For most of Western history, the Bible and theological inquiry formed the foundation not only for learning and knowledge but also for shaping cultural perspectives as well as the individual’s. Families and communities, each society as a whole, lived within the Judeo-Christian worldview as the very air to be breathed. One of the most profound changes in Western culture is the loss of that foundation. (A friend who studied at Cornell in the 1960’s recalls a literature professor, Jewish, who paused in the midst of his published schedule of readings and, for two weeks, taught what he considered the minimal amount of “bible” necessary for his students to be able to understand nineteenth-century literature.) Society has become increasingly secular, left with only a strong memory of the Judeo-Christian story, and in many ways one which is inaccurate and inadequate. Read More…


Certain of our participants responded to the email message of last week as it regarded the dynamic between creation and kingdom. Some were confused because they were more familiar with the picture of a dichotomy between “earth and heaven.” Others took note of what they suspected were contradictions in a juxtaposition of creation theology and kingdom theology. Bishop Doss was asked to elaborate and perhaps clarify the distinctions he has formed as well as the dynamic of their interrelationship.

The difficulty that has been identified is due in part to the fact that both the popularized Christian theology of North America, and the common secular perspective today find the relationship between world and kingdom paradoxical – at best. In the statement I offered to describe the concrete behavior Christianity expects of discipleship some saw contradictions: God wills us to be at home in the world – God calls us to recognize that we are in exile; God wills us to embrace human life, our specific life, the way things are, as the most precious gift – God calls us to critique the world and change it most radically; God wills that we become fully human – God wills that we yearn for our eternal destiny.  God wills us to bless this world – God calls us to judge the world. And so forth.

Perhaps it will help to tell the story of when I first posited the formulation being examined. Read More…


by Donald Schell

If I’ve framed this question as I mean to, it will probably sound nonsensical to two quite different groups –

            – One group includes post-Christian atheists, agnostics, apathetics, and “spiritual but not-religious” people, many of them my friends.  To them, the question will sound nonsensical coming from me, a priest of forty years, now an itinerant teacher and workshop leader, but still going to church every Sunday and happily covering as a supply priest in a variety of church settings as I’m invited.  They might tell me that they don’t have a clue what church is for, but don’t expect me to be asking the question, though maybe not.  Maybe knowing I don’t mean to provide an abstract doctrinal answer would make the question interesting to them.  Maybe it would get them wondering how church compared with other purposeful organizations and gatherings.  I hope so. Read More…