Bruce Hillman is Lead Pastor at Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church (www.hillsidelbc.org) in Succasunna New Jersey. He Holds a BA in History and Political Science from Quinnipiac University, (Hamden, CT), an MDiv. from the Lutheran Brethren Seminary (Fergus Falls, MN) and an STM in Patristics from Drew University (Madison, NJ); his research involves Augustinian studies and Early Christianity. He is former pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Henning MN. He is co-founder of Fifth Act Church Planting, having served on their board (www.fifthactchurchplanting.com) Bruce enjoys cooking, reading, all things British, exploring the world of wine, and conversations with good friends.
For centuries the great problem with the existence of God was the problem of evil. If God is good and loves us, why is there evil? There are two kinds of evil, moral evil, like violence and abuse and natural evil, like earthquakes and child cancer.
“Who can be saved!?” the disciples asked in astonishment. For Jesus had just told them that camels passing through needle’s eyes was more probable than rich people entering heaven. For ancient Jews like the disciples, there was a centuries old understanding that wealth was a sign of God’s favor and blessing.
If the cross were to happen today, not on Golgotha, but in our own locale, would we take selfies? Instead of a hill, would we display the cross on the far more prominent vista of social media? It’s an abhorrent juxtaposition, but it may not be so far from reality.
This is the third time Jesus has told his disciples he is going to be killed. As I read these passages I am disturbed by how casually and pedestrian they ring in my ear. “Yes, yes, we know this, it’s the gospel, very good, next!”
“Are you Republican or Democrat?” “Liberal or conservative?” “Yankees or Red Sox?” “Star Wars or Star Trek?” Life presents us with lots of important choices and often times they are presented to us as binaries. Binaries are opposites of which one must choose a side...
You can see it far off, looming on the horizon, a thick fog menacing off the coast and swirling in the distance. You know the signs. You’ve been here many times before, but you’ve learned to carry on. At first you kind of ignore it, you are aware it’s there, but you don’t want to work yourself up...
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is read out under the shade of my backyard tree. There, I have a reclining chair and small little side table. I bring out my theology or anglophile books with a nice pot of tea and read away the later afternoons. With golden rays of sun twinkling through the leafy canopy above...
As a pastor I am often asked if pets go to heaven? The question may sound childish, or even sentimental, but it is extremely important for those who ask it. As the owner of a beloved German Shepherd myself, Winston, I know the deep love we can have for our animal companions.