We visited today the warm and sunny and hilly slopes of Tuscan wine country. The keyboard on this computer today is a nightmare, so I have to be brief.
What did Jesus mean by the kingdom of God according to Pope Benedict XVI? In my judgment, the whole mission of Jesus is summed up when one clarifies what “kingdom of God” means, and there are many who talk about […]
We got up today in San Gimignano and said, “Hey, let’s go over to Volterra today.” About 45 minutes. So, after a light breakfast and wandering through San Gim for about an hour, we got in our car and drove […]
Chp 3 in Pope Benedict XVI’s book, Jesus of Nazareth, concerns the temptations of Jesus — and this chp reveals his theological and canonical method.
We got to Florence much sooner than we expected — it took about a little over 2 hours from Venice. After driving around for 1.5 hours — and I cannot say it was only that — we said, “OK, we […]
In his Introduction, Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes Jesus unmediated contact with the Father, and this will emerge throughout his Jesus of Nazareth. Our concern today is his treatment of the baptism of Jesus (chp 1).
Sunday morning we got up, had our breakfast, and then headed for Venice — so we could attend a Gregorian chant service on Pentecost Sunday at San Giorgio Maggiore (church). The nice thing — the church is on an island […]
Books about Jesus attract me, but when the Pope (Benedict XVI) writes a book on Jesus, I’m doubly interested. So, I’ll do a series — and it is really nice to kick it off while we are in Italy.
We spent today in Venice, a one-of-a-kind “island that tells the world it is a city.” First impression — no cars. None at all. It is an island of streets and passageways and shops and trattoria and gelato shops and […]
Pentecost Sunday Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, […]
Kris and I had a nice flight, landed in Milano, got our car and headed for Verona — the Milanese greeted us with a massive traffic jam but we weathered it in our sleepy condition and found our way to […]
We’re over here in Italy this week — with my mom and dad faithfully attending to our senior citizen Bichon Frise, Webster — and when I get back a speaking event: the Spiritual Formation Forum.
As you wake up in the good ol’ USA, my friends, we will be landing in Milan Italy for a week or so in Italy. We left Chicago for Milan and now are heading this morning over to Verona.
We close today the book of Darryl Tippens,Pilgrim Heart. A gentle, ruminating set of reflections on themes in discipleship that mix the individual and the community. As I have said before on this blog, a discipleship that is group-shaped is […]
Here’s yet another letter that, with permission, I’ll post here. I have some ideas on this one, but I’d rather hear yours. What kind of education would you like to see for a youth pastor for your children?
I’ll be a speaker this Fall at the Willow Creek small group conference. The conference, called the Ancient-Future Community Group Life Conference, will focus on the nature of “community” in local churches. My address will be on the history of […]
As at 3:1-5, the woman wants to take her lover to her mother’s home, and not only to her home but into her mother’s bedroom — to her “chamber” (8:2). And, once again, not clear when it comes to fantasy […]
Another letter, now opened for us all, and something worthy of conversation:
Chris Jones, a frequent reader of this blog, asked me for some suggestions on books about teaching and education. I rifled my shelves and pulled off my top ten (or so). There are many, many more, and some of you […]
Chp 8 of the Song of Songs is a dialogue about love and this chp closes it off. As I have worked through this text I think the three-character interpretation does have merit — but it is not entirely clear. […]
My St. Louis commenter has come back with another question: “What are areas of being a professor that are difficult – kind of the reality type things – non glorified real picture?” Good one. Here are a few thoughts, but […]
My father played minor league baseball in the St. Louis Browns organization; Kris’ dad was a three-sport athlete at Iowa State. In fact, he was in the first class that got athletic scholarships at Iowa State. And those two set […]
After suggesting that the shepherd lover and she have gotten behind the Fall into Paradise, back into the Garden of Eden as it were (in Song 7:10), the woman now invites the man into the Garden of delights:
Here is a (lightly edited and shortened) letter, posted with permission, from a young man (and his wife). Their questions are becoming more and more common in my letter box, and so I thought a brief response might be of […]
While doing a doctorate in England, Kris and I attended St. Peter’s Toton (near Beeston outside Nottingham) — a wonderful Anglican community of faith. John Corrie, the curate (whatever that means), and his wife Elisabeth — with two kids at […]
The shepherd lover, whom I am not convinced is Solomon but who is insteadn the woman’s husband/lover, has spoken — he has extolled the woman’s physically rapturous beauty. She now responds:
Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness keep us, we pray, from all things that may hurt us, that we, being ready both in mind and body, may accomplish with a free heart those things which belong to your purpose; […]
My summer speaking schedule is intentionally light — I need to keep the schedule free for my commentary on James and some lighter projects. I participated in a conversation on the Eric Hogue show — it is on his Video/Books […]
We’ve come to the 16th chp in Darryl Tippens, Pilgrim Heart. The topic: Suffering: The Fire that Purifies. Suffering, he observes with could be a little bit of a warning to those who need it, “is not a good to […]
We are changing seasons here in Chicago — it suddenly ran up to 87 degrees the other day. High schools are winding down, colleges have sent the residents home, gardens are beginning to bloom, and we’ve got new birds flitting […]
This week the following verses (6:4-5), from the beginning of the week, struck me:
In one brief prohibition: If you have written a book, don’t create a blog to market your book. Now an explanation:
My writer from St. Louis asked three questions: 1. Why the move from seminary to undergrad? 2. What do you like most about undergrad teaching? 3. What type of person would you say would make the best undergrad prof? Yesterday […]
The man, with his love back with him, extols her physical beauty once again.
