The 17th and 18th criteria in William Webb’s paradigm of the redemptive trend — or how we move the Bible’s message into our world in a progressive, redeeming way — deal with Extrascriptural criteria. No matter how biblical we think […]
Sometimes I find myself saying someone is “old.” The other day I told Kris that someone who is “old” to me is someone who is 10 years older than me — which means “old” keeps changing. The nice thing about […]
Again, the psalmist — the one whose torch in the Torah that guides his path — is in trouble: his life is in jeopardy (119:109) — snares have been set for this light-following feet (110), but he still does not […]
Last week we began looking at Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways. This week we want to look at chp 1. Alan Hirsch is a practitioner (not simply an “armchair theologian”) of missional churches; he has been involved in revitalizing, re-envisioning, […]
I wrote last week about my new shoes, Born Blast. I got a pair of black ones, and they are like walking on air — comfortable and an easy fit. So, I suggested to Kris that I buy a pair […]
The psalmist has taken an oath (119:106) to follow God’s righteous laws (mishpatim); for this oath and his stubborn commitment to walk in God’s ways — with his feet enlightened by Torah — he has suffered afflictions.
“What is a Christian?,” you ask, Matt. I want to change that question to the better one: Who is a Christian? And before I try to answer that question, I have a higher one: “Who decides?” Not me, not you, […]
Matt Wiebe, one of our blogfriends, is wondering about something. Is it academically responsible to cite a blog? Are they reliable sources? You can make comments here, of course, but I’d like to know if “research methods” teachers (at any […]
The Torah, the Bible for the psalmist, was God’s communication with Israel in order to inform Israel of God’s ways — and its intent was to guide the whole of an Israelite — heart, soul, and strength. Here the psalmist […]
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you […]
Kris and I are wishing the Super Bowl were tonight instead of next Sunday evening. I’ve got no predictions. I’ll say this: Everytime we count the Bears out they come back and prove us wrong.
I’m looking forward to the re-emergence of up/rooted north, an emergent cohort group that shifted south for some time but is now starting up again. Jan 31 with Ray Aldred. 7pm. Life on the Vine church in Wheeling/Buffalo Grove area.
USA Today posted an article on whether or not it is worth saving the E-word (evangelical), and interviewed a variety of folks. I posted on this not all that long ago, and in light of a good conversation I had […]
One of the difficulties in blogging through a book is finding a book that can sustain a conversation over a month or more by both advancing an argument and doing so in such a way that variety obtains. Miroslav Volf’s […]
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
What are the ingredients of a good conversation? Remember, a conversation is not the same as information-exchange or lecture.
Sometimes I share letters I get from folks, and I just have to tell you about this one. Cp. Patrick Lowthian (pic below) is a chaplain in the US Army and is in Ramadi, Iraq. Well, he reads this blog […]
I don’t know an expression any more accurate, so I’ve chosen to say that the one who listens to Torah, who delights in God’s Word, develops morally. So Psalm 119:101-102, 104b:
William Webb finds three criteria that are not conclusive in his book Slaves, Women & Homosexuals. We’ll look at these three criteria today.
If you want to see the days when I was still writing with a Parker T-ball Jotter pen, wearing a wiry mustache and “mod” tinted glasses, and most importantly sporting a curly head of hair, check this out. Rob’s got […]
I no longer run, though at one time I was a cross country runner and did plenty of running or playing basketball after my college years. Other than the benefits of running for health, perhaps the most singular benefit to […]
The psalmist says that because he muses on the God’s Torah all day long, he has “gained more insight than all his teachers” (119:99).
This is our last post about Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion, and we here cover chp. 10: A Much Needed Gap? Here he examines the supposed gap in our hearts/minds that religion contends it fills. He, of course, contends […]
I had a wonderful experience yesterday. I met with 25 emerging pastors and church leaders and Christians from South Africa who are here to learn how they can become more missional as Christians and churches in South Africa.
Listening to the Bible the way one delights in the words of the one whom we love leads to wisdom. I don’t know how you define wisdom, but here’s mine:
Because many of my readers know our interest in women in ministry and as you may recall our interest in Ruth Tucker and what happened at Calvin, you might want to know about this. On the term zealotry, see the […]
I want to devote a series of posts to Alan Hirsch’s new book, The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church (Baker: Brazos, 2006). I will kick it off today with a brief whetting of your appetite to purchase this book […]
Psalm 119:97-104, the section labeled mem because every sentence begins with this letter, is about Bible study, or more accurately, Torah devotion. Today we look at v 97 and v 104.
