Author: Clay Libolt

  • SYNOD 2022 ONCE AGAIN: Is there a hole in the center of the decision on confessional status?

    Dear readers, a short preface for the post that follows is in order. I am publishing this post (as also the one that preceded it) in an effort to understand and respond to an action taken by the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church declaring the position of the denomination on sex between members of […]

  • CLOSED DOORS AND OPEN WINDOWS

    Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, summer comes slowly, often not arriving until the end of June. Today, June 24, is the first real summer day of the year. We have the windows open. A gentle breeze blows across the waters of the sound. The waves sparkle in the late afternoon sun. On a […]

  • INFORMED IMAGINATION: A PARADIGM FOR BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

    How should we approach the Bible? It’s become increasingly clear that the approach taken by post-Reformation conservative Protestantism—the approach many of us were taught—is a dead end. I would count the Chicago Statements on Biblical Inerrancy (https://defendinginerrancy.com/chicago-statements/) as the beginning of the end for that approach, although it will be a long time with us. […]

  • THE GOD WHO PUSHES AND THE GOD WHO PULLS: What the Bible Says about Saving the Human Race, Part 1

    THE HUMAN PLIGHT Before one can be clear about a solution, one must be clear about the problem.  Or, to put this in theological terms, one’s view of salvation must be closely tied to one’s view of what’s gone wrong. For the past few posts, I’ve been looking at what the Bible has to say about […]

  • READING PAUL: THE TWO APPROACHES OF DUNN AND WRIGHT

    In the past two posts, I’ve been writing mostly about the (capital P) Problem with the human race: what’s gone wrong. The Bible has much to say about that, much that is ignored in popular theology, which tends to focus on a mistaken interpretation of the Genesis 3 narrative. The biblical idea of human evil […]

  • WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER: GENESIS 9 AND THE IDEA OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY

    Often when truths, even great truths, biblical truths, are formulated into doctrine they lose their connection to life. They become mere beliefs—statements to which believers profess adherence but which no longer motivate their daily life and decision making. These doctrinal beliefs may come to parody the truth they were meant to embody. Total depravity is […]

  • The Human Peril: A Reading of the Story of the Fall

    Some weeks back, the award-winning Tucson choral group, True Concord, presented the premier of a stunning new work for choir and orchestra: Earth Symphony (“Choral”), music by Jake Runestad and libretto by Todd Boss. The work tells a story with biblical themes, creation, fall, and restoration, but the story is both different from the biblical story and […]

  • RIGHTEOUSNESS AND RESURRECTION: GRASPING THE THREAD OF THE GOSPEL

    In a post previous to this one, “Losing the Thread: How Bad Theology Threatens the Church” (https://peripateticpastor.com/2022/03/31/retrieving-the-words-of-faith-2/), I tried to peel away from the Christian faith some non-biblical accretions that undermine the gospel and its power (and in the process stirred up a hornets nest among some fellow clergy).  In this post, I’ll try to take […]

  • Retrieving the Words of Faith

    LOSING THE THREAD: HOW BAD THEOLOGY THREATENS THE CHURCH Lately, some people—I, among them—have despaired as the churches we grew up with have slid into right wing politics. It’s not just that a vast majority of people who identify as evangelicals voted for Donald Trump (according to exit polls, it’s somewhere between 76% and 81%), […]

  • THE ART OF THE STORY II: REFLECTIONS ON DANIEL 2

    The Dream In the post leading up to this one (https://peripateticpastor.com/2022/03/16/the-art-of-the-story-i-reflections-on-daniel-2/), I suggested that Daniel 2—the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—proposes an intriguing take on the subject of divine revelation, how God speaks. The symbol of that revelation—no, more than a symbol, the manifestation of that revelation—is the dream. The dream, as we shall see in […]