Other Writing

In addition to his books and the articles on his blog, Jesse is also the author of numerous articles and opinion pieces that have appeared in a wide variety of journals, online and in print. Here is a small selection.

“The Deified Market” looks at several recent books for lessons about how Christians can respond to the economic structures in which they find themselves. From Volume 101, Issue 2 (2019) of The Anglican Theological Review.

The financial crisis of 2008 sparked a number of significant debates about the nature and shape of economic power. The outsized role of “too big to fail” banks and the growing concentration of political and economic power have been the subject of much of our discourse. Christians and others have asked what it means to live in a world in which economics and property increasingly affect more forms of relationships. A recent set of books adds a new perspective to questions about the dominance of market-oriented thinking by asking a novel question: Has the market become a god? In other words, do our patterns of economic relationship resemble a set of religious beliefs and practices?

“The Anglican Consultative Council: A Spurned Instrument of Communion” examines the diminished role of the ACC in inter-Anglican affairs. From the 15 March 2019 edition of the Church Times.

There is nothing wrong with meetings of bishops. The trouble is that, in the Anglican Communion, bishops tend largely to be male, speak English, and be able to travel easily around the world. The average Anglican, by contrast, tends to be female, speak a language other than English, and have difficulty travelling widely.

It may be worth taking a break from preparations for Lambeth 2020 to pay a little attention to the ACC. It has changed the direction of the Anglican Communion in the past; there is no reason that it cannot do so again.

“If it doesn’t work, try something new: reflections on the Primates Meeting” reflects on the 2016 meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion. From the 22 January 2016 edition of the Church Times.

A definition of insanity, it is said, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That definition came to mind as I read the communiqué from the recent Primates Meeting.

“Why Pastors Envy Pope Francis” thinks about the phenomenon of “pope envy” and the state of mainline Protestantism. From the 15 June 2014 edition of The Living Church.

Pope Francis stands as a reminder that ministry is first and foremost a vocation, not a profession. Vocations involve our whole being, body and soul. And when calling people — lay or ordained — to ministry, God calls us to respond with passion, determination, and our whole heart. The pope in his ministry has declared, in deed as much as in word, “Here we are. This is what we believe.” Perhaps Protestants are so enamored of the pope because he does and says what we — thoroughly entangled in the modern world — wish we felt more free to do.

“Songs of exile and faith” about Christianity among the Dinka of South Sudan appeared in the 8 January 2014 edition of The Christian Century.

The Dinka church is a church of exile. When the civil war began there were only five Dinka congregations stretched along 150 miles of the Nile’s east bank. They were all that remained of the British Anglican missionary presence among the Dinka in the early and mid-1900s. Today that same 150-mile stretch is home to more than 300 Anglican congregations (and a handful of others in other denominations), not to mention innumerable preaching centers in cattle camps along the Nile. There are two dioceses in the area and plans to create more. Virtually every one of the villages on the roads leading out of Bor has a church—often a mud-and-thatch building.

The Christianity of today’s Dinka emerged out of the sorrow and deprivation of refugee life, a time of despair that led many refugees to turn to the church for support, nurture and growth. It’s no accident that the wooden church pews came back with the refugees. Today the cathedral in Bor is a center of South Sudanese life. On Sunday mornings the building pulses and shakes with the energy of up to 1,500 worshipers. The same is true in the churches scattered throughout the region.

“The hard lesson of being mutual” appeared in the Church Times on 16 August 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of “Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ”:

Fifty years on from MRI, it is worth returning to the manifesto and the period that produced it. In its emphasis on the patient work of building genuine relationships across lines of difference, the importance of genuinely coming to know one another in the context in which each lives, and above all in its recognition that God is always calling us to something greater than ourselves, MRI has much to teach us.

It is risky to reach out to those who are different from us, and daring to ask what we might learn from someone from a different background. But it is precisely these things that are at the heart of what it means to be God’s people in the world – a fact that is no less true today than it was in August 1963.

Muscular Mission: a review of two recent books by Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Living Church, 28 April 2013

The critique here is not of the Presiding Bishop’s fidelity or orthodoxy. The reader is left in no doubt of Jefferts Schori’s strong, lucid, and passionate faith in God in Christ. Rather, the argument here is that the Nike theology of mission constitutes only a part of the good news the church has to proclaim, the what —shalom, the feast — but not the how — repentance, forgiveness, transformation. Our work in the world is not independent of our personal, living relationship with the one through whom all are made new. I doubt the Presiding Bishop would disagree. But the impression these books leave is otherwise.

Why the Next Archbishop of Canterbury Should be AfricanReligion Dispatches, 25 June 2012

The current pattern of appointing a grey- or no-haired white male as Archbishop of Canterbury has produced little in the way of progress for the Anglican Communion. It is time for something different.

Mission and MarriageEpiscopal News Service, 26 June 2012

Our marriage, then, is not simply about the love we have for one another or our desire to spend our lives together. Our marriage is part of our role in God’s reconciling mission. Marriage is missional.

Bringing in the SheavesSojourners, May 2011

“They’ll teach the people agriculture so that the people can feed themselves and give to the church,” Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul told Sojourners. “We don’t want our people to be burdened by priests. We want the priests to be tentmakers, like Paul, and support themselves with agriculture.”

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