Archive for August, 2014

We fool ourselves—quite literally—when we imagine that spontaneous means genuine.

It is a snare to say rashly, ‘It is holy,’ and to reflect only after making vows. (Proverbs 20:25 ESV)

The Hebrew text is a tough one to penetrate. (more…)

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For a course of instruction that is all about observing how the world works and then turning that understanding to shaping that world, the book of Proverbs’ counsel to just let go delivers a jolt:

Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22 ESV)

In the face of the possibility of revenge, wisdom’s studied activism turns suddenly still. We are waved away even from imagining how good vengeance would feel. How righteous it would be. How justified my setting things back in balance by striking back at the one who has taken from me. (more…)


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La expresión se le atribuye al  teólogo y pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945).  Sin embargo, la autoría le corresponde al jurista, escritor, poeta y teólogo holandés, Hugo Grocio, quien la pronunciaría tres siglos atrás. Por supuesto, Bonhoeffer la retoma y la contextualiza desde la realidad de su cautiverio: prisionero en la celda número 92, de dos por tres metros cuadrados, en la cárcel de Tegel, en Berlín, Alemania. (more…)

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We loathe the moment when our conversation partner looks distractedly over our shoulder. Or fidgets with his keys. Or gives the appearance of listening, but with her eyes empty as clouds, her thoughts elsewhere.

We long for eye contact. We were made for face-to-face. (more…)

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Convinced of his integrity, the writer of Psalm 26 pleads for vindication with a confidence that tender souls might find disturbing.

We must understand that the writer has done precisely what the ‘wisdom psalms’ instruct the novice in life to do if he wants to become both just and wise. The psalmist can speak transparently about his trajectory in life because he has followed the game plan. It is not that he has beat out his neighbors in some cheap contest of personal rectitude. Rather, YHWH’s plan for the development of a human life has proved reliable. Except, so far, for the part about vindication. (more…)

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What was I thinking …?

We ask ourself the impossible question when our idiocy has come under the irrefutable light of day.

I was a fool. I was deluded. Distracted. Or drunk. Or stupid.

It is every believer’s nightmare, to have been wrong about everything. Regardless of the ideology that has claimed heart,  mind, or wallet—faithfully secular or conventionally religious—the wolf at the door is to have been simply wrong. Because faith goes to the root of things, to be proven wrong about our core conviction is to have been wrong about everything else as well. (more…)

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