Poetry of Dr. Brad McDuffie


And the waters are rising again beyond Penn’s
Store.  The Rolling Fork’s flooding in blue
grass and on a make-shift stage we hear Berry’s
Timbered Choir, the Sabbath day hymns
he wrote walking his ploughshares in ‘ol Caintuck.

Improving Our Baptisms

We need grace like we need air.  One is essential to physical life and the other to spiritual life.  For this reason, the Church strives to be a family full of God’s favor.  Our sins and our suffering can only be overcome by the love of God, so the Church seeks to be a community abounding in grace.  But, God’s love does not grow on trees; it is not harvested or gathered.  God ordained specific instruments to be His means of grace: mostly, the Word, sacraments, prayer, and fellowship.  Baptism, one of those precious sources of grace, seems to have slipped from the church’s high esteem.  The lasting power of water applied in the triune name is too easily lost.  For too many baptism is

A Narcissistic Gospel

In spite of the many things that the Evangelical Church has gotten right, I believe there are many other things we gotten wrong. This blossoms into a host of issues, but here I am thinking about how we have allowed secular society to have an effect on our theology.The world’s aspirations are narcissistic ones which tries to take what they can from any one thing and then move on to the next thing from which they can benefit. Likewise, we in the Evangelical church have recently tended to concern ourselves with those truths in Scripture that are most evidently beneficially to us, and in so doing we have redefined the gospel of Christ to be a message about our personal eschatology. The gospel is thought to be a message about us and about how we can attain salvation. We have become so pre-occupied with “going to heaven” that once are sure of it, we feel as if we’ve scored the ultimate theological touchdown

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah*

I was towing a wagon through a narrow garage-style doorway the other day. Ahead of me was my father, giving me hand signals: a little to the left, come forward, now right, straighten up, stop. And there was a distinct and conscious moment when I considered looking backward to check my sides, to make sure that I wasn't getting too close to either edge but I did not. Just before I did I saw the confidence in my father's face. He was not panicked. Because he did not flinch, I did not flinch. It's moments like these that you suddenly realize that you are having a theological epiphany during your ordinary life...

Toward A Christian Aesthetic

Germany between the wars, or the Weimar Republic, is commonly known for conditions that led to the Second World War.  Paris of the twenties is often cited as the hub of artistic activity. When reading Paul Johnson’s Modern Times, I was surprised to hear that the hub of European Art was really in the punished nation of Germany. One particular artistic movement of that era particularly peaked my interest and reminded me of the role of the Church in the world:….