The One Really Interesting Story

The Book of Acts opens with two events of great salvation-historical importance: the going up of Jesus from earth into heaven (the Ascension), and the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (Pentecost). Both events are commemorated by Christians in this season of the year. Jesus’s resurrection from the dead inaugurated God’s new beginning, which the New Testament calls “the last days.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Biblical Preaching and Healing the Culture

If Catholics in the United States are going to be healers of our wounded culture, we’re going to have to learn to see the world through lenses ground by biblical faith. That form of depth perception only comes from an immersion in the Bible itself. So spending ten or fifteen minutes a day with the . . . . Continue Reading »

Ascent, Descent, and Human Destiny

God forms Adam from dust, breathes life into his nostrils, and places him in a garden in the land of Eden. We know from Ezekiel (28:13–14) that the garden is planted on a mountain, but we could have inferred that from Genesis 2, since a river flows out of the garden and downhill to Assyria, Cush, . . . . Continue Reading »

Hail Thee, Festival Day!

When I was young, my family's favorite hymn was sung on three days of the Church year. We knew it came on Easter and Pentecost, but we scratched our heads when we tried to remember the other festival day hailed in this resounding hymn. Ascension Thursday would catch us each year as a (pleasant) . . . . Continue Reading »

Passion Play

At his ascension, Jesus told the eleven disciples that they would receive the Spirit to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. But for some time after Jesus’s ascension, and even after Pentecost, they stayed in Jerusalem.They were finally forced . . . . Continue Reading »

Themes for Surviving “Ordinary Time”

I’m fortunate to hear good preaching on a regular basis. But even the best Catholic preaching these days leans far more toward moral exhortation than biblical exposition. This strikes me as a missed opportunity. For if one of the tasks of preaching today is to help the people of the Church . . . . Continue Reading »

The Problem of Place in Douglas Farrow’s Ascension Theology

“Come up here,” Jesus said to John, and at once John was standing before his throne (Revelation 4:1). Where was Jesus, and where did John go? Christian theology is much better in dealing with time than space. We profess that Jesus will return in the future, and thus we are resigned to the absence of his glorified body in the present, but in the meantime, where is he? . . . Continue Reading »