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Entries for #Essay

Holy Money contra Empire

St. Timothy teaches in 1 Tim 6:10 that “the love of money is the root of all evils.” In an economy as complex as ours with as many variables and systems at play, can money be the root of the evils of oppressive empire and economics? By exploring the origins and history of money and banking, money’s fall from grace at the hands of empire is vividly apparent. By understanding where we are and how we got there, it is possible to take money ad fontes to God’s original gifting intent of creation. Read more...

Posted: Mon, Apr 30, 2018, Words: ~4600, Reading Time: 22 min

Las Casas: Hope in Sin's Darkness

For the modern theologian, Bartolomé de las Casas presents quite a number of difficulties. Las Casas’ turn from a participant and supporter of the Spanish encomienda system of Indian enslaved labor to an ardent opponent and the theology behind it is to be greatly admired. Las Casas’ theological anthropology provides a foundation for a theology whose trajectory points to the imago Dei within each human being and the equality of value of all within the Kingdom of God and all who the Kingdom looks upon. Read more...

Posted: Tue, Apr 10, 2018, Words: ~2000, Reading Time: 10 min

Martin Luther: Christological Implications to Eucharist

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism – though short and concise – presents a clear window into Luther’s understanding of Christ’s nature and how that nature works itself out in the ordo salutis. Historically, Luther’s writings on the Sacrament of the Bread and Wine followed the path of the Reformation debates on the Mass as a sacrifice and how – or even if – Jesus was present in the Eucharistic elements. Theologically, however, Luther’s views on Sacraments, specifically the Eucharist, can best be understood through his Christology. Read more...

Posted: Fri, Mar 2, 2018, Words: ~2500, Reading Time: 12 min

Parables, Desire, and Salvation: A Counter-Reformation Reading of Mark 4:10-12

In the Synoptic Gospels, each Evangelist narrates an event where Jesus explains to the Disciples and the other people standing around him the reason for his use of parables (Matt 13:10-17, Mark 4:10-12, and Luke 8:9-10). Jesus says that he teaches those who follow him the μυστήριον τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ1 — the “mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11). To those outside of his circle, however, he does not reveal God’s mystery. Read more...

Posted: Thu, Nov 30, 2017, Words: ~3400, Reading Time: 16 min

Baptism: Sacramental Ark of Holiness and Salvation

The Articles of Religion of the Church of England state in article XXV that sacraments are “not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession” but that they are “sure witnesses,” “effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will towards us.” Further, sacraments work “invisibly” in humanity and “not only quicken but also strengthen and confirm” humanity’s faith in Jesus. It is within these bounds that Lancelot Andrewes preaches his sermon on the Holy Spirit on Pentecost — Whit-Sunday — in 1625. Read more...

Posted: Wed, Nov 29, 2017, Words: ~2000, Reading Time: 10 min

Anglican Baptism: Regenerative and Salvific Through Sacrament and Faith

Anglicanism is a diverse and varied tradition. Before the Reformation, Anglicanism refers to whatever Christians were doing1 in the British Isles. Post-reformation, Anglicanism applies to the ecclesial bodies identifying with the pre-denominational Christianity of Britain and continuing to live in that communion.2 Anglicanism, on the one hand, identifies as an ancient expression of the Christian faith existing before the Great Schism. Thus, Anglicanism is — with the Roman and Eastern churches — a Catholic and apostolic body. Read more...

Posted: Mon, Oct 30, 2017, Words: ~2800, Reading Time: 13 min

Adopted into a Holy Family of Love

Humanity’s adoption by God as his children is a theme throughout Hebrew and Christian scripture. By his own free will God has chosen Israel and the Church established on her foundation to be his children. God’s adoption of humankind gives theological richness to what it means for people to be in relationship to God, to live a life of holiness, and to be free. Relationship Throughout Scripture, God is time and time again referenced as Israel and Christians’ father and parent. Read more...

Posted: Mon, Sep 25, 2017, Words: ~1200, Reading Time: 6 min

Humanity & the Church

Introduction Humanity and the Church or, to cast them in more theological terms, theological anthropology and ecclesiology, are highly related doctrines that often get overlooked in the Christian theological community. First providing a brief history to setup a framework for theological discourse, I seek to better understand what humanity is in the eyes of and relationship to God and to define what the Church is and is called to be in the world. Read more...

