Doing Public Theology Like a Grown-Up

Doing Public Theology Like a Grown-UpI cringe to think back on the sermons I preached and the blog posts I wrote in my twenties and thirties. (I’m sure I’ll feel the same about my forties, twenty years from now.) I spent my time as a preacher and blogger going after the easy wins and cheap applause. I would criticize and tear down those who were obviously heretical. With rhetorical flare, I damned the behaviors everyone already knows we condemn. I took cheap shots to slam dunk enemies. I labored to make the points I knew my theological camp would give me an “atta boy” for making.

Such behavior is all too common in sermons, articles, social media hot takes, and blog posts. It certainly brings traffic, if that’s what you’re after. (All press is good press. Right?) I’ve come to realize that such behavior is a cheap, easy, lazy, and immature way to do public theology. In short, it’s soft, biblical childishness. Continue reading “Doing Public Theology Like a Grown-Up”

Hand-Washing as a Prayer of Faith: Psalm 34 and the Pandemic

Hand-Washing as a Prayer of FaithHand-washing. Social distancing. Staying home. Are these faith or fear?

On the first Wednesday of each month, I give the chapel devotion at the local Christian school. They are memorizing Psalm 34, a few verses each month. So I walk through the verses for that month, helping the kids understand and apply them. (In God’s kindness, it’s been an excellent Psalm for preparation for the pandemic response!)

They aren’t meeting right now, so I’m recording a video devotion for them to watch at home tomorrow. I’m hoping it gives the kids the comfort of some routine, a familiar face, and truth in a scary time (as well as a break for parents!).

In preparation, I was reviewing Psalm 34 this morning. I noticed something interesting about the Psalm’s title* and the rest of the Psalm that had application to the pandemic. Continue reading “Hand-Washing as a Prayer of Faith: Psalm 34 and the Pandemic”