Category Archives: Along the Way

Along the Way: When Deception Becomes Reality

My psalm reading this morning took me to these words of David describing someone living under the influence of evil, “Your tongue devises destruction: it’s like a sharpened razor, causing deception.You love evil more than good; you love lying more … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: When Deception Becomes Reality

Along the Way: A Hard Look on the Inside

My last “Along the Way” post dealt with the evil of fundamentalism/nationalism, looking at Jesus’ call to have eyes that see as a way of naming it, resisting it, and overcoming it with good. The problem is, when the eyes … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: A Hard Look on the Inside

Along the Way: We See You!

The caricature and denigration of “social justice” by Christian fundamentalist/nationalists is not only an abberation of the Gospel, it is a revelation of how wedded the Christian right is to the “dirty rotten system” (Dorothy Day). [1] Fundamentalists/nationalists reap enormous … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: We See You!

Along the Way: The Hard Work of Hope”

Earlier today I read an article by Dr. Walter Brueggemann in which he used the phrase “the hard work of hope.” [1] The phrase stuck to the velcro on my soul, putting words to a sentiment I have had for … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Hard Work of Hope”

Along the Way: Full-Spectrum Reality

If you have followed my writing here on Oboedire and elsewhere, you know that I have found the song “Deep and Wide” to be one of the best ones for understanding the spiritual life. Many of us learned the song … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Full-Spectrum Reality

Along the Way: Oppression in Operation

I occasionally write that my Sociology major in college has served me well over the years, providing insight into my second major, Religion. At the time I graduated, I had no idea how both would interact to enrich my faith … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Oppression in Operation

Along the Way: What About the Bible?

A review of Church history reveals that when critical issues emerge in the Church, alongside the particular topic is the larger matter of the inspiration and authority of Scripture. [1] Some groups claim they are “biblical” and allege others are … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: What About the Bible?

Along the Way: Oneness & Oneing

The Day of Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church, and there is a sense in which that is true. More on that below. But a look at the text itself (Acts 2:1-21) shows that it was the … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Oneness & Oneing

Along the Way: Another Inquisition

Jeannie and I have stood in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. I imagine some of you reading this have as well. It was one of the main locations (there were many others across Europe) for the Inquisition. [1] Alleged infidels … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Another Inquisition

Along the Way: Now More Than Ever

Recently on a phone call with a former student who is struggling spiritually, I said to him, “I am more in love with Christ than I have ever been.” I spoke the words as an encouragement to him; the words … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Now More Than Ever

Along the Way: Reconciliation

Midway through Holy Week I am connecting the redemptive work of Christ with something Thomas Aquinas wrote. They both shed light on the word ‘reconciliation.’ On Friday of Holy Week, the grand clarification occurred. Aquinas wrote, “a mistake in our … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Reconciliation

Along the Way: The Unsettling Bible

Once in a while someone will say, “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.” There was a time when I spoke the words. They almost always are said in a defense of Scripture and as a declaration … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Unsettling Bible

Along the Way: You Can’t Handle the Truth

The prophetic message to fallen-world priests and potentates can be summed up in the line taken from the movie “A Few Good Men”—”you can’t handle truth.” Walter Brueggemann writes powerfully about this in a recent blog. I have attached it … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: You Can’t Handle the Truth

Along the Way: Treasures Old and New

Jesus described transformation as bringing forth treasures old and new (Matthew 13:52). The context of this idea is that the kingdom of God is a treasure, sometimes hidden, but never non-existent (Matthew 13:44). In this context, Jesus said that disciples … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way, UMC | Comments Off on Along the Way: Treasures Old and New

Along the Way: The Transforming Union

In my post entitled, “Press On,” I re-emphasized the need (my need) to resist evil by practicing the better—that is, by overcoming evil with good. This post builds upon that idea.. Today, I want to write about the starting point … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Transforming Union

Along the Way: Press On!

In my post, “Parting Words & Words of Witness” (now viewed about 8,000 times), I simultaneously made a point and recovered a lesson. The point is in the post itself, and you can read it if you have not already … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Press On!

Along the Way: Parting Words & Words of Witness

On May 1st, the Global Methodist Church will officially begin, and some congregations will disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church, the first wave of a separation process that will take years to complete. I will not be going with them, … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way, UMC | Comments Off on Along the Way: Parting Words & Words of Witness

Along the Way: Just Say Evil

Theodicy—there, I said it. The problem of evil—it’s what the word means. The problem of evil—there certainly is one, actually many problems. The problem of evil—when and how to talk about it as a Christian? That’s the question I hope … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Just Say Evil

Along the Way: Surviving on Lies

In her acceptance speech of President Biden’s nomination to be the next Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson promised to uphold the rule of law and defend the Constitution. But it was not enough to curb the ire of rightwing … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Surviving on Lies

Along the Way: A Telling False Allegation

Since the first of the month I have come across a book, a blog, and an article that reveal fundamentalist Christianity has identified yet another “enemy of the Gospel”—social justice. It’s a telling and false allegation. I have seen periodic … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: A Telling False Allegation

Along The Way: Looking Through the Windshield

The spiritual life is a journey, and we proceed by looking ahead through the windshield, not staring at the rearview mirror. With my “New Awakening” series ending last week, I continue looking into 2022, but without any new series for … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along The Way: Looking Through the Windshield

Along the Way: Faith–Reality or Reality TV?

Faith exists in the context of closed-system or open-system thinking. [1] Both systems use the term “progressive revelation” but they mean different things by it. Closed-system thinking believes progress occurs only in relation to already-established “orthodoxies” (variously defined by respective … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Faith–Reality or Reality TV?