Posted: Fri, Apr 28, 2017, Words: ~6100, Reading Time: 29 min

Jesus, Center & Surplus

At the center of what makes Christian theology distinct from the general theological conversations of the religious traditions of the world, is the Christian engagement of Jesus. Other traditions – Judaism and Islam particularly – have something to say about the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth; his life, ministry, and teachings. Only Christianity, however, places cosmic implications on Jesus. Within the Christian tradition, Jesus is not only prophet, rabbi, and rebel, but also Messiah, Christ, or “Anointed One. Read more...

Posted: Tue, Mar 14, 2017, Words: ~1400, Reading Time: 7 min

The Aim of Christian Understanding: Engaged

In chapter two of The Formation of Christian Understanding Charles Wood takes on the task of defining exactly what the goal of Christian interpretation of the Bible should be. At the core of Wood’s understanding is a hermeneutical approach centered around a God who actively seeks deep relationship with his creation and a community of believers doing theology together. Though I see need to nuance some of Wood’s main points, his goal of focusing Christian interpretation of Scripture around coming to better know God and applying this knowledge as a theological collective are affirmed by Anglican doctrinal standards and more than applicable to the daily lives of Christians within the Anglican Communion. Read more...

Posted: Mon, Nov 28, 2016, Words: ~1900, Reading Time: 9 min

The Origin and Purpose of the Revised Common Lectionary

The Revised Common Lectionary1 was published by the Consultation on Common Texts2 in 1992 after six years of testing and feedback from their original lectionary introduced in 1983. The purpose of the RCL was to revive a pattern for eschatological reflection in the church by focusing Christians each Sunday on where they exist in time, what has come before, and what will come at the end. By leading Christians through Christ’s “birth, baptism, ministry, death, and resurrection,”3 the RCL ultimately sought “to lead God’s people to a deeper knowledge of Christ and faith in him. Read more...

Posted: Mon, Jan 18, 2016, Words: ~700, Reading Time: 4 min

My Call to Ministry

The path to ministry God set before me was indeed mysterious. I was raised in the Mormon church, but always felt that something wasn’t right. For the longest I assumed it was my lack of faith and sinfulness that prevented me from being able to believe the things I should. When I left home for university I stopped attending church and, though I still considered myself a Mormon, started exploring different options. Read more...

Posted: Tue, Jan 12, 2016, Words: ~1300, Reading Time: 6 min

Evangelical Anglicans in the First American Century

Introduction The 19th century was a time of great action and change in the religious scene in America. Republican ideals and the new sense of freedom offered by America’s vast frontier led to great revivals of religion. Americans questioned the established churches and forged their own religious paths with nothing except personal conscience and the Bible as their guide. Within this context the post Revolutionary War remnants of the established English church remained in America. Read more...

Posted: Sun, Dec 27, 2015, Words: ~5700, Reading Time: 27 min

Wesleyan Theology, Reduced and Engaged

Introduction For a movement still in its infancy when compared against other traditions and movements within the Christian oikoumene the Wesleyan church tradition has already reached a high level of diversity both in theology and practice. John Wesley was not a systematic theologian. His theology, like the apostle Paul, came out of the practical needs of the people he ministered to.1 Wesley was more focus on what he need to teach his parishioners and how best to teach them along with what the entire revival should be doing to best serve God and neighbor. Read more...

Posted: Wed, Apr 29, 2015, Words: ~4900, Reading Time: 23 min

The Apocalyptic-Eschatology of Jesus and Paul

Introduction The dominant worldview of Jesus, Paul, and the contemporary Hebrews was that of apocalyptic-eschatology. The prophets of the Hebrew Bible had spoken of the coming Kingdom of God and Jesus had declared himself a prophet who was the sign that the time of the end was coming for the world. Jesus, Paul, and their contemporary Judaism all have something to say about the Hebrew god’s revealing of the end of time. Read more...

Posted: Mon, Apr 20, 2015, Words: ~3600, Reading Time: 17 min