Render unto Caesar

So far this series on Empire and Spirit has looked at how the Gospel teachings of Jesus and Paul challenged the thought world of the Roman Empire. We've seen how disciples of Jesus are to reject the might-is-right Roman models of authority, but are instead to lead through humility; Christians likewise shake up the normal … Continue reading Render unto Caesar

Justice, Faith, and Empire

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is from faith to faith, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith'. (Rom 1.17) Paul could hardly have imagined the impact these words would have on the world and on Christian thought. To generations of Protestant interpreters, this verse … Continue reading Justice, Faith, and Empire

A Storied World

Stories matter. Every day, we hear stories and we tell stories about the world, and these stories in turn shape how we experience the world. These stories include anything from the stories of our religious traditions and our national myths to fairy tales, to our stories about how we were wronged in the check-out line … Continue reading A Storied World

Parables of the Kingdom

Jesus' parables — analogies that explain the Kingdom of God — are one of the hallmarks of his teaching. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and the pictures Jesus uses do much to open our minds to the nature of life with God. (Of course, as Jesus pointed out, if we … Continue reading Parables of the Kingdom

Working the Land (A Reflection on the Parable of the Sower)

Today's Gospel reading is the Parable of the Sower: God's Kingdom is described as a farmer who spreads seed over his lands. He does this abundantly, even wastefully, casting it onto the rocks and roadside as much as on his fields. It's a fascinating story because it presents a unique and perhaps surprising perspective on … Continue reading Working the Land (A Reflection on the Parable of the Sower)