What a fun game for us. Good defense and the Bears made some great offensive adjustments in the 3d quarter to gain their momentum back. Check this out (at the Sports line at the bottom). What a lucky guess!
Let nothing disturb thee, nothing affright thee; all things are passing, God never changeth!
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; […]
Stars Hamo on priorities: Bible reading.
Here is the link to my article in Christianity Today on the emerging movement.
I have of late received e-mails from some who are facing severe doubts about their life and about the Christian faith, and I have no capacity here to dissolve doubts by cooking them dry on some apologetic stove — by […]
Here’s a good question from Miroslav Volf’s book, The End of Memory: “But it is right to insist on the everlasting memory of suffered wrongs?” (Read this.) The question Volf is asking is if it is desirable or inevitable that […]
I get a new pair of “dress” shoes about every five years. I have two kinds: black and brown. My last two pairs of shoes were Born, but my black ones — bought about seven years ago — are now […]
I really like what I read in Psalm 119:96: “To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.”
Dear Holly, Yes, you are right: Evangelicalism is “all over the place.” It includes the old-timers who like hymns and who think tattoos are verboten, and young folks who think grunge music is Spirit-led and who wonder if a one-hour […]
When I got back to my NPU office after Christmas break I had received a bundle of books from publishers who wanted me to blog about their publications. I simply can’t blog about all of them, but I’m going to […]
If God is Olam, forever, and if God’s Word and Faithfulness are also Olam, what are we to do? Attach ourselves to the Olam God whose Word and Faithfulness are Olam. I get attachments in my e-mails quite often; they […]
Last week I took a look at Bennedetta Craveri’s book, The Age of Conversation, and this week I’d like to begin reflecting on conversation in a more explicitly and self-consciously Christian context. Here’s the crucial setting for me: by and […]
On the first day of my new class — Women, Mary, and Jesus, we looked at pp. 14-15 of William Webb, Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals. We read these verses and I asked the students to “vote” for each verse: A, […]
The psalmist tells us that the Olam God, the Forever God, the God who is in and of himself the very life that sustains who we are, is “faithful”. The Olam God, therefore, has an Olam Faithfulness. God remains true […]
Here’s a chapter that should concern each of us. In chp 9 of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion Dawkins contends that forming our children into our faith is child abuse. And he challenges each of us to consider the role […]
Most of us think the Bible is from one world (Ancient Israel, Greco-Roman, etc) and that we are in another world (modern West, etc), and that moving the Bible from its world into our world requires a gentle art. Whether […]
Are you struggling with developing a consistent prayer life? I suggest learning to pray with the Church by learning to pray set prayers at set times. And I recommend Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime, which begins a […]
Our God is an Olam (eternal, forever, out of time drawing us into his life kind of) God. Therefore, any word that is uttered from the Olam God becomes an Olam word. Let us say it turns word into Word, […]
I grew up a Trumanist Christian, as in the Truman Show with Jim Carrey. That is, I grew up in a bubble, protected from the rest of the Church by a protective dome that prevented outside interference. As we drove […]
We are looking at William Webb’s Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals, and the “redemptive trend” hermeneutic, which states that to apply the Bible in our world involves participation in the redemptive trend that began in the Bible. Today we look at […]
Here’s the text of Martin Luther King’s famous speech/sermon/address in Washington DC. I remember watching it as a kid on TV.
We now turn to the “Lamed” section of Psalm 119 — verses 89-96. The first word of this section, le-olam, “unto forever,” sets the whole tone and opens the window on what the psalmist urges us to see. God is […]
FG Robbie Gould, and the Bears win!
Truth be told, all North Park folks are fans of Mike and Kathy Holmgren. Here’s the story (HT: Lukas):
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christâ€™s glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed […]
Tony tagged me here, so here goes:
School starts up next week; I’m ready to teach a new course on Women, Mary, and Jesus. Blessings on all you teachers and students. Have the greatest term of your life. For my UK readers: I’ll be on Premier Christian […]
When a student of mine sends me a book he (or she) has written, it’s a glory day … and it’s even more glorious when the book is called Glory Days. IVP England has published this, and I hope his […]
How, Miroslav Volf in his The End of Memory asks, does a Christian remember rightly? In particular, how does a Christian remember suffered wrongs if the Christian learns to remember throught he lenses of the Exodus and the Passion? This […]
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this — perhaps I have — but I’m now at work on a book on fasting. I’m curious what you are all thinking … good books? stories about fasting? advice you have?
