Practical Theology

I have very spirited memories of the neighborhood I grew up in as a child; memories of running through the neighborhood with friends, going in and out of our houses and playing in our yards. Our neighborhood was an open one and as children we had the ability to run freely where ever we desired. We had access to each other’s homes and toys were freely shared. If I try hard enough, I can nearly remember what every yard, house and family looked like. This was the culture of our neighborhood: open and inviting, willing to share what we had with each other.

Next door to my house was a big plot of land that for many years sat empty. This was a shared space where all of us could play and be as crazy as we wanted.

That is…until everything changed. Continue Reading

Like many people today, I have been deeply impacted by the work and writings of Dr. Brené Brown on the issues of shame and vulnerability. Brené (due to her personal writing style I’d like to think we’re on a first name basis) has really been helpful for me in discovering my own shame and the ways I try to protect myself from having to deal with it. Continue Reading

We live in a world that has a very low view of the human body. Our bodies are no longer important when our culture thinks about personhood. Instead, being a person is all about our feelings, emotions, and our cognitive abilities. These matters of the inner person – what the Christian might call ‘the soul’ – have become separated from the outer person. Not only are the inner and outer persons separated by our culture, but they are actually at odds with each other. The physical body is less than the inner person. What matters most is how you feel. Continue Reading

How are we today as the Church meant to read the creation account as told in Genesis 1 and 2? Many Evangelical leaders today paint the picture that the only faithful interpretations of these chapters are an explicitly “literal” one, meaning that Christians must believe in a young earth, creationist science, etc. One only needs to briefly read and listen to the likes of Ken Ham and Ray Comfort to see how their teachings have permeated into many modern churches and pastors. Such leaders would have us believe this view of creation and our origins is not only the only choice a Christian has, but is also the historic view of the church.

But is this really the case? Is a literal 6-day young-earth reading of creation really the only way to read the text? Indeed, is it even the most historically and Biblically faithful? Many proponents of the Creation movement today would have us believe so. However, when we actually turn to the pages of church history itself, we actually find something quite different. Through a brief study of some of the giants of church history (from antiquity to today) is that a literal creationist reading has not always been the way the church has read the text. I want to briefly consider the works of 6 figures from church history, who I have selected because of their influence as well as their clarity on the subject at hand. My point in doing so is not to cast doubt on the Creationist view, but to broaden our approach to be more considerate of views other than our own. Continue Reading