Saturday, February 26, 2011

5 Minutes on Oprah

Recently I spent a week with some students and church planters in Northern California. One morning our leader, Rev. Kevin Adams, challenged us to think about how we would present the gospel if we were given five minutes on Oprah. My mind immediately raced to any number of Scripture texts and theological ideas like a rat racing through a maze to try to find the cheese. I finally came up with this. See what you think.

Maybe you’ve seen someone holding a “John 3:16” sign or seen that reference written on a wall, or white board like graffiti. John 3:16 is from the Bible and says, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
What that means is God loved you so much that he gave himself completely for you.

Do you know what real love is? Have you experienced it? Have you known the sort of love that doesn’t leave when the circumstances are hard? Have you experienced the kind of love that is with you when you can’t give anything back? Have you known what it is like to have someone stand by you, through thick and thin? Someone right there when you are spent and can’t cope with what life is throwing at you? Someone who knows you so well that you don’t have to speak a word? Someone who will never let you go, never walk away, never abandon you? That someone is God, who loved you so much he sent his Son Jesus right here to teach us what real love and real life is. That, in a nutshell, is the Christian faith.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I am a professor of theology but a relative newcomer to the field. This is my second career. My first was a full-time mother and homemaker. About the time my youngest child was beginning school, I was asking God what God would like me to do next since I now had quite a different schedule than when I had preschoolers at home. God’s answer was seminary. Little did I know that I would end up teaching theology at the same seminary to which God called me and I had very tentatively followed.

Because I was attending seminary and eventually working on a Ph.D. while my children were still at home, discussions at our dinner table frequently ran in theological directions. Sometimes my response to something being said was met with (add the appropriate eye rolls and teenage voice inflection), “Mom, does everything have a theological connection?” To which I would answer “yes”.

Those conversations and my ongoing theological reflections on everything from children to Biblical texts are the basis for this blog. I do, in fact, think that everything has a theological connection because our world was created by God, belongs to God, and will someday be completely restored by God. So welcome to Life, God, and Other Mysteries. Thank-you for reading and I welcome your thoughtful comments.