Category

Essay

Essay

The Faithfulness of James Cone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7NKXlmRvWE I remember when I first read God of the Oppressed by James Cone. It challenged me, it convicted me, and it made me re-think my approach to theological study. I was forced to contemplate the politics of the gospel, that maybe Christianity isn't just…
Jason Lief
May 11, 2018
Essay

What’s the Message?

https://youtu.be/7VJPhLSfIl0 My son turned 14 last week. For his birthday we bought him tickets to see his favorite artist in concert, so Monday night we drove down to Omaha for a Jack White concert. I'm not sure how he got so into Jack White. I'm…
Jason Lief
April 27, 2018
Essay

First Reformed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCF5Y8dQpR4 I've only seen the trailer, and I've only read one review, but I can't wait to see it. Schrader is haunted by a world that I've been grafted in to. I'm a Lutheran by birth, a Scandinavian by name, and Reformed by choice. I could…
Jason Lief
April 13, 2018
Essay

What Wondrous Love is This

On this Good Friday I am reminded of the life and testimony of Oscar Romero, who is on the path to be made a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. As Archbishop of San Salvador he was seen as a social conservative who opposed liberation…
Jason Lief
March 30, 2018
Essay

Giving John the Baptist a Hair Cut

This semester I'm teaching a spiritual formation class—we meet in the local Episcopal church. It's a small church but it's a place to light candles, pray, and look at icons. The front of the church has these beautifully painted icons of Jesus and a crew…
Jason Lief
March 16, 2018
Essay

Puritans, Public Libraries, and Religious Freedom

Facebook's a funny thing; or, at least it's full of things that are funny. Like the puritan Valentines day cards, which were perfect for this year's Ash Wednesday / Valentines day mashup. I really like this one: Messing around on Facebook the other day I…
Jason Lief
February 16, 2018
Essay

Political Labels and Loving Jesus

A few weeks ago an editorial appeared in the local paper in which the author took democrats to task. (The article is titled "Democrats Threatened by the Weather" in the Sioux Center News. There is no online version available.) The tone was not very generous;…
Jason Lief
February 2, 2018
Essay

God Branding

Walking down the hallway, my wife noticed a poster advertising two events. The first was a princess ball, a daddy - daughter "purity" banquet. The second was a medieval mother/son purity dance. (Dilly Dilly!) I've never been to a purity banquet, or any daddy/daughter event…
Jason Lief
January 19, 2018
Essay

The Things your Neighbors Say

The knock on the door took us both by surprise. It was 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon, the day of our church Christmas program. I had to be there in an hour to make sure everything was ready to go, my wife had to be…
Jason Lief
January 5, 2018