Muddling through the claim that Jesus died for our sins with Arrested Development

When introducing their 1992 song “Revolution,” hip-hop group Arrested Development’s front man Speech mentions those in previous generations who were tortured and killed for the freedom and dignity of generations to come. “They died for me, and they died for you,” he concludes. Might this expression shed some light onto the Bible’s claim that Jesus died “for us”?

The Sermon on the Mount and the Church: the creative Word of God

Matthew’s Jesus tells the church, “You are the light of the world.” John’s Jesus proclaims that “I am the light of the world.” How can both be true? Because Jesus continues to be present in his church. Paul’s idea of the church as the body of Christ is not simply a crafty metaphor for the division of labor in the church, as most interpret it. Rather, it is an ontological description of our existence, character, and especially, our vocation. The Church is what happens when the creative Word of the Sermon on the Mount becomes flesh.

Remember your baptism: reflections with Walter Brueggemann and the Last Poets

If it is Christ we have been baptized into, then all things are made new. We are given the resources to live without being afraid of giving too much, too soon, and looking too foolish. We have been dispossessed of our amnesia, our despair, and our self-preoccupation. We are free and able to welcome God’s insurgency like children. If our baptism has not rendered us free and able to so live, was it Christ we were baptized into? And if it wasn’t Christ we have been baptized into, what have we been saved from?

The rich young man and us: thoughts on Mark 10.17-31

Many interpreters suggest that Jesus’ word to the rich man in Mark 10.17ff to sell all he has and give it to the poor was meant only for that man, because he had a “heart issue” with materialism. What if the problem is not materialism, but our preference for the freedom money can buy in contrast with what Jesus promises when we leave everything behind for him: a new family, houses, and farms–but with persecutions?