Restorative Church Website is Launched

The Restorative Church website is now operational, and you are invited to spend some time browsing the new web-pages. This project, at my instigation, has been incubating for several years in collaboration with others who want to see greater conversation between stakeholders in Restorative Justice, Restorative Theology, and Restorative Practices for church communities. I recognize […]

Jacob and Grounding (Part 5)

Jacob and Esau finally meet! And having been apart from each other for over two decades, they weep together. Previous segments in this series showed how successive scenes in the Jacob story were building up to this encounter. Working things out with Laban and wrestling with the angel can almost be viewed as rehearsals. The […]

Jacob and Grounding (Part 4)

Having resolved matters with Laban in the land of Gilead, Jacob continued on his way toward the Jordan River. He is no longer running from anything; to the contrary, he is returning to his homeland and directly seeking out communications with his brother Esau. His location, in light of later biblical narratives, is significant. This […]

Jacob and Grounding (Part 3)

When Jacob and his uncle Laban had their final encounter, the location would not have been lost on the minds of an ancient Hebrew audience. They met up in the land of Gilead. Laban, feeling betrayed by Jacob for taking his daughters away without notice, was justifiably angry. With his relatives, Laban crossed the desert […]

Jacob and Grounding (Part 2)

The friction that built up between Jacob and Esau represents the sibling rivalry that we see scattered throughout the book of Genesis. Many religious people today interpret these rivalry texts as an explanation for ongoing tensions in the Middle East as if descendant people groups are fated to clash with each other for all times. […]

Jacob and Grounding (Part 1)

This new series will tie together a number of themes from the previous four series which alternated back and forth from Hebrew to Christian scriptures. The main theme in this series is grounding. Just as loose electricity needs to get grounded out in order to prevent any harm, so it is with conflicts that sustain […]

Clashes in the Book of Acts (Part 5)

This final entry in our series on social clashes in Acts comes at a time when American politics is full of clash-drama. In the case of Trump and the mainstream media, for example, we can observe Trump’s explicit promotion of a clash as a way to garner more power through a ‘divide-and-conquer’ strategy. Peter and […]

Clashes in the Book of Acts (Part 4)

As our series on the Jewish-Gentile conflict in Acts enters the new year, we are now ready to study the climax of the Jerusalem Council story. This summit meeting, happening around 50 AD, nicely illustrates how a positive outcome to a resolution process often stems from good process choices made by the main stakeholders. Before […]

Clashes in the Book of Acts (Part 3)

We now turn to the city of Antioch as we track Jewish-Gentile clashes in the Book of Acts. But before we delve into the relevant texts, I want to point out that ancient Antioch is where present day Antakya is in Turkey, situated about 60 miles west of Aleppo, Syria. Due to the influx of […]

Clashes in the Book of Acts (Part 2)

Examining the clashes between social groups in the Book of Acts certainly resonates with the frequent episodes of racial tensions we hear about in today’s news. In both settings we can track the way clashes have an element of intense emotion. They also include an ideation or cognitive element, but for now we can note […]