Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and Real Sex, was at North Park Theological Seminary last week and the seminary was kind enough to make the lectures public — so my two classes gathered in the seminary […]
There are an assortment of churches — megachurches, megachurch wannabes, big churches, small churches, house churches, missional churches, cafe churches, neighborhood churches, village churches. Some change constantly; some are the same as they were when Grandma and Grandpa were baptized […]
The young shepherd lover continues his delight in his lover by cmparing her to his own garden of delights, a garden locked so that only he and she will enjoy that garden:
O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy […]
We are saddened to announce that Bob Webber (1933-2007) has passed away.
Allelon has a video up on “what is the missional church?” featuring Alan Roxburgh and Ryan Bolger.
We are in our 13th installment in Pilgrim Heart by Darryl Tippens — and this chp is on “Creating: The Truth of Beauty.” Once again, I admit that I’ve not seen this topic — creating — in any study of […]
Here is a letter passed on to me; I’ll respond next week.
A word for men … the Song of Songs brings into poetic imagery the delight of love. The delight in love that both a woman and man enjoy — only rarely, however, do both bring into poetic expression to one […]
Tuesday morning our “Women, Mary, and Jesus” class listened to the story of Erika (Carney) Haub, whom our school supported to bring to campus for our class. Erika was a legend in my early years at North Park, but I […]
Some visionary behind American Idol has set a new standard — not for creating a show that attracts viewers but that does compassion. Did you watch it last night? 30 million dollars raised for world poverty. Will this set a […]
“Tell her,” the Song teaches men. “Tell her of how you delight in the one you love.” Tell her also you are captured. Notice this:
Kris and I are struck by the military’s decision to “spin” the death of Pat Tillman. Pat, the truth is now being told, was killed by “friendly fire” — a spin if I’ve ever heard one — there are no […]
My sister once named her two cats “Come Here” and “Go Away.” I have to think that having such lighthearted names for cats (of all things) might bring a little lightness to the lives of the cats. What are the […]
The shepherd-lover announces his intent in 4:6 in words that are charged with emotion that is masked for all but the two lovers themselves — we watch only by entering into the imagery:
Here is a thesis statement in my book on fasting:
The Catalyst for Emerging Church Leadership, CECL, lead by Mick Noel at Biblical Seminary, sponsored an event for local Christians about “the gospel and the church that is emerging.” John Franke, a leading professor at Biblical, and I were the […]
You can’t read the following verses (Song 4:1-5) without both knowing just exactly what the young man delights in in his lovely lover and also all he’s leaving unsaid. Just read it and see what it images for you:
Diana Butler Bass’ book, Christianity for the Rest of Us, has three parts: description of the collapse of mainline liberalism and the renewal of the “village church” in America, a sketch of ten signposts of renewal, and then a section […]
I have for more than a dozen years observed that I used to teach in a “semitery” and that I now teach college students. Well, that came to an end Thursday night at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, PA, north of […]
We enter into a difficulty at Song of Solomon 3:6-11: are there two major characters (Shulamite woman and Solomon, her lover) or three (Shulamite, her shepherd lover, and Solomon)? I have for a long time fallen prey to the view […]
3d Sunday of Easter O God, whose blessed Son did manifest himself to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open, we pray thee, the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; through […]
From Rick and Alicia Lindholtz regarding their son: 10 years old Miles has been living with insulin-dependent diabetes since age 2. In February he was diagnosed with eosinophilic duodenitis and in March with Gastroparesis. Trust me, any one of these […]
This has been a busy week for me: last weekend we were in DC at St. Matthew’s (Sterling, VA) and Thursday evening I began teaching my first class (Galatians) at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield PA. Today we are involved with […]
When I picked up Darrly Tippens’ book, Pilgrim Heart, I knew something was different: anyone who has a chapter on singing in a book about spiritual disciplines has my interest. Why? Because, no matter how much we talk about discipleship, […]
When I look over the woman’s speech that we have looked at this week, I am reminded again of her utter delight in her lover. There are characteristics of this woman’s love that are worth our reminding ourselves of:
We can pick up the pieces of rubble left aground by the cold-blooded murdering of 32 Virginia Tech students, but we cannot make sense of the senseless shards of rubble we find. A professor who perceived that the young man […]
Besides our wonderful time with Rob and Linda Merola in Sterling, VA, I’ve had some great times with my Trinity Seminary students who are no longer students but friends — Cheryl Hatch in D.C. and Sam Lamberson in Ft Lauderdale.
