Author Archives: jstevenharper

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

Practicing the Better: Good at the Source

The source for practicing the better is God, the One whose nature is love (hesed and agapé), and whose motivation is to redeem, rebuild, restore, and renew–as we say it in the liturgy, “whose property is always to have mercy.” … Continue reading

Posted in Practicing the Better

Practicing the Better: Introduction

Richard Rohr stopped me in my tracks with these words, “The best criticism of the bad is a practice of the better.” [1]  From the moment I first read them nearly two years ago, they have attached themselves like velcro … Continue reading

Posted in Practicing the Better

New Series: “Practicing the Better”

​Next week (February 7), I will begin a new series here on Oboedire, “Practicing the Better.” In a time when negativity is expressed in so many places and ways, we need to root ourselves in the highest and best we … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates

Prophetic Task: And So?

I have come to the end of this series, and I will go back into hybernation.  I have ideas for possible future posts, but none are ready for publication.  Should a new series emerge, I will announce them here and … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Process: Reorder

Henri Nouwen became interested in trapeze artists shortly before he died, coming to believe that this circus act was a paradigm for the spiritual life: letting go of the first bar, hovering between the bars, and being caught by the … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Process: Disorder

Prophets minister between the times– between darkness and light, forgetfulness and remembrance, sin and salvation, despair and hope–between “the kingdoms of this world”‘and the Kingdom of God.  This in-betweenness is what Brueggemann calls disorder, a time of grief. He uses … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task

Prophetic Process: Order

Order is where the prophetic process begins, because just as there was original righteousness before there was original sin, so also there was Torah (Law) before it deteriorated into torah (legalism).  There was a time when (as with creation) the … Continue reading

Posted in The Prophetic Task