I’ve been asked this question so many times I’ve stopped estimating. Recently a seminary student from St. Louis wrote to me with these three questions, and I said I’d finally answer these questions on the blog:
Some people study the Gospels to focus on the author’s shaping of the message — so they talk about how Matthew or Mark or Luke or John “tell the story of Jesus.” For over a century scholars have contended that […]
The following lines are a puzzle for interpreters. Who is saying these words?
You might see in Mark Noll’s defining characteristics of 18th Century Pietism — Spener, Francke, Zinzendorf — a glimmer of the emerging movement. (Mark Noll, The Rise of Evangelicalism.) For those of you know care about historical movements like this, […]
Hi Scot It’s the graduation season again and there are a couple of students in our small church that are finishing high school. Along with the usual card and money I always like to give a book (many times of […]
The man, having extolled the beauty of his lover as that of a royal city decked out with heavenly splendor and creating awe — like encountering God — now extols her beauty:
One of the great virtues of Mark Noll’s The Rise of Evangelicalism, and this is a great book in every sense of the word for a textbook, is his sketch of the various influences that broke open and forged an […]
Frank DeBoer, a colleague of mine at North Park, retired after 41 years of teaching chemistry to college students. A man of Reformed faith, Frank was asked to give the “charge” to our graduates. I share it with you:
The Song of Songs is a pastiche of songs and episodes. After the Shulamite woman sought and seemingly found her lover, he now echoes back to her a song that extols her physical beauty:
Here is our prayer for our mothers — from Kris and me — on Mother’s Day. It comes with a history for me. My mother was choir director at our church, and every Sunday — world without end, Amen — […]
A must-read about Robert Webber. And Francis J. Beckwith, President this year of the Evangelical Theological Society, has converted to Roman Catholicism. He tells his story with loads and loads of comments. (I can’t get a link specifically to that […]
Ah, a man after my own heart: Darryl Tippens’ 15th chp is about “Reading and Storytelling.” My father was a story teller — and still is. For years I avoided telling stories to my students because I thought I was […]
Just in case you have not heard, Francis Beckwith, this year’s President of the Evangelical Theological Society, surely the largest academic association of evangelical scholars, recently converted to Catholicism — the faith of his childhood. Now here’s my question: Do […]
The narrative of Song of Songs 5:2–6:3 surprises. The woman is in bed, her lover knocks at the door, she delays, he departs, she searches, she enlists the women of Jerusalem to tell him if they find him that she […]
Here was my question on Tuesday’s post (with comments still coming): ‘Why are some choosing to be “biblical” on this issue and not others in the Western world? And, in light of our lengthy series on women in ministry, why […]
Monday I flew down to Nashville where the kind folks at Abingdon — nearly all of them brand new to me — welcomed me into their fine downtown facilities for a book launch for A Community called Atonement, due out […]
The narrative that gives rise to the extolling by the woman of her lover’s physical attributes was that she was on the hunt for him after he seemingly departed from her bedroom door. So, the women of Jerusalem ask:
I have asked for permission from this person to make his [adjusted] letter to me public. Think about it and see what you think is best. What would you tell this person?
Here is the CNN article about the Sinn Fein party and the Protestants (Ian Paisley) making a solemn pledge to work with another for a lasting peace — I’m wondering what those in Northern Ireland are thinking.
