Rick Brannon, a bibliophile, has blogged the first brief review of Jesus and His Death. I posted it at my Jesus and His Death blog, and point you there.
There is a reason, perhaps less in importance but perhaps just as insidious, why Christian communities of faith need to stop in their tracks and post a new life-sign about the end of racism in the Church. That reason is […]
I have been asked to comment on the book with my name on it called The Story of the Christ. The book was commissioned in England with T&T Clark/Continuum, and recently picked up by Baker Books in the USA. Hence, […]
I thought I’d post today on the need for repentance and forgiveness, but instead I want to posit another way of looking at our problem — and it is a problem for whole Church. My contention is that the gospel […]
Fighting racism isn’t a tack-on to what happens “after I believe,” but an issue wrapped up in the gospel grace of God we embrace when we embrace Jesus Christ and his kingdom vision. How often do we make distinctions between […]
Let us define racism as an ideology of superiority in which a person, due to a biological or physiological or cultural condition, which are tagged as inherent to the person, is systemically considered inferior, leading both to ideas and policies […]
If you embrace a kingdom vision of the gospel itself, racism is nothing short of disgusting. If you embrace a judicial perception of sin, the Cross, and the gospel, racism is more tolerable. I’m sorry to put in such bold […]
This is our last post on Franke’s book, The Character of Theology. Here’s my overall assessment: The book exposes themes that penetrate deeply into the fabric of doing theology and deserves to be read, especially by students who have teachers […]
I want to finish tomorrow with a final post on Franke’s book, and then turn to a couple of posts on racism and the Church, and then go back to the issue Franke’s book raises: theology and the emerging movement, […]
1. Anthony Smith‘s essay on racism and practicing Pentecost. There is much to be said here, but Anthony has got it going. 2. Jim Smith’s genuine rumination on the struggles of preaching. 3. Brad Bergfalk’s suggestions on starting up a […]
This fifth installment of Franke’s Character of Theology deals with the second half of chapter 4: The Task of Theology. A brief on the second half of chp 4 Franke surveys how Scripture and tradition relate, and proposes three models […]
The Confessions of St. Augustine has won. I must admit I’m surprised by this, mostly because I wasn’t aware that many had read it. I read it deeply in college, found the last few chapter boring beyond boring. Two or […]
John Franke deconstructed me yesterday in an e-mail. He said he likes my idea of “purple” theology, but he figured out why and it is related, so he thinks, to my bias: he suggests it is the color of the […]
My good friend, and both excellent evangelist and author, Garry Poole, invited me to a luncheon with Brian McLaren.
In this third post in a series on Franke’s understanding of what theology is, we will look at what he says about the nature of theology. (By the way, Baker puts too many words on a page.) Franke, many will […]
I got appointed to sit with some muckey-mucks at a luncheon tomorrow with Brian McLaren. My first question will be an easy one: “So, Brian, who got the better end of the trade of Sammy Sosa to the Orioles?” That’ll […]
Franke’s Character of Theology, which I began here, turns in the second chapter to the Subject of Theology. The book is written for seminary students and academics. A Brief of the second chapter In essence (no pun here), the Subject […]
When I was in seminary, two other seminary classmates (Jim Davis, Steve Beck) and I began to play a game with one another. Here was our game: “Do you know what the initials in a NT scholar’s name stand for?” […]
John Franke’s new book, The Character of Theology: An Introduction to Its Nature, Task, and Purpose, promises to be a study of theology that will enable (what I have elsewhere called) a purple theology. In other words, it is postconservative […]
The term “theology,” or even worse “systematic theology,” have bad names among Old and New Testament specialists. The primary reason for this is bad manners: these sorts of scholars intend to be specialists in history and exegesis and don’t want […]
A recent meandering through the new biographies at Barnes & Noble confronted me one more time with a bald fact of our time: people want to read biographies with salacious details or biographies of celebrities who have achieved — well, […]
In this final post on how Paul understands the ministry of the gospel in Colossians 1:24-29, we want to look at the goal and source of this ministry. Again, this is not about what pastors do or professional evangelists, but […]
I’m trying to get through my entire blogroll each week, but the book on prayer has kept me so busy I’ve not visited them all. Kris reads perhaps even more than I do, but I’ve found the following blogs this […]
Lots of folks claim to be Cubs fans, but some of them are Parousiacs — that is, fans who hang on so they can participate in the final coming of ultimate victory when the Cubs win the World Series. Other […]
In our last post, we looked briefly at how ministering the gospel is to take place. This post continues that. How are we to minister the gospel?
A 350 pound fat man wrestling with another 350 pound fat man so that the latter can manhandle a 215 pound quarterback standing still, or a sleek 200 pound man on the edge of life trying to hit a 95 […]
The answers are this simple: 1. No Yankees. 2. No George Steinbrenner. 3. The Cubs. 4. Wrigley Field. 5. Ryne Sandberg.
We’re back from Grand Rapids and the Civitas Lectures at Cornerstone University on After Evangelicalism. I heard some nice panel sessions, had lunch with Kris and Jim Kinney of Baker (where I heard the story of how they are bringing […]
Kris and I spent the night in South Haven, are heading for breakfast, and then up to Grand Rapids for the conference on Post Evangelicalism. I wish we could have heard Bob Webber last night, but we avoided the traffic […]
I don’t know your reasons, but for me the #1 reason baseball is superior is…
It is that time of the year when fans are starting to chat about who will get to the World Series. Who cares?, I ask. Why do you say so?, they ask back. Because the World Series is not, in […]
The ending of Paul’s first chapter in the letter to the Colossians is rich for the one who wants to know how to minister the gospel. It should be made clear, perhaps, that I’m not here talking simply of “ordained […]
I ranted about Bic pens and that 57 of those little basters (a favorite word in Maine) have sold every second since the 1950s. Then I had to offer something in its place — ranting without a constructive solution is […]
Recently, but only very recently, a new sect and heresy have been discovered. This group, evidently confined nearly entirely to Chicago but numbering in the hundreds of thousands, has managed to keep itself under wraps for all authorities. Who are […]
Kris and I will be driving up to Grand Rapids tomorrow evening (or see how far we can get once we see how cooperative the Chicago traffic is) where will be at the Civitas Lectures on Postevangelicalism. I will be […]
In C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms , there is a chapter called â€œA Word about Praising.â€ Lewis, who couldnâ€™t for the life of him figure out why God summoned his creation to praise him, since it sounded a bit […]
The two focal points of the one called to minister the gospel, or in the gift of ministering the gospel (which is not the whole of our task), are people and the Word of God. Before getting into each, let […]
If you want to purchase a fountain pen, I’ll give you some tips. Unless you’re wealthy and can toss gobs of money into corners you may never again visit, I suggest that you get a good fountain pen catalog and […]
The poll on pastoral skills showed a very clear pattern: the interpersonal skills rated in the top four while the more traditional roles were in the bottom four. Thus: Interpersonal: discipling (25.9), authenticity (22.4), leading (16.1), and interpersonal (13.8). Roles: […]
Today I heard that Biro has now accounted for 100 billion Bic pens — disposable, now clogging up pipes, glutting our dump yards, and defying the world’s nature decomposition. So, let me urge you to stop buying Bics, buy a […]
For a long time I have pondered blogging about Scripture. Of late I have been thinking this question: “What constitutes the unity of Scripture?” Let me provide, in this post, a brief taxonomy of the options and in so doing […]
This finishes our series on the “life of a prayerful person,” which puts together the season the prayerful goes through in the Book of Psalms. We can begin with Shalom, experience utter confusion, only to turn the corner to watch […]
Which of these is the best spiritual classic? Some would list others, and you can comment here on the one you would have chosen but was not listed, but I’d still like you to vote on this one.
I have a study of John Bunyan’s classic, Pilgrim’s Progress, now online with Covenant Companion. You can see it here.
What E.B. White, that great writer called the big syllable, can be seen in what Purple Theology will see in ecclesiology. If we are to move beyond the ageless denominational bickering so typical of the Church, we will have to […]
Sometimes life is confusing and we tell God that it is. This can take some practice because we think speaking harshly to God is somehow wrong. But if we are confused, we need to tell God about it. Life, as […]
Laura finished her half-marathon. Here she is near the finish. Both Laura and Lukas ran a half-marathon this week. Great going! It was a sultry day, and she was strong to the finish.
If you haven’t seen Tall Skinny Kiwi’s charts, do so. There are worth thinking about. No chart says it all, but these two say things that need to be said.
The recent interview of Brian McLaren in Sojourners made a slight plea for purple politics — neither red nor blue but purple. I have for a long time talked about how theology in the 80s became Reaganology, and by that […]
Sometimes life is wonderful and we tell God that it is. Autumn leaves that turn the countryside into images even Monet couldnâ€™t paint, neighborhood picnics in the summer that create trust not previously known, churches that have good preaching and […]
Just found Jim Martin’s blog; he’s a pastor with some nice vulnerability. Good to visit with his site.
This little series on prayer comes out of Praying with the Church: Developing a Personal Prayer Life, which I am hard at work on my off days now. The section I wrote yesterday, on hope, will be changed, as may […]
In this last in a (and Kris would say too) long (of a) series on how Jesus would understand being missional, I want to look at what is perhaps the most profound of all the ideas mentioned in Matthew 9:35-11:1. […]
The Psalms provide for us a complete picture of life’s journey before God. Walter Brueggemann sees three “phases” in the journey of life. Brueggemann calls these three phases orientation, disorientation, and new orientation. The important word for Brueggemann was disorientation, […]
Lightning Atkinson, a student of mine who is praying and planning to plant a church with his wife Sara, now has a nice blogsite, called Churchbrew, and he has already put up some good ones.
I will shortly begin a short series of four posts on the “The (inner journey) of a Prayerful Person,” which will be my take on four kinds of Psalms. This is a modification of Walter Brueggemann’s Spirituality of the Psalms.
Full-scale missional work, as we see in Matthew 10:37-39, moves from love to sacrifice. He who loves anyone more than me, Jesus says, is not worthy of me. Anyone is clear, and a very forceful. But…
If you like blogging as much as I do, it is worth the effort and cost to move over from a generic brand to WordPress. The change for me has been efficient and has permitted me a variety of new […]
The original post and then a follow-up on what I labeled “grace grinding” has generated far more attention than I expected. There has been plenty of activity on my blog but also on others, including especially the Jolly Blogger. I’ve […]
Missional work can be divisive. It doesn’t have to be, often it is not, but sometimes it is. One of Jesus’ harder and harsher words is this: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth — […]
Lukas, my son, decided to try to run a half-marathon without training. Read his own story about it. Laura, my daughter, is running hers this weekend — only she’s been training for months.
This is getting to be a long series, but Matthew 10 is long and it is important to stick it out to see what Jesus has to say about missional work. In our verses today, Matthew 10:26-33, there is a […]
Believe it or not, I was once a cross country runner. Believe it or not, I ran for my college team. But here’s the skinny: my basketball coach in college came to me and said that the cross country team […]
Scot: I like Doug Pagittâ€™s idea of â€œimplicatingâ€ the audience in the text and sermon. That is, he argues that â€œapplicationâ€ is an insufficient term to describe the full intention of what the Bible wants from us as we hear […]
Here’s a new poll. What do you think is the number-one most important skill or gift or attribute for a pastor? I know, I know, I know — we need persons gifted with more than one gift for this vocation. […]
The first poll is now complete. The final results for my blog readers on translations are:
John Frye’s post on Jesus as the unholy pastor is worth a read. To which I make this commentary: For Jesus, holiness was not something fragile in need of protection but something powerful in need of liberation. You can quote […]
Over at Jolly Blogger there has some been discussion. I don’t want to drag all those comments over here, but I would like to say this. I am grieved that some readers/commenters could be self-confessedly proud of being a grace […]
I’m sitting here this morning trying to figure out why we call today “Labor” Day. A quick glance through Wikipedia’s entries on “Labour Day“, reveals that Labor Day is connected to the celebration of the contribution of workers to our […]
In this next section of Matthew 10 (vv. 21-25), we find a chain-link phenomenon connected to much of missional work even today. The missional person who is devoted to creating the way of Jesus in a liminal situation (a situation […]
I’ll be preaching twice this morning at Hawthorne Hills Community Church and then Kris and I will be travelling to be with family. We’ll be seeing her older brother whom we see about once or twice a year.
To participate with Jesus in the mission he calls his Apostles to, and to make that a template for our day, is to be in tune enough with the Spirit that when difficult times arrive we can expect the Spirit […]
It is still Night in New Orleans. Yet, this has been an encouraging day. So many seem now to have been relocated to shelters, and money is flowing in by the vault loads, and more lights are flickering in New […]
In this series on Matthew 10, we are looking at the meaning of “missional” in light of what Jesus said to his Apostles when he sent them out as “missioners.” Missional work involves a balancing act of innocence and shrewdness.
The knees of the proud and happy City of New Orleans are not broken, but they have buckled, and the City staggers as we close our day in Chicago. In New Orleans, though, this day will not close â€“ it […]
I avoid political rants and even political comments, but this has to be said about what Daryn Kagan said immediately after George W. Bush was aired being briefed in Mississippi.
There is a kind of writing, preaching, and talking about grace that instead of offering grace and extolling the goodness of God, seems to use grace as the backhand of God that is used to grind humans into the ground […]
Grant me, I beseech thee, O merciful God, Prudently to study, Rightly to understand And perfectly to fulfill that which is pleasing to thee, To the praise and glory of thy name. Amen. Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
Reputation may not be everything, but it matters to Jesus. His concern was Kingdom reputation when the Apostles got involved directly in missional work, and when they were performing the Kingdom as an extension of his mission.
Bob Robinson, over at Vanguard, has a very nice introduction to how evangelicals are responding to postmodernism. It is a preface in a series he is doing. The discussion is too important to drop.
This is the second post by Brad Boydston and me on Pagitt’s new book on preaching. Scot: Doug Pagitt’s new book, Preaching Re-imagined, suggests that we compare two kinds of preaching: “speaching” and “progressional dialogue.” He sees big problems with […]
Jesus told his missional Apostles not to take money, not to carry a beggar’s bag, and not even to take extra clothing and shoes — and then adds they are not to take a staff (probably a protective device). There […]