embodiment is the end of god's path

Bonhoeffer Scholarship Come of Age — February 19, 2018

Bonhoeffer Scholarship Come of Age

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 9.48.44 AM.jpgReview of Taking Hold of the Real: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Profound Worldliness of Christianity by Barry Harvey. Cascade Books, 2015.

This Review was Published in Cultural Encounters in 2017.

“Taking Hold of the Real” by Barry Harvey is a powerful book with an important message for Christians today. More than yet another monograph on Bonhoeffer, it offers a compelling analysis of the state of our Western society and the Church’s complicity in its ills. With Bonhoeffer’s help, Harvey seeks to describe an alternative way of being in the world that patterns itself after Christ’s being with and for the world. Harvey takes up Bonhoeffer’s concept of this-worldliness (the insistence that Christian existence is to be radically worldly in a christocentric sense) within the context of a world come of age. The world come of age is yet another term Bonhoeffer coined while in prison to describe the emergence of a modern world that had thrown off religion as an unnecessary garment as it encountered a new dawn of rationality and alleged maturity. How should Christians be Christians in such a world, Bonhoeffer wondered? Continue reading

The Impossibility of Christian Community — February 14, 2018

The Impossibility of Christian Community

Last week, the Guardian reported on Bay View, a town in Michigan, that is being sued for excluding non-Christians from buying and owning property in its community. While such communities with an original goal of spiritual renewal are not uncommon in the United States, this one stands out because the asociation enforcing the rules is defending itself.

The exclusion rule is not entirely innocent, however. The Guardian reports that “The Christian exclusionary component was introduced in the 1940s. This was a time of heightened racial anxiety and antisemitism in the US…” And indeed: “[t]he Christian-only clause was introduced together with a white-only clause, which the association eliminated the following decade.” Thus, it is safe to say that the exclusion rule was not for the purpose of spiritual renewal—as it was for previous generations—but for the sake of keeping out the other—an unwanted other. Continue reading

De nieuwe donorwet: is orgaandonatie bijbels? —

De nieuwe donorwet: is orgaandonatie bijbels?

De Eerste Kamer heeft de nieuwe donorwet aangenomen. Sommigen blij, anderen niet. Wel raar, een overheid die grossierder wordt in de lijken van haar dode onderdanen. Ik heb er ambivalente gevoelens bij. Aan de ene kant mag de overheid niet zomaar beschikken over de lichamen van haar onderdanen; ook niet na hun dood. Dat kan gewoon helemaal niet. Aan de andere kant is er een schreeuwende behoefte aan orgaandonatie. Er gaan letterlijk mensen dood die gered zouden kunnen worden met een orgaantransplantatie. Dus ik kan het wel een beetje begrijpen. D66 speelt ook wel een beetje dubbelspel, lijkt me, aan de ene kant de maximale individuele vrijheid van het individu voorstaan, maar dan gelijk ook, uh, eigenlijk helemaal niet! Je lichaam behoort de overheid toe, tenzij…

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Misogynistic Theology: The Art of Keeping Women Out! — February 10, 2018

Misogynistic Theology: The Art of Keeping Women Out!

A transcript from audio on the Desiring God website on January 22 gives Piper’s answer to the question: “whether women should be models, mentors, and teachers for those preparing for a role that is biblically designed for spiritual men.” He observes that, unlike in college, in Seminaries a young man “is now submitting himself to a community of teachers who, by their precept and example, are called to shape his mind and his heart for vocational pastoral ministry.” It is therefore Piper’s opinion that to “distinguish the seminary teaching role from the pastoral teaching role in such a way that the biblical restriction to men does not apply to the seminary teaching results in a serious inconsistency.” He concludes that ” in seeking to justify women teacher-mentors for aspiring pastors, one will be hard put to stress that they’re not in the same category as pastors, and thus, as we believe, out of step with the Scriptures.” Continue reading

Review of “Iconoclastic Theology: Gilles Deleuze and the Secretion of Atheism” — February 9, 2018

Review of “Iconoclastic Theology: Gilles Deleuze and the Secretion of Atheism”


Review for Cultural Encounters of Iconoclastic Theology: Gilles Deleuze and the Secretion of Atheism by F. LeRon Shults. Edinburgh University Press, 2014. 232 pp. $24.03 hardcover. 

Iconoclastic Theology is an unusual book for this category as it attempts to apply the results of the study of the bio-cultural evolution of religion to the philosophy of atheist thinker Gilles Deleuze with the aim of producing an iconoclastic theology that relentlessly advocates a radical atheism. The book purports to be a theology rather than atheist philosophy, because “theology is simply too important to leave to theists” (187), says Shults, a former Evangelical theologian who has now left the Christian faith behind. The book follows a current trend in public discourse to its ultimate logic: the dissolution of god as a meaningful concept. Continue reading

Does Staring at God’s Glory Make You Spiritually Healthy? No! — February 8, 2018
How Bonhoeffer Can Be an Ally for Trump Voters — October 18, 2016

How Bonhoeffer Can Be an Ally for Trump Voters


When Liberty University’s president Jerry Falwell Jr. announced his endorsement for Trump, I was amazed at the rhetoric that justified the evangelical vote for a Trump presidency. As someone with close ties to the evangelical community my amazement turned into horror as I witnessed how evangelical leaders across the board joined in the call to urge evangelical voters to love up on Trump. Continue reading

Review/Blurb “Between the World and Me” — July 26, 2016

Review/Blurb “Between the World and Me”

25489625“Between the World and Me” is required reading for all! With his great mastery of language Ta-Nehisi Coates gives voice to the reality of racial oppression in America. He turns the poetic into sarcasm and biting analysis but never eradicates beauty from his prose as he talks about the love for his son, the admiration for his wife, and the irrepressible living hope for his people. His impressionistic style weaves a tapestry of images that blend his youth with the reality of survival in the street and integrate his maturation and intellectual development with the vast canon of black thought and intellectualism. Continue reading

The Cross of Reality: A Personal Review — January 10, 2016

The Cross of Reality: A Personal Review

9781451488807h.jpgGaylon Barker’s book about the theology of the cross in Bonhoeffer “The Cross of Reality: Luther’s Theologia Crucis and Bonhoeffer’s Christology” deserves the highest praise. Although, I have to admit, it’s also been a pain in the ass until I read it. That is to say, this book was published at the very moment that I did my innovative discovery of the theology of the cross being the guiding motif in all of Bonhoeffer’s work. Continue reading