It’s a rare seminary prospect who visits campus with his or her parents, so I clearly remember when Jeremy brought his folks with him just over two years ago. They had come from North Dakota, and as we waited in line for sandwiches at East Side Deli (just down Hawthorne Boulevard from Western’s campus at the foot of Mount Tabor), I wondered what they thought of Portland. The art for sale on the walls that month was a rather risqué set of cartoon illustrations, and I wondered if ¿Por Que No?, just across the street, would have been a better choice.
Perhaps it is this season in my life, but I sense a growing alienation from this world. I find myself in a technocratic, post-Christian age that does not see this as the Father’s world. It is their world, where individualism reigns, freedom amounts to pursuing one’s own good, moral values are up to each person, fake news dominates the airwaves, gaining power and wealth are the ultimate objectives, and God is irrelevant.
As we come to back to the story of creation we find a remarkable truth: the Creator God not only created humankind to be his creatures, but also to be his partners in the creative process of causing the world to flourish. In Genesis chapter one we find a summary of the six days of…Continue reading God Designed Us to Partner with Him
A few years ago, I listened to a mixed-race pastor who leads a multiethnic congregation in an impoverished neighborhood speak about the challenges of his ministry. One of the challenges he discussed was the need to balance dignity and charity. The need for charity was very real where he served; many people did not have…Continue reading Giving to the Poor: Balancing Charity and Dignity
“One’s life must matter, beyond all the cooking and cleaning and the children! One’s life must mean more than that. I cannot die washing a teacup.” So said a young Miss Thatcher in response to her boyfriend’s wedding proposal. These were her terms of agreement. Fortunately for him, she also said “yes”. Margaret Thatcher was…Continue reading Does Following Jesus Mean Giving Up My Ambition?