Relational Theology

Thy Kingdom Connected

So my first solo book now has cover art.  And is listed on for pre-order.  The book is being published in Baker’s emersion line and will be available in November 2009. peace, dwight


Here’s a link to a helpful piece by William McGrath called, Anabaptists: Neither Catholics nor Protestants.  Also worth checking out is the Peace, dwight

First Council of Nicæa (A.D. 325)

The Synod at Nice set forth this Creed. The Ecthesis of the Synod at Nice. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light […]

conversation in winnipeg?

My family and I are in Winnipeg for the better part of the week, if there are any emergent or resonate folks open for a cup of coffee or a pint email me and we might be able to make something work. Peace, dwight

Understanding Emerging Faith

This is a helpful link for anyone looking to learn more about the emerging conversation and how it is shaping and re-shaping church and faith practices. peace, dwight

an emergent manifesto of hope

I recently received my copy of the freshly minted, Emergent Manifesto of Hope. It is the first release in the new ēmersion line for Baker Books. The book is a collection of hope-filled essays by a diverse group of participants within the emergent village conversation. Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones are the editors. Chapter 17 […]

a few thoughts from volf

  • Kingdom & Calling Exposition [MP3]
  • Response to Ramachandra on Incarnation & Service [MP3]

“Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion – without transposing the enemy from the sphere of monstrous inhumanity into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness. When one knows that the torturer will not eternally triumph over the victim, one is free to rediscover that person’s humanity and imitate God’s love for him. And when one knows that God’s love is greater than all sin, one is free to see onself in the light of God’s justice and so rediscover one’s own sinfulness.”

Miroslav Volf: Exclusion and Embrace, 124.

an interview with the late Stanley Grenz

Here is a link to a four part interview with theologian Stan Grenz. The interview took place in Seattle with Dick Staub (author of a number of books, most recently Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters) whose radio program, The Kindlings with a focus of theological and cultural intersection. The interview focuses on the nature […]

“do I want to be an evangelical?”

In the history of the modern evangelical movement it could be argued that no gathering has been more influential in shaping evangelicalism than the first two gatherings of the Lausanne Conference. I was privileged to be a participant in Lausanne’s Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG) in Malaysia earlier in the autumn. During the flight home I […]

the fourth transcendent virtue

Reflection on Truth, Beauty and Goodness – the three transcendent virtues – is vital to anyone seeking to lead a good life. To ponder the question, “What is a full and flourishing life?” seemingly takes us to consider these three virtues. The three transcendent virtues are not unique to Western (Hellenistic) thought they appear in various forms within Eastern thought as well.

Have you ever noticed that the Serpent tempted Eve with all three?

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing [truth] good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good [goodness] for food and pleasing to the eye [beauty], and also desirable for gaining wisdom [truth], she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:1-7, NIV – emphasis added)

Jesus added a trump-virtue to the classic three. Jesus Christ brings love. Love is the relational move giving meaning to truth, making goodness good and making beauty visible.

Without love the virtues become vices – as they did in the Garden of Eden. Without love the virtues become clanging gongs and crashing cymbals. Love moves toward the other in humility and service. Love acts in faith for the other and hopes in Christ for the other. Love is the ethic that translates truth into beauty and goodness. Love is the ethic that transforms beauty into goodness and truth. Love is the ethic incarnating goodness as truth which sets free and beauty instead of ashes.

Go back and read the temptation again. What the serpent presents as a temptation is the very goal of Christian discipleship, “that you will be like God.” Didn’t Christ invite his followers to be holy as he is holy. To be like God, to be like Christ is the hope of glory.

This temptation the serpent brought is the virtues without love. To have truth without love, beauty without love, goodness without love is to reject relational oneness the Father extends to us through Christ in the Holy Spirit. But God (I love those two words together), but God pursues, God reconciles, God redeems.

Truth without love puffs up and is evil. Beauty without love is seductive and empty. Goodness without love is moralism and a façade. O, but with love, they are fullness of live.

Peace, dwight


PS – For a wonderful treatment on God’s love extended through God’s people, pick up Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical letter, God is Love: Deus Caritas Est.