Along the Way: The Great Challenge

If you were to ask me, “What is the greatest challenge in your spiritual life these days?” I would have no trouble answering you. It is living within Paul’s exhortation, “Be angry without sinning” (Ephesians 4:26). I am angry with … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Great Challenge

Along the Way: The Sacred Union of Science and Theology”

“The sciences are helping to restore spirituality to its rightful place, revealing to us a supernatural Reality that is in everyone and everything. [1] Theology, likewise, is restoring this understanding to matters of faith and action. [2] Matter is concentrated … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Sacred Union of Science and Theology”

Along the Way: The Note of Joy

During my time as a seminary administrator, I would often ask, “Are we having fun?” And I would say to staff, “Get as close to a party as you can.” These were lighthearted ways of making an important point: we … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Note of Joy

Along the Way: The Upward Way

For more than a decade I have been on a journey often referred to as “emergent Christianity.” [1] It has taken me into that part of Christianity called “progressive.”  It has been a life-changing experience in more ways than I … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Upward Way

Along the Way: It’s Temple Time

America is a house divided. Not as it was during the time of the Union and the Confederacy, but in observable ways, very recently demonstrated by those I read on social media who lambasted the inclusion of “Let Every Voice … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: It’s Temple Time

Along the Way: The Faith We Need

We live by faith. So says the Bible in several places. But what kind of faith? I nominate the faith of St. Thomas, what Brian McLaren calls “faith after doubt” in his book by the same title. [1] Our stereotype … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Faith We Need

Along the Way: A Good Trembling

I posted this earlier today on my Facebook page. I am reposting it here to better archive it, and to share it with those of you who are not Facebook friends…. “A Good Trembling” I had no plans to write … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: A Good Trembling

Along the Way: Originalism

​Once again the concept of Originalism is being heard in the land. It is essentially a legal hermeneutic which says a contemporary law must express the intent of “the founding fathers” around the year 1789. The late Supreme Court justice … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Originalism

Along the Way: The Root Problem

​I agree with those who point out that social media can be a place where rage overtakes reason, where emotions overrule education. And I confess my own failures along this line in some of the things I have posted. It … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Root Problem

Along the Way: Fluid Formation

​Years ago, Richard Foster and I were visiting over a meal. It happened to be at a time when my daily devotions were tepid. I asked him about this, hoping he could share something that would “jump start” my prayer … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Fluid Formation

Along the Way: Dethroning Evil #3

​This is the final post in this mini-series. I have made use of Ephesians 6:10-20 to commend Christian resistance to evil. In the first post, we looked at the motive for resistance. In the second one, we explored the mindset … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Dethroning Evil #3

Along the Way: Dethroning Evil #2

​In the first post  on this subject a few days ago, I voiced  my conviction that the November election is ultimately about dethroning evil.[1] It is not about Donald Trump losing and Joe Biden winning (though that is a necessary … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Dethroning Evil #2

Along The Way: Dethroning Evil #1

It’s time for me (you decide if it’s time for you) to push through the “fluff and stuff” and cut to the chase: the election on November 3rd is no longer about candidates or parties. It is about the dethronement … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along The Way: Dethroning Evil #1

Along the Way: The Formative Flow

I am grateful to Richard Foster for his development of a spiritual formation paradigm: vision, intention, means ]1] I use it often, and remind you about it occasionally. Today, I had another opportunity to think about it as I read … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: The Formative Flow

Along the Way: At the Bottom of “The Slippery Slope”

When I wrote ‘For the Sake of the Bride’ in 2014, I received immediate pushback and censure from colleagues at Asbury Theological Seminary, and from the larger conservative Wesleyan world.  One parachurch group described me as “the latest evangelical to … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: At the Bottom of “The Slippery Slope”

Along The Way: Tending the Flock

​“Tend the flock of God among you” (1Peter 5:2) During the course of my thirty two years as a seminary professor, I taught courses in United Methodist history, theology, and polity in two theological schools and one Course of Study … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along The Way: Tending the Flock

Along the Way: Real Love

​It’s not even noon, and my email box, facebook page, and related social media have presented a host of people and groups, all espousing love as being at the heart of what they are saying and doing.  And not surprisingly, … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Real Love

Along The Way: Our New Friendship

​On the night of his betrayal, Jesus gathered with his disciples.  John records it in chapters 15-17.  The evening was filled with one treasure after another, which we can read and re-read for our edification. One gem was Jesus’ definition … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along The Way: Our New Friendship

Along the Way: Mastery or Mystery?

​The longer I explore a theology of human sexuality, the more I realize that the differences we hold regarding it are produced by something larger than the topic itself.  With respect to anything, we are directed to a great extent … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Mastery or Mystery?

Along the Way: On Point

​If I were a pastor, I would make youth ministry the cutting edge of my church’s mission.  There are a number of reasons why I would do this.  I write today only about one, and it is a reason fueled … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: On Point

Along the Way: Dreaming

​For the first time in our nation’s history, Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls in the midst of a presidential impeachment/trial process. [1]. The juxtaposition of these two things shapes my thinking as we observe MLK Jr Day today. On … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: Dreaming

Along the Way: What’s Going On?

We are living through an intense time of polarization, with resulting fragmentations of all sorts and sizes.  Every day adds new impetus for asking, “What’s going on?”  The depth and breadth of our conflicts makes a blanket answer impossible.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Along the Way | Comments Off on Along the Way: What’s Going On?