I’m always intrigued when I’m reminded of some of the background stories (context) behind the actual words of the Bible. John’s famous line “God is love” was born of out of a messy leadership conflict (1 John 4:8). Paul’s unifying dictum “you are all one in Christ” addressed social and racial tensions (Gal. 3:28).
It’s become a historical cliché that without the printing press, the Protestant Reformation would likely not have gotten off the ground. It’s not that the printing press caused the Reformation. Rather, the printing press not only allowed for the spread of Protestant ideas, but also allowed for a shift in power, from entrenched Church leadership to the layperson.
On Sunday, I went to church. I know, it's summer, and why would
you go to church in the summer? There's no Sunday school, and no choir,
and there are plenty of other things to do. At least, that seems to be
what several people think. But I am the pastor, and I was presiding,
so I went to church.
My last year at Duke Divinity I sat in on a panel discussion between Sam Wells, dean of Duke Chapel, and Abdullah Antepli,
Muslim chaplain to Duke University. (Imam Antepli also spoke at Wild
Goose this summer.) In the course of their discussion about Islam and
Christianity, Imam Antepli said something that disturbed me a great
deal about my faith.
I am writing a sermon on Matthew 14: 22-33,
the passage wherein Jesus invites Peter to get out of the boat and walk
on the water with him…in the midst of a storm. Peter has always seemed
to me to be the naïve, overeager, overachiever type.