The Church-Idea for an Episcopal Moment

As you might have noticed, I didn’t have a chance to blog today.  That is because I defended my thesis for my Doctor of Ministry Degree at the School of Theology at the University of the South (Sewanee) at 11am today.  I’m glad to say that process went well, and after making a few corrections and one small addition, something close to a final copy is ready for printing.

Over the years, many of you have prayed for me in this process.  When I shared my Thesis Proposal, you encouraged me.  As I’ve written, you’ve dealt with how my reading of William Reed Huntington and Brian McLaren, among others, have forever influenced how I see the Church and, as a result, read the Bible.  Thank you.

Finally, for the few of you who asked, here is a PDF of the final draft. The Church-Idea for an Episcopal Moment – Final.


The Challenge of Trinity Sunday

Today marks the opening day of the Advanced Degrees Program at The School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South.  Classes run for three weeks on a  variety of topics, of which I’ll be taking two: “Ordination and the Eucharist” and “Preaching the Feasts.”  What that means for you is that you’ll probably be stuck reading blog posts that feature themes I’m learning about in my classes: It is the nature of the beast, I’m afraid.  Today, I’ll spare you my course work and instead highlight that the ADP schedule for both 2014 and 2015 are set up perfectly for me because the first weekend both years is Trinity Sunday, and I hate preaching Trinity Sunday.  Inevitably, I turn my sermon prep into the research for a theological treatise on the nature of the Trinity and then scrap it all because nobody wants to hear 45 minutes on the Trinity from the pulpit.  Of course, the problem with going the other way is that the preacher will usually end up in heresy.

The fact of the matter is that Trinity Sunday is hard to preach, but thankfully there are some great texts to preach from in Year A.  I’ll get to Matthew’s “but some doubted” later in the week, and instead focus my attention on trying to convince you to preach from Genesis this Sunday.

I think that exploring the Trinity in the context of the Creation Story is the most fun you can have on Trinity Sunday, Year A.  The role of God, the Word, and the Wind both before and during Creation make for an interesting study in how we relate to the Trinity to this day.  Do you find your relationship with God more through the Creator, the Creating, or the … (see the above video for various heretical ways to finish this statement).  What I’m getting at is that the Trinity has its thumbprint on creation itself, and the Genesis story invites us to take some time to carefully consider this fact.

In reality, however, you should watch Rob Bell’s video Everything is Spiritual and then preach Genesis 1 saying “hovu vah tovu” as often as possible.