Tag Archives: books


I’ve been reading Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics, by Samuel Wells, in my theology class. So far (I’m only on chapter 3), I love it. The basic point of the book is that we are called to live a life, rooted in the community of the church, in which God cultivates us in certain virtues. Our life and interaction in/with the world should be as a people shaped by these God-cultivated characteristics (basically a Christian virtue ethic). Continue reading


Is good.

Surely it would have been better to never have been created at all, than having been created, to be neglected and perish; and, besides that, such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation, and that far more than if He had never created men at all.

St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

God is here. Sustaining us. Nurturing us. Saving us. That’s the point of this whole blog thing: reflections and encounters with the present and active God; the Creator coming into the Creation.

It’s been a rough week. But then, tonight, in the middle of class I turned to the wrong page and read that quote. I had underlined it earlier in the week, while doing my readings. It seemed important then. It seems even more important now.

I am limited. It’s obvious if you read this blog. It’s more a chronicle of my failures than anything else. Hopefully, it is equally obvious that I believe that God is not limited. He is neither indifferent nor impotent. He is good and does not will any to perish and is at work redeeming his Creation.

Last night, a friend enthusiastically wrote, “WHAT WE BELIEVE AFFECTS HOW WE LIVE.” He’s right.

I believe. Help my unbelief.

weird sex

Last night, while wasting time watching comedians on the Internet, I noticed something. A lot of the comedians were mentioning a particular sex toy. Now, I have no experience with the said toy. Though I know what it looks like, I know nothing about how to use it, why to use it, or even why some people might find it enjoyable. But for some reason I’ve been running across references to the toy for the past few months with increasing frequency. Continue reading

the worst in me

Last month, I read Bonhoeffer’s Creation and Fall. It is basically his Christological (Christ-centered) interpretation of the first four chapters of Genesis. When discussing the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life he makes an interesting point. Those two trees are at the center of the Garden. Humans’ limit is not found on the edges of the garden but at its heart.  Similarly, life is at the center of the garden. Those two ideas the limit and center are the core of the book.

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faking joy

What is it about joy that is so hard to capture in words? Earlier today I was reading Barth’s Dogmatics in Outline, and blown away by how articulately he was able to express basics truths of Christianity. Until I came to the chapter “On the Third Day He Rose Again.” He started writing about Easter, and how it represented not just the resurrection of Christ but of all creation. It was the vindication of Christ’s sacrifice; without it the crucifixion would have been in vain… but the chapter seemed to lack the conviction of his earlier ones. The language was flat. Continue reading

Barth break

I’ve been reading through the second half of Barth’s Dogmatics in Outline today. It is really good. I thought I would share a few highlights.

Where God and this centre of our faith are involved, those differences which seem so interesting and important to us, become not just superfluous but silly. It is the truth of the real or the reality of the true which here enters the field: God speaks, God acts, God is in the midst (67).

Jesus Christ is the reality of the covenant between God and man (69).

What is involved in the existence of Israel is that a man appointed thereto by God is there in God’s place on behalf of all other men. Such is Israel’s reality, a man or a community, a people in God’s service, not in sense of  a nation claim, but for the other peoples and to that extent as the servant of all peoples. This people is God’s commissioner. It has to proclaim His word; that is it’s prophetic mission (77).

Where man fails, God faithfulness triumphs (79).

The earth is full of miracles and glory. It could not be God’s creature and the area of our existence appointed by God, if it were not full of revelations (83).

The Bible is not a letter-box but the grand document of the revelation of God (85).

In Him, He has from eternity bound himself to each, to all. Along the entire line it holds, form the creatureliness of man, through the misery of man, to the glory promised to man (91).

… everything will depend on Christians not painting a picture of the Lord or an idea of Christ, but on succeeding with their human words and ideas in pointing to Christ himself (94).

… there is no theolgia crucis which does not have its complement in theologia gloriae (114).

Reconciliation means God taking mans place. Let me add that no doctrine of the central mystery can exhaustively and precisely grasp and express the extent to which God has intervened here. Do not confuse my theory of reconciliation with the thing itself. All theories of reconciliation can be nothing but pointers (116).

We must not transmute the Resurrection to a spiritual event. We must listen to it and let it tell us the story: how there was an empty grave, that new life beyond death became visible (123).

a public apology

I was struggling reading through Anselm’s “Monologism” and “Prosologion” this afternoon. I even made a little post on Facebook calling him boring. But as I was reading, I became very convicted. This is a man struggling to know and teach others about God. For the past 1000 years Christians have learned from his insight. — and I found it all kind of boring. Continue reading