Correcting St. John

Don’t get me wrong. I love John’s Gospel, but it has a serious problem. Due to a misreported episode around the resurrection of Christ, which I am hopefully about to fix, the Apostle Thomas has gone around for centuries with a cloud dodging his reputation.In the accepted telling of John’s version, Thomas ends up being the only disciple who doubts that Christ was raised. Come this Second Sunday of the Resurrection, when this reading shows up like clockwork in the lectionary, Thomas is going to get roughed up all over again from church pulpits for his doubt. Don’t be like Thomas, we’ll be told. He did a bad thing. Continue Reading »

Easter and Evangelism

Galatians 1:15-18 is not your basic witness-to-the-Resurrection text. Yet St. Paul’s mini-spiritual autobiography helps us understand just how radically the experience of the Risen Lord changed the first disciples’ religious worldview, and why an evangelical imperative was built into that experience. Continue Reading »

St. John's Seventh Sign

The eleventh chapter of John opens with Jesus across the Jordan, away from Judea, laying low after having escaped being stoned to death at the Temple. It is there that he receives word from Bethany—from Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters—to hurry and aid his friend who is sick. Continue Reading »

Resurrecting the Dead in America

Many Christians regularly recite the Apostle’s or Nicene Creed, recounting aloud beliefs they hold to be foundational. With the share of our neighbors that self-identify as agnostic, atheist, or simply “not religious” rising, repeating such creeds is an opportunity for Christians to reflect on just how odd some of our faith assertions really are. Admit it—there’s some strange stuff in there. Too strange, it turns out, for many of our peers, including some of the faithful. Continue Reading »