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Showing posts from June, 2014

St. Francis of the Woods

This past weekend, Mahina and I spent time with my good friend Brad. He’s the newly appointed director of St. Francis of the Woods. It’s an ecumenical  spiritual renewal center in Coyle, Oklahoma.
On a wall in one of the several buildings on the grounds, I found a plaque that contained their mission statement:
This is a place where persons from every background are welcomed. The Chapel and the service of the Divine Liturgy signify our roots with earliest Christian traditions, and the center is named from Francis of Assisi, the most universal figure in Christian tradition other than Jesus Christ. But sincere seekers upon any of the countless spiritual paths are to share the grounds and facilities for worship, study, rest, work, service to one another, to God, and to the center.
John R. C. Adair, Sr., founder Sept. 2, 1988
I really like this quote. It not only captures my own heart about Grace Gardens, but it’s encouraging to know that there have been others, are others, and will be others w…

Weekly Gospel Reflection — 29 June 2014

Matthew 10.40-42 (CEB): Those who receive you are also receiving me, and those who receive me are receiving the one who sent me. Those who receive a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Those who receive a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. I assure you that everybody who gives even a cup of cold water to these little ones because they are my disciples will certainly be rewarded.
We have a saying in the Lindisfarne Community, “To be as Christ to those we meet; to find Christ within them.” I like to think that Jesus is saying the same thing here.
What if we stopped for a moment and looked at everyone like this? That is, what if we decided to see Jesus in the face of everyone we meet? And I do mean “everyone.” As it’s election time, that would include Democrats, Republicans, voters, non-voters, members of the House, members of the Senate, the President, etc.
I also mean gay people, straight people, women people, men people, chil…

NT Eschatology—Conclusion

In this post, we’ll wrap up our very long series on New Testament eschatology. As we’ve seen throughout this study, the eschatology of the New Testament, by and large, finds its fulfillment within the same event Jesus warned about — the Jewish / Roman War of 66 - 70 (73) CE. It’s only when we do one of two things (or both) that the New Testament’s eschatology takes on a different meaning:
The Jewish / Roman War if flatly denied as a possible fulfillment. When the letters are believed to have been written after the destruction of the Temple.
Now, these can be in either order and sometimes go hand in hand. Some will contend, “Well, most — if not all — of the New Testament was written after 70 CE. Therefore, they can’t be talking about that.”
Others will contend, “Well, there’s no way the Jewish / Roman War fits all the details of the warning in the New Testament. Therefore, it can’t be the fulfillment of Christ’s prediction.”
Or, a combination of both, “Well, there’s no way the war with Rome…

NT Eschatology—Letters 16

As we wind down this series, we’re finishing up our look at the book of Revelation. In this post, we’re looking at a very difficult passage. One that’s been muddled by a lot of strange speculation and mischievousness. And while it can be overwhelming, I want to just touch on a couple of things.
Revelation 13.1-10, 18 (CEB): [And] I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. Each of its horns was decorated with a royal crown, and on its heads were blasphemous names. The beast I saw was like a leopard. Its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave it his power, throne, and great authority. One of its heads appeared to have been slain and killed, but its deadly wound was healed. So the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. They worshipped the dragon because it had given the beast its authority. They worshipped the beast and said, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
The beast was given a mouth that…