The psalmist, who depicts himself as an exhausted wineskin in his persecution, asks two questions that are at the heart of this section (koph) of Psalm 119. They are found in v. 84, and they are not questions of doubt […]
Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion has provided many of us with plenty to talk about and I want to say thanks for the conversation. Some have written to me to point to reviews at other sites, and I’ll begin this […]
Thanks to the kind invitation of Jerry Rushford at Pepperdine University (yes, that’s a good picture of what it really looks like), I gave two lectures Tuesday — one to local pastors about my spiritual autobiography and one to the […]
I don’t know much about wineskins, but I know this wineskin, our psalmist, was resolute. If he sees himself as an exhausted, depressed wineskin, he is one tough wineskin. [Note: a reader explained the image of a “smoked wineskin” to […]
It so happens that I’m speaking at Pepperdine, and the fires of Malibu began just below the school on the other side of the Pacific Coast Highway, and within minutes had engulfed too several homes in the fires. As many […]
The psalmist depicts himself like a parched wineskin being dried out in a smoker. What are his problems? People. Notice these:
If you are interested in justice, if you are interested in the struggle for justice, and if you need a shot in the arm to bolster your courage to fight through the mundane and the red-tape, then I’ve got a […]
Just before our New Year’s party in Ixtapa, I checked the water jugs to see if Jesus had been here!
The psalmist is parched and his only hope is moisture if the skin is to survive. How does he cope? What can he do? Notice these words:
The psalmist is parched and his only hope is moisture if the skin is to survive. How does he cope? What can he do? Notice these words:
The singular question for women in ministry is this: At its simplest it is this: Are there transcultural elements in the Bible? Are some elements “cultural”? And how do we do know the difference? William Webb, in his book Slaves, […]
When the leaders of what is now called Emergent landed on the term “conversation” to describe itself, they landed on a loaded term. Why? Because “conversation” has a noble history and because not all Christians know how to “converse.” They […]
It might not be our image today, but it was the psalmist’s image: “I am like a wineskin in the smoke” (119:83). Or as the JPS translator has it: “Though I have become like a water-skin dried in smoke.” What […]
Epiphany: Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into His Name may keep the covenant they […]
For Al Mohler, for complications with surgery. Lord, hear our prayers. For Becky, for ongoing wisdom for doctors and healing in her whole body. Lord, hear our prayers. For Lauren, a friend of our son and daughter-in-law, for the sudden […]
We had a great time in Mexico, and I’ve done my best to get some links to some blogs this week. I fly to LA Monday morning to give two lectures at Pepperdine.
Well, you ask, what did we read while we were here?Â Kris and I begin a few months in advance planning our “vacation reading,” so we had more than a few books to choose from. My approach is to bring […]
No one who reads the Psalter can fail to observe how frequently the psalmists are opposed. Here he refers to the insolent, the seethingly rebellious, and he knows they are the opposite of those who “fear” God. Notice 119:78:”Let the […]
I’ve come to the conclusion that I come to Mexico for all the wrong reasons but the rest of my family comes for all the right reasons. Here’s what I mean:
The psalmist, in 119:76-77, pleads with God to extend his love and his mercy down to him. Three points:
“Those who fear You will see me and rejoice” (Ps. 119:74) and “May those who fear You… turn again to me” (119:79). Friendship of the “fearful”, friendship of those who fear God.
Año Nuevo (New Year’s Eve) in Ixtapa.
1. To ape some old words, one can either write a blog or read a blog, but one can’t normally be good at both. Personally speaking, I’ve not done as well at the latter as Kris has and I’ve not […]
The psalmist, in 119:73 knows that God’s hands have “firmed him up” — the way the sun is “fixed” in the sky at midday, the way pillars hold up the building, and the way a king has been established on […]
On the last day of the year, Ixtapa has a tradition of releasing thousands of turtles into the sea. Here are some pictures of our family and some little kids at the “running of the turtles.”