Tag Archives: Bonhoeffer

“Religionless” Again for the First Time – Let’s Talk

[Note: the date of the issue is incorrect. I wrote this in 2011] I have made two visits to St. Augustine’s House in Oxford, Michigan. The first was in 2006, after my second year of divinity school and my summer clinical pastoral education unit with a hospice care provider, and before my endorsement interviews and […]

Serving and Being Served

Jesus says that the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. And that means that we who are saved by faith in him, and raised to new life by his grace, must allow him to serve us, too. If you know the power of service, you probably know also the mania that can come with it. The passive-aggressiveness–”it’s ok, I’ll just do it myself.” The resentment–”I work and work and give and give and no one thanks me.” If Jesus only wanted us to find the humblest task and do it for someone else, he’d be setting us up for a great deal of misery.

Only a Suffering God

If God shows himself to us here, God can start to show himself to us anywhere. Through the cross, we see God in both the peaceful sunrise and the terrible storm. We can see God in both the beauty and the tragedy of childbirth. We can see God not only in the wonder we create, but in the suffering world. We can see God not only in our chattering world, but in the vast silence of the universe–filled with the same silence that answers Jesus on the cross.

It’s the Pictures that Got Small

(I wrote this in March, 2013) I am no more eager than Damon Linker to rehash the arguments of the Lesser Atheism, but I don’t quite follow him this far: If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we’re alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, […]

Neither Fear Nor Courage Saves Us, Part Infinity: On the Church’s Lost Half-Century

(Note: I wrote this in September, 2012) There are many reasons I love St. Augustine’s House in Oxford, Michigan, North America’s only Lutheran monastery. Being back for my third retreat there, earlier this month, and browsing through some of its historical accounts, I was struck as I periodically am by how humbling it is to drag one’s […]

My Back Pages: Saints and Sinners

(Note: I wrote this for The Daily in November, 2011. It is no longer extant, so I am republishing it here). In America today, we may not know what it means to be a saint, but it can’t be said that we lack for opinions on what a saint is not. Or at least who […]