“Room for you to enter into it, stand up and walk around.” A conversation with Sandra McCracken

I’ve long been a fan of Sandra McCracken. Over the years she has developed a really specific voice, through writing songs, playing concerts, house shows and hymn sings, and being part of a grassroots movement to reintroduce and revive old hymn texts to a younger listeners and churches. I have heard her talk about growing…

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Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day we remember Jesus lived in the land of death. He was dead. Really dead. In a tomb dead. As in, he was a corpse, dead. Dead, dead. There will come a day — if it has not come already — when the fact that Christ has gone ahead of us…

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On Pollen, Parenting, the Nose Sucker, and Suffering in the Life of Faith

It is all yellow in the Deep South. The Pollen-Apocalypse is upon us. As a result, my 6 month old son, Leland, has been a sneezy, snotty, runny-nosed, and congested mess. He is not breathing well, therefore he is not sleeping well. He is not sleeping well, therefore he is whiny, exhausted, frustrated, and miserable….

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Good Friday

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 Sometimes I imagine a simple conversation between Jesus and all of us. Jesus: “It is finished.” Us: “What is finished?” Jesus: “Everything.” Us: “But you don’t know what I’ve done.” Jesus:…

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Luther on the Psalms

“Hence it is that the Psalter is the book for all the saints; and everyone, in whatever situation he may be, finds in that situation psalms and words that fit his case, that suit him as if they were put there just for his sake, so that he could not put it better himself, or…

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Video of Poem on Hopeful Realism

  If the idea of “hopeful realism,” the namesake of this blog, has been of any interest to you, please check out this video. My dear friend and poet, John Castling, has written a poem that captures the essence of a faith realistic enough to accommodate the horrors of a world stricken with death, disease,…

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Texts that “Scream”

The following is how I opened my class last term on the Old Testament Prophets at Cranmer Hall…   My son just finished reading The Goblet of Fire, my favorite book in the Harry Potter series, a series that bring us into an alternative world of magic and mystery. In preparing for this opening lecture…

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Community and Ministry in the Gospels and Letters of John

This Friday I am teaching at Cranmer Hall‘s “Explore Day,” from 10:30–4:00 (yes, there will be breaks in between, plus lunch!). The idea is to “explore” ministry-related themes in a biblical text (or collection of texts, as it were). Here is my outline for the day. If you are local and interested, email cranmer.admin@durham.ac.uk to…

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A Personal Year in Review: Chris’ Highlights

For all of the well-documented or potential problems with our social media-saturated lives, I find it helpful at the end of the year to retrace my timeline (Instagram happens to be my drug of choice) to remember, to figure out my own trends and tendencies, and to reflect on the Lord’s faithfulness and movement, sometimes…

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