Moving from chp 2 to chp 3 in Song of Songs moves us from a scene where the young woman has invited her lover into her home for the night … and suddenly she declares to the women of Jerusalem […]
Our third woman in this series is Phoebe. Both Priscilla and Junia are clear evidence of women in leadership and mininstry, and Phoebe seems to fit the same pattern. But, I want to begin with a point I made about […]
We get enough e-mails about our books; rarely do I say much about them, but I have to share this one. Why? Because she’s eighteen and because her letter was so delightful for both Kris and me. I’ve edited it […]
The next verse is from the woman — and she speaks to the maidens of Jerusalem. Oh so nice.
I’m reading Diana Butler Bass’s Christianity for the Rest of Us (HarperSF, 2006), and want to devote a few posts to her ideas. Essentially, the point of this book is to show that mainline, liberal, progressive churches are showing signs […]
Sunday Kris and I were at St. Matthew’s in Sterling VA. I posted a few pics yesterday from our time there with Rob and Linda Merola. Rob is Rector of St. Matthew’s (whatever “rector” means). There is major impression I […]
The woman, either in conjuring up her lover in her mind or reporting of a previous encounter, now recalls what her lover said through the lattice. His words are basically these: “Let’s escape into the flowery areas or let’s find […]
Priscilla was the first woman we looked at in this series — and we looked at a profile of her last Thursday. Today we look at Junia. Here’s the simple overview: there was an early Christian apostle who was a […]
Kris and I were in Sterling, VA, this weekend. We got to be with former students, Rob and Linda Merola, now serving at St. Matthew’s Episcopal. It was a delightful Sunday — I preached three times on Mary’s struggle with […]
Our next section in the Song of Songs, 2:8–3:5, describes the woman’s rendition of her lover’s visit to her home — either in reality or in her mind — and then her nocturnal search and finding of her lover.
Second Sunday of Easter Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they […]
Do you know about the Spiritual Formation Forum in Milwaukee this summer? I will address how a “whole gospel” reshapes our understanding of spiritual formation.
Anyone who invites me to a table to talk about discernment and wisdom finds me a willing participant — and I think because the older I get the more significant wisdom has become in my life. Darryl Tippens devotes a […]
As on last Friday, so today: I’ll sum up some ideas about love and marriage from our reading this week of Song of Solomon 1:12–2:7.
Today we take a look at Priscilla, one of three women we need to pause to consider when it comes to our series about women in ministry. What we discover is a woman who had significant influence and ministry in […]
A colleague of mine, Soong-Chan Rah, recently saw something, said “enough is enough,” pointed to a blatant case of Christian racism, called the authors and leaders, got to the publisher (Zondervan), and ignited genuine learning that found its way to […]
This dialogue of admiration continues. He glows about how beautiful she is and how she leaves the rest in her wake… and she glows right back:
In W. Bradford Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, we are treated to a sociological analysis of fatherhood, and his major contention is that there are new models of family and fatherhood arising in the culture and Church today, particularly in Conservative Protestant […]
About two years ago we began having bugs, little buggers, in our kitchen. We’d find the little pesky things in Webster’s water bowl. So, Lukas suggested we get one of those electronic devices that sends off some kind of sound […]
The young woman, enthralled with her lover’s presence and delighting their Edenic space, now declares who she is:
Our BTS colleague, Joel Willitts, and his wife Karla had twins today. Zion, the little boy, weighed in at 3.4 pounds and his sister, born one minute later, Mary, weighed in at 2.4 pounds. Both the little ones are doing […]
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians the apostle builds an argument that former barriers to the blessing have been knocked down — everyone comes into the family of God by faith. And then Paul gives what my colleague, Klyne Snodgrass, […]
Now the young man speaks back:
At times on this blog I have observed that I believe far too many Christians anchor too much of their hope in a political party and in the next election — whether local or national. My own conviction is that […]
In the second row of my Jesus class sit four students who are baristas, and they are convinced that my freezing of coffee ruins the coffee. So they insist on a sealed container for my coffee. Now, let’s hear an […]
The young man has just extolled the beauty of his lover, comparing or imagining her ornamentation to that of Pharaoh’s royalty. It is now her turn to answer back:
O God, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that […]
1 Corinthians 15 connects resurrection and redemption more profoundly than anywhere else in the Bible. He became what we are so we could become what he is; our union with Christ ushers us into the resurrection. Here’s a scriptural reading […]
For Tyrese, an 8-year old suffering with a serious fever, for his healing. Lord, hear our prayers.
