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Showing posts from March, 2015

looking for heaven

Sometimes I think about dying. Over the past few months those thoughts have been more frequent as I happened upon the writings of Kara Tippetts facing her last days after several years of battling cancer. She wrote with such honesty, such kindness, such generosity at a time when it probably would have been easier just to withdraw into her community of family and friends. But she didn't, and the world is richer - I am richer - because of it.

In recent years, a number of books have been published (with some being made into films) in the genre known as "heaven tourism." These are stories written by those who claim to have died and seen glimpses of the afterlife. Just today, LifeWay Christian Resources removed all titles in this category from their stores due to questions of authenticity and the lack of theological support. This week I read the parable Jesus told about the unnamed rich man and Lazarus the beggar (Luke 16). After both die, the rich man finds himself in a pla…

the mystery of Trinity

This is not a post about a character in The Matrix. Just so we are clear. This is about one of my favourite topics, the theological concept of a triune God, three in one and one in three. At the same time. It can be a difficult concept to comprehend because we are not used to thinking of distinctiveness and unity as occupying the same space. In our world, if we happen to see evidence of several distinct personalities manifested in one person, we suggest that they get some therapy. So when we encounter the idea of three persons acting as one, it mystifies us. And so it should. As Augustine says, "If we can fully grasp it, it is not God." What we can do, however, is get glimpses of Trinity, see Trinity from several perspectives, if you will, and in this way, get some idea of what it means to be in a community of unity.

Just over a hundred years ago, Edwin Abbott Abbott penned a satirical novel called Flatland. The story takes place in a two-dimensional world where one of the …

waiting for the sun to come up

After a whirlwind of travel, teaching, deadlines, and meetings in the past few months, Dean and I managed to get away for a bit of a warm vacation last week. It was a welcome break from the work and the cold weather. We were both attacked by some ugly, demented plague flu just before our scheduled departure, but we were determined to get on that plane to Cancun even if we had to crawl on our hands and knees. And we did. We arrived pretty much depleted so the first days in Mexico were spent drinking, eating, napping, and marveling at the sensation of being warm.

I usually like to catch the sunrise when I am in a beautiful location with big, unobstructed views, so one morning I woke up early (no alarm necessary), threw on some clothes, and made my way down to the beach. The sun was scheduled to rise at 7:12 am, and when I arrived at the water's edge just before 7 am, there were already a few other people gathered there for the event. Some sat quietly on beach chairs while others wer…