Kris and I returned our son’s dog, Slater, today. On our return, Kris and I couldn’t resist a trip through Middlebury Indiana, a place surrounded with Amish. When our kids were grade schoolers, we spent an afternoon with Milton and […]
I am reflecting here in a series of posts on how “I changed my mind” about Calvinism and adopted a more Ariminian view of whether or not the Christian can throw away redemption. This journey took through the book of […]
One of the courses I taught at Trinity, NT 612, included a survey of the book of Hebrews. And, once or twice I taught Advanced Exegesis and we marched through the entirety of the Greek text of Hebrews. The courses […]
When I got to Trinity in the Fall of 1976, the first thing I noticed was how tightly the theological discussion was ratcheted. These folks knew what they were talking about, and they knew biblical texts and theological discussions, and […]
More than a few pastors are struggling with what they are called to be and do. I thought this short piece by John Frye, who has authored a book on Jesus as Pastor, is an articulate statement (except for the […]
Tomorrow I will begin a series of posts I will call Post-Calvinism, and I will begin with my journey into and out of Calvinistic theology. I know weekends are harder to stay up with reading blogs, but I’m hoping by […]
It is customary for the theologians to define the Church as a gathering where the Word is preached and the Sacraments performed. These are the two marks of the Church. My own take on the discussion is that this isn’t […]
The Apostle Paul’s view of Ecclesia is consistent with Jesus’ view of Kingdom (Basileia). For Paul, Kingdom is primarily Eternity or the Final Future Kingdom (see 1 C or 15:24), though he does use it in a way that makes […]
I am sorting through some bibliography and can’t find a definitive comprehensive study of promise in the NT. Walt Kaiser made a case for its centrality in the OT, but I’m not seeing anything significant in NT studies. Newer NT […]
Today we explore the Ecclesia theme of 1 Peter, and do so as part of what Jesus envisioned in speaking about the Kingdom of God. What we are most interested in is how Peter saw the relationship of the Ecclesia […]
Played golf this morning, so am just getting to the blog. The big difference one notices in entering into the early churches is this: kingdom language is largely dropped and ecclesia (church) language is picked up. There all kinds of […]
Check this post out on whether or not Carson has been fair to Frei and Lindbeck. Should make for a good discussion on Harbinger.
Just finished a book many of you probably have already read, Michael Yaconelli’s Messy Spirituality. Very much along the line of Yancey’s What’s So Amazing about Grace?, Yaconelli’s book is disarmingly honest and filled with stories that ring true about […]
Today’s text is Matthew 11:2-6. John the Baptist, in prison, gets disciples of his to find Jesus and ask Jesus if he is “the one who is to come” or not. (Note: “the one who is to come” is from […]
As if blogging on Kingdom of God as society is not enough, Books and Culture brings to us today a nice study on what we really know about how influential Evangelicalism is on the Bush Doctrine. Whether you agree or […]
In thinking through what it means to be “missional,” and in reading some stuff about it, I came across John Burke’s No Perfect People Allowed and blogged about it already. But, a book that tells the story of what is […]
Kingdom of God is the central vision of Jesus, and today we want to look at the Beatitudes in Luke 6:20-26. It is tempting to expand such a consideration, and look at all of the Sermon on the Mount/Plain. I’ll […]
What did Jesus mean by “kingdom of God,” and what did he have in mind — in real world living — when he packed his vision into this expression? A good place to start is with Luke 4:16-30. I’ll cite […]
My son and his wife have a little Cairn terrier, named Slater (after the surfer), and that makes us, so they say, “grandparents of a grand-dog.” His favorite activity is to look out windows and give people and animals grief […]
In my 22 years of teaching I’ve had some students with great names, but #1 on that list is a student now: Lightning. Last night Lightning and Sarah invited Kris and me over for dinner and fellowship. They are planning […]
Kingdom of God is Jesus’ favorite expression for his mission and his aim. But what does it mean? Scholars have gotten trapped into two boxes. First, many are preoccupied with the issue of time: did Jesus think the Kingdom was […]
I have this week accepted two speaking engagements. One for the Civitas lectures at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, at a Conference called After Evangelicalism, where I will join a set of speakers. My topic, on late Friday afternoon, will […]
Stephen Shields pours gentle words all over the recent discussion with Australia. There’s a lot to learn here. Thanks Stephen.
