Day: August 10, 2008

How not to preach the parables

It’s a curious thing that pastors often find it so difficult to preach Jesus’ parables. In truth, the only hard thing about the parables is that they are so simple, so straightforward in what they claim and what they demand. They are so simple that we need to make them difficult in order to escape the piercing gaze of Jesus. Or perhaps some pastors feel they need to soften the parables in order to protect the congregation from God.

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How would you spend $10 billion?

If you had a spare $10 billion over the next four years, how would you spend it to achieve the most for humanity? This is a small amount compared to rich-government budgets. But if we could set aside an extra $10 billion, we could achieve an awful lot.

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Comment is free: “I am not the Archbishop of Canterbury”

Equipped with a variety of subtle ways to move the Anglican Communion toward a fuller understanding of human sexuality, he can initiate imperceptible advances on one front while publicly taking a hard line on the other. There are wheels within wheels, and he can make them all spin. He is the Archbishop of Canterbury. But I am not. And neither are you.

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The most segregated hour

Americans may be poised to nominate a black man to run for president, but it’s segregation as usual in U.S. churches, according to the scholars. Only about 5 percent of the nation’s churches are racially integrated, and half of them are in the process of becoming all-black or all-white, says Curtiss Paul DeYoung, co-author of “United by Faith,” a book that examines interracial churches in the United States.

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Presidential candidates on faith

Time let John McCain and Barack Obama to describe their faith. Each used the opportunity to offer a very different take of the issue of the importance of faith in their lives.

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Seeing Jesus

“In the fourth watch of the night he came to them walking on the sea.” That is to say, Jesus has been on the way to his disciples for a long time already, long before they notice it. “But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’”

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