Kris and I will be at St. Matthew’s Church Episcopal in Sterling, Va., next weekend. On April 19, 20, I’ll begin teaching a new course (Galatians) at Biblical Theological Seminary, and then on April 21 John Franke and I are […]
O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of thy dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, […]
Who is the best baseball pitcher of all time? What we mean is this: Who, by dominance on the mound, beat his contemporaries and did so clearly that over time that person stands out as the best pitcher of all […]
Paradoxically, one of the disciplines most needful for the community of faith is the discipline of silence — and Darryl Tippens’ 10th chp in Pilgrim Heart addresses that topic.
We need to reconsider why it was that Jesus chose Passover (a night of celebrating and remembering liberation) rather than Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (a day of affliction and a day when sins were atoned for). Why does […]
The Song of Solomon is a love song between lovers and for lovers. Perhaps it was a play or designed to be dramatically played before others. Perhaps it was designed for the king’s courtiers as entertainment. Perhaps it is a […]
The implication of chp 7 in Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout’s book, The Truth about Conservative Christians, has an edge of irony or even humor — but statistically accurate: if the Mainline Christian couples want to have more influence in […]
North Park has a nice gallery in our classroom building in which we are treated to a constant display of art — some from students, some local artists, and sometimes from the professors. Getting yourself displayed like this is as […]
The young woman wants to know where her young lover will be during the siesta time of midday. His response? Read this:
Yesterday I posted an edited, composite letter from a Christian leader to me whose integrity is being called into question because of his/her participation in the emerging movement. The letter said plenty, and your responses yesterday were very good — […]
At some point or another the Gospel reader who has some interest in women in ministry confronts the reality that Jesus did not call women to be apostles. Were they “disciples”? Yes. More importantly, what kinds of “ministry” did they […]
The young woman, intoxicated with the delightful love of her young lover, describes herself in the presence of the other women of Jerusalem — who watch her love like a chorus surrounding the scene — with these words:
One one day last week I got two letters that asked the same basic question: How can grass-roots Christian pastors and leaders participate in the emerging movement today without being accused of heresy and have their integrity — moral and […]
In chp 6 of Greeley and Houk’s The Truth about Conservative Christians [CCs] we are given a social portrait of CCs. Here’s the stereotype: CCs are “rubes” — Southern, uneducated gun owners who live in trailer parks or far from […]
Song of Songs 1:2-4, the words of the young woman, reads:
This is the first in a monthly series on John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology, volume 1: Israel’s Gospel. We’ll look at one chp per month — on the first day of the month, unless that falls on a weekend. So, […]
Today is Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs, the mighty Cubs. The odds are in with a local furniture salesman — talk about confidence — and here’s proof! Note: a new pic added for abused, life-long Cubs fans.
OK, here’s a picture of the longest soul patch I’ve yet seen. But it got me to thinking — pardon moi Jeff if you think I’m predicting the imminent demise of cool soul patches — about styles and soul we’ve […]
Church kids, in the middle of a boring sermon, sometimes wander around in the Bible to keep themselves occupied. Those who wander accidentally into the Song of Songs not only wander but begin to wonder just what it is they […]
From our friend at Paraclete Press, Pamela Jordan:
I apologize for last week’s omission of our development of the characters of Peter and Mary when it comes to a crucified Messiah. We were in Seattle, got home late, and it didn’t even cross my mind. But, we’re back […]