Dear Christian Radio, I Love/Hate You

Post originally appeared at Missio Alliance’s Writing Collective on December 29, 2015. Dear Christian Radio, I don’t listen to you often, but when I do I must admit I don’t always not like what I hear. I mean there are times when I’m looking to just fill my aural space with the safety and ease…

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Incarnation as Incursion, The Christ-Birth as Assault

    Christmas is marked by an aesthetic of beauty and wonder. Our home is decked with strings of sparkly stars. There are real pine cones interspersing the garland along the wooden stair rails, and our glowing tree is (arguably) the best on the street. But that tree is actually dead. “Dead as a doornail,”…

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An Advent Thought: A Royal Nobody

(Note: I’m (Joel) contributing to a daily Advent devotional. Each post proceeds from a lectionary reading.) John 7:40-44 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that…

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The Sacrilege we call “Incarnation” (and the Divine Love of Drastic Measures)

The Word became flesh and dwelled among us… (from John 1:14) Last night was the annual Carol Service for St Mary’s College. As Chaplain, the organization of everything but the music was my responsibility (and for the online record, the St Mary’s Chapel Choir may be the best of its kind—anywhere). Intermingled with the ethereal,…

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The Spiritual Life and Divine Assault (When God Hurts Us)

“God sometimes hurts us.” I said this as I sank with a sigh, exhausted and burdened, into a chair in our living room. Wisely, my wife posed the most appropriate question: “Well, does this happen in Scripture?” The answer, we agreed, is YES. God hurts us. And Christians need a spirituality capacious enough for divine…

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