On the Road to Justice

Sep 27, 2017 by Open Table Conference in  Blog Posts

I live just 30 minutes outside of Portland, OR. Not far from where presently, there is a huge fire raging. I am also a nature photographer by vocation and this fire happens to be in the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most naturally beautiful and scenic areas in all of the United States. Consequently, I am deeply saddened by the destruction. And, I am angry…

Allegedly, some teenagers shooting fireworks in an incredibly dry forest started the fire. It has been reported that they were admonished and warned, which they subsequently laughed off and then continued with their momentary excitement with the fireworks.

As of now, 9/8/17 at 5:00pm PDT, the fire is 7% contained and encompasses over 33,000 acres of pristine land. Homes have been destroyed, businesses lost, and commerce derailed – I-84, a major Interstate has been closed along with the rail line connecting Portland with all points east. The economic impact will be enormous.

But for our community here in the Northwest it goes deeper than that. For many of us, we feel the destruction of the Gorge personally. We have encountered beauty there and we have been forever changed because of it.

So, it’s not surprising that this has instigated a lot of conversation about justice and punishment. Over the past few days I have observed that anger, almost visceral, has been the most common emotion for our community. And because there were persons who are responsible for causing the fire that now rages, that anger has been aimed directly at the perpetrators. …read the rest of the article on John MacMurray’s Website

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John MacMurray

Founder of Open Table Conferences

"God is relationship. There is something deeper in his essence as Father, Son, and Spirit than just doing the morally right thing all the time. They are completely, head over heels, in love with each other. And it is out of that relationship, from which everything flows, we find the reason for his creating of you and me. God loves in freedom because that is the way he is. There is no other way of being for him."

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The Genius of The Shack – PART I

Feb 21, 2017

It has been almost ten years since Paul Young stole behind our watchful dragons, as C.S. Lewis would call them, and scandalized our souls with hope, controversy, and risk.  The Shack was never even intended to be a real book.  It was written

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Dr. C. Baxter Kruger
Director of Perichoresis

What do you see on Good Friday?

Mar 30, 2018
For those who identify themselves with the Christian faith we have come again to a sacred time of the year. It is Holy Week.[1]

Around the globe there are many who will look to the cross today and mostly see wrath and vengeance played out on a cosmic stage. They will see love and mercy too but only as a supporting cast.

John MacMurray
Founder of Open Table Conferences

Upside Down Commitment

May 29, 2017

Ever hear the phrase, “You need to commit your life to Christ”?

I have… used to hear it and say it all the time. It was the prescription for spiritual health.

Struggling with anxiety? You need to commit your life to Christ. Emotionally gutted because of betrayal or treachery? You need to commit your life to Christ. Not sure where you will go when you die? You need to commit your life to Christ.

So often did I hear this idea it seemed it was a mantra of some kind. I think I get what those who used (and maybe still do) the expression were trying to convey – We need to trust in Jesus.

True enough.

John MacMurray
Founder of Open Table Conferences

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