As God is affected by the challenges of alleviating suffering, we should expect the same from our own efforts.
Summary: Online resources for exploring sacred texts do more than help us see what religious groups believe. They help us understand how people believe, and how they live out their religious commitments.
I wrote this post for the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. Read it on The Parliament Blog.
Summary: What should we make of those strange parts of the Gospels where Jesus speaks about his future return? Texts like these encourage anything but passive waiting for “pie in the sky.” They call us to see and to ally ourselves with ways in which Jesus is among us.
Summary: Online biblical commentary can and should be different from the biblical commentary that accompanied printed Bibles. This post describes the potential of the ON Scripture project to help people make connections between the Bible and their lived experiences.
Read this post on the blog of the New Media Project at Union Theological Seminary.
Summary: Online articles that explore ways of interpreting a biblical text can teach and encourage Christians. Can they also contribute to inter religious understanding, for Christians and other groups alike? Josh Stanton, my coauthor, and I say yes.
Summary: When Jesus says, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and God the things that are God’s,” he exposes the ways in which our lives involve us in commitments that demand our allegiances. Without calling us to be ascetics or separatists, he calls us to renewed loyalty to God. This piece explores the difficulty of cleanly navigating the ambiguities of our social and political lives.
Summary: Jesus’ Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard tells us something about the scandalous character of God’s generosity. It also identifies the kinds of people most likely to attract God’s gracious attention. Those people are always with us, and their numbers seem to be getting larger in the current American cultural context, with its persistent unemployment rates and its contempt toward undocumented immigrants.
Summary: This piece reflects on faith and fear in the story of Peter asking Jesus to call him to walk on the stormy Sea of Galilee. How might faith like this exercise itself in the midst of America’s economic woes?