In this post on conversion, I want to look at the sixth dimension of conversion: consequences. The first five dimensions, which are not “steps” but dimensions that often are intertwined and dialectical — like any good relationship, are (1) context, […]
In their 2004 book, If Grace is True, Philip Gulley and James Mulholland make a case for universalism and this is their essential creedal contention: I believe — on the basis of their experiences;God — who is the gracious, loving […]
In the fifth dimension of conversion (commitment), a person makes it clear that she or he is now committed to a relationship with Jesus. Conversion theorists say they are three “manifestations” of commitment: decision, surrender, and witness. We need to […]
I was impressed with much of what I read on Sivin Kit‘s website about Chris Erdman‘s “preaching on the run.” Makes me a bit nervous, but I’m also quite sure that Jesus didn’t sit down and take notes, or that […]
A final thought on Peter. Let us accept that there are sudden or at least cataclysmic conversions like Paul’s. We know little about Paul’s experience prior to his conversion, but it is entirely possible that he had heard the gospel […]
The blog has been pretty busy today, so it is about time for me to jump and in and give my two cents worth. First, I believe that question, which is innocent in itself, assumes what I will call at […]
Let me make a distinction again, because I’m hearing it enough and it is helping some people to see more of what is going on, it puts much of the critique into a smaller niche, and it frees us up […]
The most stimulating discussions I have had over the years in classes and at churches when I am leading a discussion about conversion or about the Jesus Creed “emerge” from this question: What about you, when do you think Peter […]
This is perhaps not what you are looking for. By “clean” I mean that Christians often want to tell conversion stories that are clean: I was a sinner and then I found Jesus and now I’m squeaky clean. This kind […]
One of the more interesting features of the Emerging movement (I’m not keen on calling this a “church” until we see some world-wide church structures that encompass the whole) is how it intersects with a fascinating aspect of conversion theory. […]
People convert to the Christian faith as a result of some crisis, though a word needs to be said about the meaning of “crisis.” Before that, this: the standard form of “crisis” we often see is what is called the […]
Another “emerging” type book crossed my desk and I want to be an advocate for much of what he says. But first, a clarification: Emergent describes the offical organization of Emergent Village and now coordinated by Tony Jones. Emerging describes […]
In this series of reflections based on Turning to Jesus, I want to look today at the various kinds of conversion and then at the context out of which the convert comes. The process of conversion — whether suddenly or […]
Trying to define conversion in a meaningful way is not easy, so I will go to two major scholars of conversion theory. In doing this, let me emphasize that the scholarly discussion of conversion avoids specific theological terms, so sometimes […]
Each local church, whether radically independent or associated with a larger denomination, institutionalizes a conversion orientation. A church does this by the way it presents the gospel, by the way it teaches Sunday School, by the way it preaches from […]
I will begin a series today on conversion theory and if you’d like to know where I’ll be going, check this out. I’ll work on the process of conversion and point out the ways it can help our evangelism and […]
Everyone will want to buy and read Rob Bell’s new book, which I think is to appear in a week or two. It is called Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith. Rob Bell is the kind of pastor I’m thankful […]
In yesterday’s post I asked the question how we can “prove” that Jesus died for our sins. Many of your responses were challenging and were, so I think, getting to the issue itself. I’d like to wend my way through […]
Along with many of my fellow bloggers, I grew up being told that Jesus died for my sins — in fact, that to die for my sins is the sole reason Jesus came to earth. Jesus’ death for us is […]
Check this blog by Brad Bergfalk.
