Jason Byassee

Jason Byassee holds the Butler chair in homiletics and biblical hermeneutics at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Theology.

Posts By This Author

Living the Word: Goodness in the Face of Evil

by Jason Byassee 08-12-2015
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B

DarZel / Shutterstock 

The gospel messes with your tenses and moods (among other things)

Living the Word: In The Cool of God's Shade

by Jason Byassee 07-13-2015
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B

Dr Ajay Kumar Singh / Shutterstock

THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER can make for a preaching desert without an oasis in sight. This can be a fine time to take a vacation from the lectionary. Huge swaths of scripture go untreated otherwise—the entire Samson cycle, most of the cursing psalms, most of the gospel of John. One friend spends a portion of every year preaching through blockbuster movies and how they intersect with the scriptures. Another devoted a preaching series to favorite children’s books.   

Here in August the lectionary itself seems to take a vacation, visiting the discourse about bread in John’s gospel, inviting us to see every bit of bread, every bite of food, as filled with Jesus. Texts about water invite us to see all water as a sign of the God who creates us in the water of a womb and gives water for our salvation in baptism (an especially apt teaching point for those still sandy-toed from the beach).

A friend’s pulpit has on it “tree of life,” written in Hebrew—inviting all to see trees as reminders of the tree from which our first parents ate fruit forbidden to them, the tree on which Jesus was crucified, and the tree in the City of God whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.

The Soulful Bells of Summer

by Jason Byassee 05-06-2015

Reflections of the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B

A Recipe for 'Greater Works'

by Jason Byassee 04-02-2015

Reflections of the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B 

Easter and a Love Supreme

by Jason Byassee 03-09-2015

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B. 

Lent's Lonely Road

by Jason Byassee 02-06-2015

Reflections of the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B

Cutting-Edge Orthodoxy

by Jason Byassee 03-05-2014

Nadia Bolz-Weber is a hipster pastor with a medieval soul. And her church—House for All Sinners and Saints—is practicing ancient Christian arts in a post-modern world.

With Piercing Wit and Deep Affection

by Jason Byassee 05-11-2013

When "Spiritual but Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Suprising Places, Even the Church. Jericho Books

The Logic of Online Community

by Jason Byassee 06-15-2011

When trying to make sense of the changes that new media have brought to us, we can use either supplementary or substitutionary logic. With supplementary logic, Facebook et al. extend the range of our embodied relationships; with substitutionary logic, social media replace them. Those who want to use social media to enhance their churches' outreach implicitly use supplementary logic. Those who want to worship online and don't want to change out of their pajamas or meet other people in their messy particularity ... well, you get the idea.

A recent trip to New York City for a first meeting of the New Media Project Research Fellows reminded me of the superiority of supplementary to substitutionary logic. This happened because the neighborhood around Union Theological Seminary is so deliciously, specifically, embodiedly particular. Union itself is a marvel: its gothic architecture makes it unmistakable that this is a place with history. Niebuhr taught here; Bonhoeffer smoked and worried and decided to go home here; James Cone and Christopher Morse teach here; Serene Jones leads here. The neighborhood extends this particularity; the Jewish Theological Seminary, down Seminary Row, has a glorious crest above its door: "And the bush was not consumed." A tunnel under Union leads you to the grandeur of Riverside Church, where Fosdick and Forbes thundered. Go a few blocks south and east, and you're at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest interior church space in North America. The morning I visited, the light shone blue through the rose window, filling the clerestory with incandescent beauty. The chapel at Columbia University, with its stained glass above the altar depicting St. Paul preaching on Mars Hill, is a perfect image for situated Christian truth vis-à-vis the gods on campuses and in Manhattan.

Beloved Community

by Jason Byassee 03-01-2008

It is hard to remember how controversial the ministry of Martin Luther King Jr. was during his life.