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Chuck Queen

Jesus’ conversation with the woman of Samaria in the Gospel of John provides one of the most significant statements about worship in the Bible. The Father seeks, Jesus says, those who worship him “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). To worship “in spirit” involves bringing a certain vitality and energy into our worship. On the […] Read More

When is being “spiritual but not religious” not enough? Lillian Daniel has written a very good book titled “When ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church” in which she addresses this question by observing how important the local church community is for our spiritual development. Daniel concedes […] Read More

In the familiar Christmas story in Luke’s Gospel, the angels announce to the shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). In a world of constant rivalry and competition, where the win-at-any-cost attitude is the common mode of operation, can there be any lasting peace? Is […] Read More

In Matthew 11, John the Baptist heard what Jesus was doing and sent his disciples to ask him: “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” What sparks this question? Matthew introduces John the Baptist earlier as the Elijah-like precursor to the Messiah (see Matthew 3:1-12). He is […] Read More

Jesus tells an intriguing story in Luke 16:1-9 about a dishonest manager who strikes off significant amounts owed by debtors so that when he is dismissed, he would be welcomed into their homes. “His master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are shrewder in dealing with […] Read More

Reza Aslan’s basic thesis in his book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” is that Jesus was a failed revolutionary who was willing to use violence to overthrow the political and religious order to bring in God’s kingdom. Aslan rejects outright the many teachings of Jesus about nonviolence, peacemaking and love of […] Read More

One of the frequently misused teachings of Jesus involves his instruction to ask, seek and knock in Luke 11:9-13. There are Christians who treat this as magical, like a genie in a bottle, or as mechanistic, like putting money in a vending machine. They think that if they say the right words, use the right […] Read More

In St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin hangs an ancient door with a rough hewn, rectangular opening hacked out in the center to commemorate a significant event. In 1492, two prominent Irish families, the Ormands and Kildares, were in the midst of a bitter feud. Sir James Butler, Earl of Ormand, and his followers were besieged […] Read More

In his letter to the church at Philippi, it is fairly obvious that Paul is concerned about some influences that were steering the church away from the teaching he had imparted and the example he had modeled. It seems that there were two different kinds of pressure being exerted upon the church. One influence pressed […] Read More

Who Tells You Who You Are?

In his book “Letters to a Young Doubter,” William Sloan Coffin says that when he was chaplain at Yale, he would get requests from seniors to write a letter of recommendation to some “highfalutin” school like Harvard Law or Columbia Medical School. He mostly wrote about their character and integrity rather than their academic achievements or […] Read More