In case you haven’t figured this out, I’m working my way toward an article on the Emerging movement for a magazine and so I’m testing some ideas as I move forward each day with some reading (in the time I […]
Enough of the posts on the significance of “post,” though some more will probably come to my head.The emergent movement’s strongest asset and its clear prophetic voice is around this idea: the purpose of the Church, the local church, is […]
I am impressed by John Franke’s essay in Myron Penner’s edited volume, Christianity and the Postmodern Turn. The literature on postmodernity is immense, but my own work in postmodern historiography and what Franke has to say overlap so much I […]
Andrew Jones, who told me it took him a couple of baths to read The Jesus Creed, has made some nice comments about the book and I’m thankful for them.
When I was first teaching in seminary, we brought in Robert Banks who spoke on a book he had just written, but he also spoke with me about a book called Going to Church in the First Century and if […]
I step into a minefield here and I’ll do my best to be clear and avoid silly comments. From what I can see, the emergent movement is “post” classical, Evangelical Bible pietism. Let me explain. If you grew up as […]
For a nice way of putting together a “doctrinal statement” that keeps life and mind together, see the Covenant Affirmations by the Evangelical Covenant Church, the sponsoring denomination of North Park University.
Here is a link to my interview for the PBS TV discussion of the emerging church. For what it worth. I wish I could edit it, but such is an interview.
I’ve done my best to avoid politics (not that I think that is a virtue), but tonight’s post will approach a political blog. First, a context. I was largely apolitical in high school and college in an era that was […]
Jesus said in Matthew 7 that we will recognize them by their fruit, but we’ve had a hard time letting fruit be what we are all about. The emerging movement has pressed this issue to the fore by being “post” […]
In a book dreamed up and edited by Myron Penner, called Christianity and the Postmodern Turn, Kevin Vanhoozer, a friend from my TEDS days and a scholar whose writings I always cherish, has proposed ten theses about postmodernism. (Incidentally, Penner’s […]
Kim Lawton’s fine work of getting some ideas about the emergent movement can now be read in text form before it shows on TV tomorrow. See here.
In this post on “post,” I want to look briefly — that’s what I always say to myself — at the claim by postmodernists that they have surrendered a meta-narrative. A meta-narrative is an all-encompassing explanation of all of life; […]
Kim Lawton, of PBS TV, informs me again that their interview about the Emergent movement is a 2-part series that will be aired in various locations and times beginning this weekend. I think the Chicago time is 6am Saturday morning. […]
Gordon Lynch, in his analytical and easy-to-read study, Losing My Religion? Moving on from Evangelical Faith, makes an observation that I wish to address briefly in this post. First, a brief introduction. Lynch is a former British Evangelical, now professor […]
In this series of blogs on “post,” today’s post concerns what it means for postmoderns to deny certainty. On this topic I am reasonably convinced that those who are criticizing those who are denying certainty are talking right by one […]
On our recent trip to Westfield, NY, I saw two wild turkeys, a scarlet tanager, which I hadn’t seen since mid-80s, and what I thought was a Bohemian Waxwing (seemed bigger than our Cedar Waxwings). Lots of hummingbirds, too.
Some in the Emerging conversation, and perhaps more than some, would call themselves “post-Evangelical.” This raises a question: In what sense are they “post” Evangelical? I will give four possible meanings, suggest that not all are using the term the […]
We have been looking at the meaning of “post” in “post”-evangelical, “post”-liberal, “post”-fundamentalism, and the like. Today I want to explore with you the significance of looking at this term “post” in the context of the telos, or goal, of […]
This morning does not permit a lengthy post, but I will combine today’s idea with today’s particular vocation, of “performing the gospel” with the “Lord’s Day.” I’m also struggling with my son’s Safari browser as it does not appear to […]
When the emerging generation of Christian thinkers and leaders claims that it is “post-evangelical” and “post-modern” and “post-liberal” and “post-fundamentalist,” in fact “post” a lot of things, it means among other things the following: First, it does not necessarily mean […]
We’re out in Westfield, NY, visiting with Lukas and Annika. So, I won’t fire up a new series this weekend, but will soon do a series on what this Post-evangelical, post-liberal, post-fundamentalist is all about. I also want to begin […]