Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Ways of Seeing, New Things Seen

Professor of New Testament

September 24, 2010
Isaiah 55:7-9
Mark 7:26-30

What would happen if we took our lead from the story of Jesus and the Gentile woman, and found new ways of looking at Christians outside the circles that we ourselves privilege? What would happen if we decided that there is more than one way of being a good Christian? What would happen if we chose to believe that there is enough grace to go around? Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Turning the World Upside Down ‐ Our Christian Calling

Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Studies and Global Ministries

September 24, 2010
Acts 17: 1‐15
I Corinthians 12: 4‐14

Have we become “Decaffeinated Christians” lacking in the full power and punch of the gospel? Do we lose congregants because we bore them to death? How do we regain the strength of the early church when being Christian was anything but boring? Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon outline in PDF.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Texts in Tension and the D2D

Dean of the Seminary, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Harrison Ray Anderson Professor of Ministry

September 10, 2010

As the Seminary embraces a wider vision of a ministry that attends particularly to the religious pluralism that hallmarks our national landscape and neighborhoods where the churches we serve live out their calling in Christ, difficult and troubling texts emerge from the New Testament’s expression of Gospel. When the neighbors Jesus commands us to love, as a tangible expression of God’s love, are Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and people of many faiths different than ours, what are we to do and say about Scripture like Matthew 28: 16-20, which we’ve come to call “the Great Commission”? Is it possible to read this text honestly and faithfully and hear in it something other than a divine directive to convert those who are not Christian, requiring them to abandon their own rich traditions and ways of practicing faith and insisting that “there is no salvation outside the church,” the long standing claim of the historical church? Is it possible to hear this text and others like it as genuine good news that embraces all people? Is it possible to follow Jesus’ commission with a generosity that recognizes God’s love and life giving intentions for all people and celebrates, as God does, the tapestry of faith that is expressed in the religious pluralism amidst which we live? This sermon tries to answer questions like these by considering carefully both the context in which we and Matthew’s text now live and the context of Matthew’s church in late first century and the needs the Great Commission addressed to that first community of faith. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.