Here’s an event we’ll be at this June; I like the line-up of speakers. My responsibility is to begin sketching how spiritual formation can be shaped when we take into view a more holistic understanding of the gospel. here. PRESENTING […]
An assignment for you. The woman has just described her lover’s physical attributes; he described her earlier. I’ll post both of these descriptions and ask you what you see in their differing descriptions:
Michael Krause Kruse, an uberblogger who comments here in such a way that at times he keeps the conversation rolling, wrote this on the blog last Saturday and I want to pick it up today and then ask his question […]
Knock down the house across the street … and a century of memories.
John Lagrou and Len Hjalmarson are editing a book and are accepting proposals on the changes in the church due to technology.
The women of Jerusalem ask the young yearning lover-woman what’s so special about her lover, and she answers with a listing of his attributes:
Dear Trevor, Thanks for your letter. [I posted this letter about ten days back.] Your letter boils down to one basic question: Are the days of a moderate but robust evangelicalism, seen in such leaders as John Stott and Mark […]
Saturday Kris and I drove down to the hospital to see Joel and Karla Willitts’ twin preemies — Zion and Mary. We spent a couple of hours and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Here’s a question the women of Jerusalem ask the woman who is seeking to find her absent lover:
Anyone know the results and the stories from the French election? We are hearing the exit polls show 54% for Sarkozy and 56 46% for Royal. What do you make of the French populace electing a conservative?
5th Sunday of Easter: Almighty god, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in […]
We have a couple of new flowering bushes in the front of our home and then some nice begonias in the back … some pics:
In order to plug in our computer (and use safely) when we travel in Italy, do we need both an adapter and a transformer? Anyone know? We bought one of those little adapters … will that be enough? (Note added: […]
My school, North Park, graciously provides each of the professors with a laptop. I got a new Dell Latitude 620 Thursday and I am grateful for this new one as my old Dell was freezing etc.. Well, this one is […]
Emergent Midwest Gathering July 20-21. When others snore — what do you do? I once reflected on roommates who snore.
Do you have an accent? I don’t.
Yet another topic for discussion — a topic rarely discussed in spiritual formation books and yet one that is central: feasting as memory. This is the subject of the 14th chp of Darryl Tippens, Pilgrim Heart. I begin with a […]
Best opening line of a paper this semester: “My parents are Christians and I grew up in the convent.” (He meant “Covenant” as in denomination.) Anyone with some funny or clever lines in papers?
It’s end of the term; papers are due. I got a note from a student on Wednesday about 3:45pm. He asked about the paper in such a way that I was confident he probably had not yet begun. I approved […]
Song of Songs 5:2-8 tells a story of invitation, delay, disappointment and search — the woman is asleep, her lover knocks on the door, she delays in responding, he disappears and she searches for him. Love sometimes issues an urgent […]
Imagine yourself at a table with others. (I’m not talking about dinner.) Who is at the table? Now here’s the big question: Is your normal time at table with others a time when you are with folks just like yourself […]
Here are two pictures of Joel and Karla Willitts two preemie infants — Mary and Zion. Mary now weighs 2 lb 14 oz and Zion is up to 3 lbs 8 oz.
She’s been awakened to her lover at the door; she comes to the door only to find he has left myrrh as a token of his love for her. She now opens the door to find him gone. She resumes […]
A former student of mine and now teaching in Florida at Trinity College, Les Keylock, sent me this little “article” about whether or not we are biblical when it comes to women on Sunday morning. Les will no doubt check […]
From John Goldingay, Israel’s Gospel, p. 61, where he describes how he teaches his classes: first, a 40 minute lecture; then a 30 minute small group discussion; and then a 30 minute plenary/class discussion. Then he makes an observation — […]
Whether in her dream or in the reality of being awakened from a dream, the woman has teasingly said to her shepherd lover at the door that she is not attired to come to the door. But something happens that […]
Lauren’s second lecture at North Park was on Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, and she offers four lies or myths that Christians often tell themselves and their youth about sex. She considers each a myth (as untrue) and […]
It’s May first, and the first day of the month is Golding-day — the day we examine another chapter of John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology: 1. Israel’s Gospel. We are on chp 2, “God Began: Creation,” and it is a […]
The shepherd’s lover now will give a second long speech; the first one was in 2:8–3:11 which was followed by his speech (4:1–5:1). Now she speaks in 5:2–6:3: