From the AP wires, and posted at AOL.com, there is clear evidence of purple politics. And blurring lines often creates tension. Rick Warren has a summit on AIDS and has invited both Barack Obama (Democrat) and Sam Brownback (Republican), but […]
Richard Dawkins, who writes with a prose that is saucy and caustic and witty, argues in his newest book that God is a delusion. I will be joined in this series by RJS; I will write the first few paragraphs […]
For months WBBM-TV and I have been trying to arrange a date for an interview for Eye on Chicago, Antonio Mora’s Sunday morning show. Antonio, one of the most professional persons I’ve ever worked with, has an interest in all […]
Here’s a good opportunity. I’ve been invited to chat about Mary online in a unique setting on December 4 and December 6 from 8pm-10pm. The Converse with Scholars program at Reclaiming the Mind is hosting a discussion about The Real […]
We are fond of the word “repent” at times, and we learn that the Hebrew behind our “repent” is to turn (shuv). But that is not the word used in Psalm 119:36-37, but its central idea is present in these […]
Dear Holly, It was good to hear about your mission year and how you are following that up with an interest in the kind of lifestyle Shane Clairborne, a Protestant Francis, advocates. I have some questions for you about such […]
As Kris said to me last night, “Who would ever have thought that this [your] face would end up in People magazine?” Of course, I’m stretching the truth — you won’t see my face in People, but you just might […]
I am as guilty of this as anyone, and many of us “theological types” are the same: we read in order to learn, in order to know, and in order to master. Scripture, however, is God’s communication with humans, with […]
If what I am calling “the” emerging question is as central as I think it is — and that question is ‘what about those who do not know about Jesus Christ’?, then the entire “in vs. out” issue is immediately […]
I have been scheduled for a number of interviews about The Real Mary, Mary, and The Nativity Story (I saw it tonight — am writing a review for Relevant Online) and I want to list them for you should you […]
The posts last week about buying books at SBL spurred a bundle of questions. I’d like to answer this one today:
If the posture of learning is to listen, the source of our learning, the source to whom we listen as we listen to the Bible being read, is God. There is a danger in some circles to equate Bible with […]
Sarah Sumner’s chp 11 in Men and Women in Ministry discusses what 1 Peter 3:7 means when it says that women are the “weaker vessel.” Sarah begins with a lesson in how to do word studies, but first our questions. […]
Here is a very sad letter sent to me and printed with permission. Whenever I speak about Jesus Creed, I make a big point that loving God and loving others begins at home — with husbands and wives, parents and […]
The “he” section of Psalm 119 (vv. 33-40) notably puts the psalmist in the posture of learning. The verbs are so clear in this psalm:
I will do a series of Advent Reflections, beginning December 3 (1st Advent Sunday) and continuing through Dec 24. They will be based on the Magnificat. Hope you can join us for this Christmas season.
For Robert Webber, for healing rain and for effusive grace. Lord, hear our prayers. For a 5-year old, Tanay, who has had brain surgery. Lord, hear our prayers.
Last Sunday before Advent prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in thy well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved […]
I’m not speaking this week, but I’ll be at Emmaus Community on December 10th, and then at an Emergent cohort (Up/rooted) on December 11th, in Park Ridge. Details can be found here.
Wendell Berry’s Citizenship Papers piles up repetition of ideas, and it’s starting to wear on me. His ideals are noble: agrarianism. But, I must admit that the essays are repetitive, and before I long I will be asking someone else […]
What does it cost for books when you go to SBL? Here’s something to factor in:
I find Psalm 119:32 fascinating. TNIV: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” JPS: “I eagerly pursue your commandments, for you broaden my understanding.”Â Hirsch: “I shall walk once again with vigor […]
I was reading a post at another blog this week when a thought occurred to me that had been triggered by a letter to me from RJS (a faithful blog reader here). This blogger, and I have no desire to […]
Every year I find one publisher to be at the top of the list for the best new books, so here is my rating for this year:
This week’s prayer from the Daily Hours: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant me so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that I may embrace and ever hold […]
Dear Matt, Thanks so much for writing. Telling me your story — your conservative Christian home, your new-found passion for social justice, and your studies in philosophy and in literature with your “pomo profs” — really help me understand your […]
Yesterday’s post on book buying at SBL generated a bundle of questions, and I thought I’d just drop some quick answers right here. So, here goes…
Psalm 119:25-32, the “D” sentences of this Hebrew acrostic psalm, contains commitments. The psalmist announces to God in prayer the equivalent of our “I Have Decided.” Notice the following commitments:
As I stated in last week’s post, I think the singularly-most significant question facing the emerging generation of Christians is world religions and the “salvation” of those who have never heard the gospel. Terry Tiessen’s study, Who Can Be Saved?, […]
The Society of Biblical Literature holds its annual meeting alongside at least four other major conferences: the American Academy of Religion, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the American Schools for Oriental Research. Because there are […]
At times the psalmist of 119 expresses his pain. In v. 25 he asserts that his soul clings to the dust. In vs. 28 he claims that he is “racked with grief.” Of course, we don’t know why he says […]
The following piece is written by Stan Gundry, and tells his story of moving from complementarianism to egalitarianism, and it shows the influence of Pat Gundry in Stan’s thinking. This story has been published elsewhere, and Stan has given me […]
As I was standing talking to a friend at the Paraclete booth in the book exhibits Saturday at the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings, I happened to see my former Dean at Trinity seminary, Walt Kaiser, wander into the booth. He did […]
I spent Friday through Sunday in Washington, DC, at the Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature — and on Friday I was at the Evangelical Theological Society. Because I have been pondering Psalm 119 the last month or […]
Spirit of God, promise of Jesus, Come to our help at the close of this day. Come with forgiveness and healing love. Come with life and hope. Come with all that we need to continue in the way of your […]
For Sarah Madvig, for healing. Lord, hear our prayer. For Janet Glover, for the grace of healing. Lord, hear our prayer. Add your prayers.
The Real Mary is now out, but the requests for participating in the Street Team are still coming in. The publisher is asking folks to contact them by Monday if you are interested in discussing The Real Mary. PLEASE CONTACT […]
No speaking events until December. I must say that Don Johnson, over at Jibstay, is becoming one of our favorite bloggers. He’s creative, clever, and — on top of that — wise. My top three pastor sites are Jim Martin, […]
I was delighted to see that Mark Driscoll has publicly responded on his blog to recent concerns about his intent in his posts about Ted Haggard. I believe his letter clarifies his intent; and I applaud the rhetorical tone of […]
VATICAN CITY, Nov. 9 (UPI) — Vatican City will show a world premiere of a film for the first time when New Line’s “The Nativity Story” plays in the Vatican this month.
Wendell Berry’s Citizenship Papers is not an easy book to work through chp by chp because it is quite repetitive — but the chp “Two Minds” seems to me to put together some of his central ideas about a more […]
The psalmist declares his friends: “your decrees (edah) are my delight (shashua), my intimate companions (enosh etsah) — my friends who counsel me” (119:24).
First: Happy birthday to my sister, Alexa. Now to our day’s post: Is God a “father” or a “mother”? How should we talk about God? And is the word “Father” fixed or flexible? This is discussed in Sarah Sumner’s book, […]
Folks regularly write to me to tell me they appreciate that I’m accessible on this blog, and the letters I’m getting are both encouraging and in need of a little bit of a response. The first thing I want you […]
The psalmist’s longing to know God through the study and observance of Torah is not without opposition. He is aware of those who are “insolent” (119:21) and stray from the commandments. Even more, he experiences “taunt and abuse” (v. 22) […]
Sadly, the Christian blog world is abuzz with Mark Driscoll’s posts and the offense it has given to many women. A public protest is planned. The church in Seattle is divided and is suffering. The counsel advised by Rose Swetman, […]
Recently I received the following letter from a pastor; let’s all look this situation over, ponder it and pray over it, and think about what to do. Those of you who feel prompted, tell us what you think the pastor […]
“My soul,” the psalmist announces, “is consumed in its longing for Your mishpatim/commandments” (119:20). Actually, the word “consumed” means “crushed” (garas). My soul, he says, is broken into pieces because it so longs to commune with God through hearing from […]
Dear Emma, You’ve asked me what I think of Brian McLaren, and I assume by that you are talking about his many writings. And you’ve asked me “how” to think about him. As a person, Brian is gracious and kind, […]
About a week ago I posted the clever question of a reader/commenter. In the post I mentioned that Kris said, “Well, about you? We’re emerging and go to Willow!” So, here’s the question I was asked:
The psalmist, in 119:19, tells us this: “I am only a sojourner in the land.” At first blush, this would mean he is a Gentile (ger ‘anoki) dwelling for awhile in the Land of Israel. On top of this, he […]
The generation that grew up with Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, was also thoroughly indoctrinated in public education and through the media to think all religions are the same. Tolerance, the deistic doctrine of our day, is not only a […]
Here’s how Obery Hendricks defines kingdom, or the sovereignty of God, in his book The Politics of Jesus: “a new world order of transformed human relationships; it was social, economic, and political relationships in this world made holy” (99). Enough […]
Humans, the psalmist seems to assume, have veiled eyes. To see, the veil must be lifted. “Open (galah) my eyes, that I may perceive…”. Here the words of Balaam in Numbers 22:31: “Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he […]
God of the ages, We thank You for all who have served in the armed forces of this country.
For Shawn, his mother (with breast cancer), and his already ailing father. Lord, hear our prayer. For Grant, a JBU student whose father has been seriously injured in a car accident. Lord, hear our prayer. For John, Jan, and Naomi, […]
Mary. Many thanks to Paraclete’s heroic efforts to get this book out this Fall. I’m hoping the Street Team participants got their copies this week, too. Did they?
This week is the academic annual meeting — called SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) — and Kris is going with me for the first time. It helps that we are in Washington, DC. I’m giving a paper in response to […]
Here’s my ranking: what’s yours? 1. Chestnut Hill Coffee Company (latte). 2. Caribou Coffee: Daybreak (homemade latte) 3. Seattle’s Best (drip, with cream) 4. Dunkin’ Donuts (with cream, no sugar) 5. Starbuck’s (coffee of the day with cream)
About once every other week, Kris will say to me “what does this word mean?” Of course, I say to her, “My readers will know what it means.” She suggests they probably don’t; she has a good ear. So, yesterday […]
Friends tell one another a story, and the story invites the friend into its own world. Here’s mine: last year Kris and I decided to have a garage built. (We had lived here for about 20 years without one; it […]
In Obery Hendricks’ The Political Jesus, chps. 1-2, we are treated to a survey of the socio-political context for Jesus’ kingdom message. Let me ask this question for our conversation today:
Psalm 119:17 is both a little request and a world of insight. “Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word.” That first verb, “Do good,” brings one element of the verb gml to the […]
That’s our new bracelet idea: “Who Would Jesus Vote For?” On the question of the politics of Jesus, many have put forth their proposals, none more influentially than The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder. And now from the […]
Yesterday I began my day with a 6:30am breakfast with a pastor. It was encouraging to hear all the missional work that is going on at Willow Creek. Then I had a meeting with Mindy Caliguire, who directs SoulCare, and […]
A meditation on the experience of the psalmist in Psalm 119, esp vv. 1-16. I take the key idea of this psalm to be absorption. I see this in three directions:
The 7th chp (and chp 8 ) of Sarah Sumner’s Men and Women in the Church begins with this statement: “If Christian women have a tendency to pretend they are inferior, the opposite is true for Christian men” (81). This […]
Speaking at a college chapel, regardless of where it is, carries one of my biggest challenges. Iâ??m not sure why, but one thing comes to mind immediately: by and large, students are there because they have to be. It’s not […]
The pleasure the psalmist speaks of in Psalm 119:14-15 is not simply the mental exhilaration of study and discovery — the sort of thing many experience when they chance upon something previously unseen in the Bible, which I think is […]
If I’ve been asked this once, I’ve been asked it 500 times: “How do you do it?” And by that my questioners want to know how I have time to teach, write books, take care of this blog, and speak […]
What do you think of the report below? It talks about the faith of university professors — and I suggest parents of teenagers take a good long gander at this report. Here it is: religions1.pdf
I don’t do this very often, and the reason I’m doing this is because I believe in it so much. I have a colleague, Brad Nassif, who singularly combines evangelical and Orthodoxy piety, and Brad is now offering a seminar […]
Psalm 119:12-13 expresses the psalmists commitment — to learn the law and to rehearse the rules. Thus:”Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.”
Most of us probably watched the gospel tragedy unfold this last weekend, and many of us considered whether or not the same could happen to us and to others we know. And we are all grieved, in the very grief […]
In James Vanoosting’s And the Flesh Became Word, he has an essay about leaders and administrators. He trots out three “types” of leaders: business manager, military commander, and intellectual leader. He then suggests another image, simile, for leaders.
“With all my heart,” the psalmist says in 119:10, “I have turned to You; do not let me stray from Your commandments. In my heart I treasure your promise.” Commitment to God, a life absorbed in Torah, begins in the […]
What do you think this bird is? Click on it and it expands. The knowledgeable folks are saying it is a Cooper’s Hawk; and I thought I was seeing a Northern Harrier all along.
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we […]
For Ben and Lisa Pennington, we ask for clear diagnosis and healing. Lord, hear our prayer. For Bob Robinson, we pray for continued healing. Lord, hear our prayers. For Ted Haggard, for his wife, for his children, for his former […]
This week I fly to John Brown University — and I have a full schedule Monday evening and Tuesday, but I’m looking forward to meeting these fine people. (Birdwatcher question at bottom today.)
I’m not one to pay all that much attention to Study Bibles, but the Harper Collins Study Bible, based on the NRSV and edited by HA Attridge is a Bible that churches and pastors and others will surely want to […]
If you want something very serious about American religious practice, I suggest this report from Baylor. You might want to print this out and think your way through it; lots of facts; trends are visible; myths of the media debunked. […]
Wendell Berry, in Citizenship Papers — a volume that is not afraid to disagree with government, has a chp called “The Failure of War.” Here is his essential point: “Militarization in defense of freedom reduces the freedom of the defenders.”
In my teaching career, especially since I’ve been at North Park and started with this blog, I’ve had more than a few questions that are now being given a fresh examination by Peter Enns, in his new book, Inspiration and […]
Here is my piece in Publisher’s Weekly Online and then a piece about The Nativity Story for CBN’s special.
“How can those who are young keep their way pure?,” asks the psalmist in the opening line of the Beth lines of Psalm 119 (v. 9a). Some think the entire psalm is the journal reflections of an ancient Israelite as […]
I must confess something: I love seminaries. Other than the obvious — teaching and training pastors and missionaries and evangelists and the like — what I like most is the rhetorical level. Using theological words brings me pleasure, the kind […]
Mary. Thanks to Paraclete’s heroic speed and efforts, the book is now here. I don’t know if street teams have gotten their copies yet. Hope so.
From a commenter who read my paper from Westminster I got a great question, and now I’d like to reflect on the diversity of this thing called “emerging.”:
I am impressed this morning with Psalm 119:5-6: “Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.” What impresses me is that desire (v. 5) […]
October 14, 15 Embracing Grace Irving Bible Church Irving, Texas Contact: Steve Roese October 19-22 Durham, New Hampshire October 24-27 Emergent at Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia, PA Contact: Anthony Stiff November 7 John Brown University Siloam Springs, Arkansas Chapel: The […]
Introductory warning: these are rough and ready definitions designed to help readers of this blog; a glossary like this is not designed to be quoted, cited, or referenced in papers and books. So, please do not quote this anywhere else. […]
Scot McKnight is a widely-recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. He is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University (Chicago, Illinois). A popular and witty speaker, Dr. McKnight has […]
Last week I received a sensitive letter — a letter that made me more sensitive. Here’s the issue that the writer pressed into my mind: when we talk about “women in ministry” we need to understand that, regardless of what […]
It’s November 1, and Paraclete now has copies of The Real Mary ready to ship out. You can order the book from the publisher by clicking here. (I’m grateful that Paraclete is getting the books available well before the publishing […]
Psalm 119:3 says “They have done no wrong, but have followed God’s ways.” The one whose identity is shaped by Torah, by the revealing words from God, are characterized by (at least) two attributes: