When I started my graduate studies in theology last year, I never anticipated a curriculum with vocabulary like air rights, luxury condominiums, or student protest. But Union Theological Seminary faces an ethical and financial conundrum, one that threatens to fracture our community from within.
Lutherans are trained to hear the scriptures as proclaiming either law or gospel. By "law" they mean not passages from the Old Testament but all of the Bible's bad news: the sins we commit, the misery we experience, the sorrows we inflict on one another, the death we anticipate, the distance from God that diminishes our lives. By "gospel" they mean not the final reading on Sunday morning but the good news of the mercy given by a loving God, wherever in the Bible it is proclaimed.
In Acts comes Luke’s imaginative way to build upon ancient stories. The tongues of fire are no longer seen from afar on top of God’s mountain. And the multiplicity of languages becomes God’s vehicle for bringing salvation to the entire world.