Do you have an anamchara, the Celtic word for “soul friend” or “spiritual director”? Tracy Balzer’s second chapter, in Thin Places, is a delicate and insightful survey of the Celtic practice and how spiritual direction or soul friendship can be […]
I will be participating in a panel discussion called “Questioning the Answers: the emerging church critique of evangelicalism” on Thursday, Sept. 20th at 7pm in the northwest suburbs. It’s hosted by up/rooted, the Chicago area emerging cohort.
When I was a kid we sang about Zacchaeus, who was for us the arch-type of a “wee little man.” Zacchaeus, as seen in Luke 19:1-10, was a short guy but that’s not the point. Missional Jesus makes that clear:
The end of the summer means the arrival of crickets and their endless chirping. So my question: How do I get them out of my basement so I can study in peace?
On the first day of my Jesus of Nazareth class I ask students to complete a “test” that explores how our self-perception influences our perception of Jesus. (The test: NEICE Images of Jesus (PDF)), but for some odd reason the […]
We had a conference call the other day about the emerging event in Austin Texas scheduled for October 19 and 20. This will be a highlight event I think. We hear that the registrations are climbing rapidly and some special […]
Missional Jesus is now approached by his followers, two of his favorites, who have the wrong thing in mind. They want to be MVP’s of the apostolic band; Jesus lets them have it with words that penetrate.
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t all that receptive yesterday to the idea that Michael Vick has now “found Jesus.” The first words out of my mouth when I saw that someone had said this on my blog […]
Here’s the link to the CNN story.
Monday morning early, with the sun high on a tall, tall pine tree in a neighbor’s yard and I, sitting on my back porch sipping a cup of coffee, saw six Cooper’s hawks at the top of the tree. I […]
Missional Jesus made powerful impressions. So powerful that once a rich man (Mark 10:17-31) comes up to Jesus and asks how he might find eternal life. Jesus’ answer surprises many today when they read the text with honesty:
In the 1980s, alongside the rise of narrative and literary studies of the Bible — which it so happens made people readers of the Bible again and not just archaeologists digging behind the texts, was the rise of the multi-disciplinary […]
The four words to avoid will not be a list of the four worst words or four potty-mouth expressions. Instead, I want to focus on four words that Kris and I use, that you might use, that someone at your […]
Missional Jesus thought it couldn’t be clearer. God’s redemptive plan was at work. Who knew?
In the 80s the methods of Gospel Criticism were pushed off the table in academic circles to make room for the surge and flowering of a bundle of disciplines that reshaped Gospels studies into texts that needed to be studied […]
Kris and I and our kids and their spouses have been fans of John Ortberg for a long time, and that is why I just had to find a way to read When the Game is Over it All Goes […]
Missional Jesus warned, and he warned with the severest of warnings. The word often used for this theme is “wrath,” but the term is not often understood carefully enough to realize what the NT writers had in mind. So, today […]
Deans Beans Oromia Blend. Fine stuff. “The best Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and Jimma make for a smooth, strong and floral roast.” OK, now a question:
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with […]
I hope the ESPN commentators, Ron and Tony, are watching Grossman rip apart the SF Giants 49ers this evening. 24 points mid-way through the 2d quarter. Seven different receivers. Precision passing; great decisions.
This Time magazine article, with a few other variants around the world, briefly describes the struggles of Mother Teresa with her faith — for a long, long time. All we have are some excerpts, set in a little bit of […]
The Oracle (not of Delphi but) of Chicago…
Today we begin a conversation about Tracy Balzer’s book, Thin Places. It is an invitation to Celtic spirituality. I hope you join us.
“Atonement Wars”? Let’s Hope Not. A book review of Scot McKnight’s A Community called Atonement by Brian McLaren.
Our theme from yesterday, sabotaging an incorrect elevation of Torah to the point that living a life of love was restricted, continues in today’s passage about missional Jesus from Luke 13:10-17:
In 1986 Dan Taylor gave to the evangelical world a gift called The Myth of Certainty, a book that didn’t justify doubt so much as let many of us know that we were not alone.
Eugene Cho is a model of guiding a traditional and an emerging church into a merger. Isn’t this what “emerging” means? We hear so often about church fights, bickerings, and splits. We don’t hear often enough about church mergers, about […]
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is deeply beloved by Christians. I don’t know why for it is as challenging a teaching as anything Jesus teaches. In essence, I think it is this:
Today we look at Gospel Criticism, the methods used in studies of the Gospel from the beginning of the 20th Century until the hey-day of redaction criticism in the 70s and 80s.
In doing some work on the doctrine of Scripture I have now read through Craig Allert, A High View of Scripture? and wish to commend it to you for your reading. Here’s why:
Speaking of missional Jesus — in our passage today, from Luke 10:1-12, missional Jesus extends himself by sending out some missional disciples.
I’ve received several e-mails today notifying me that Amazon.com is saying A Community called Atonement won’t ship until December. The fine folks down at Abingdon know the book is in stock at Amazon.com and also think you may have received […]
If you were to attend the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and either wander through the bookstalls or spend an hour or so with the book that lists sessions, times, and locations, one thing would surely strike […]
My question is not about which is your favorite sports season of the year but which is your favorite “weather” season of the year? We offer a slight pity party for those in southern California and Arizona and Texas and […]
Here’s a challenge tossed out by missional Jesus and it is a challenged that shakes human relations to the core, opens up the potential for a society constituted on the basis of grace, and presents the follower of Jesus with […]
In her essay, “Procrustes and the Culture War,” Anne Fadiman warns us of getting caught on the bed of Procrustes — her image of getting caught up in the ideology of political correctness, of the ideology that you must toe […]
Every summer Bill Roberts, a former student of my father’s, invites along with my mom and dad both Kris and me to a game at Wrigley Field between the Cards and Cubs. They are all Cards fans, but we endure […]
No one, I’m prepared to announce, has figured out this text, but it needs to be factored in if we want to sketch all the texts about missional Jesus. So, let’s first read Mark 9:38-41 and then I’ll offer some […]
Some years ago, when Kris and I were in England and I was working on my Ph.D., we attended St. Peter’s Toton, an Anglican church outside Nottingham. It was our first-ever experience of The Book of Common Prayer. Two things […]
Almighty God, who has given your only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin and also an example of his godly life: Give me grace that I may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit and […]
An officer’s got to do his job, even if it means ticketing the Oscar Meier Mayer Wienermobile:
O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day; defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither […]
Today marks the last Friday devoted to a conversation about Jon Wilson’s fine study of the church called Why Church Matters. Next Friday we begin Tracy Balzer’s Thin Places: An Evangelical Journey into Celtic Christianity.
This has been a good week of conversation about historical Jesus studies, but it is worth our time just to put together some of the leading ideas that need to be kept in mind.
Missional Jesus now reveals a fundamental principle of missional discipleship and it is one tough one to do well:
The historical Jesus debate, as we have seen, has three (or four) phases: the old quest (Reimarus to Schweitzer), the no quest of Bultmann and the new quest following Bultmann, and then what Tom Wright dubbed the “third quest” of […]
I’ve been sitting here waiting to hear if “our” new book, A Community called Atonement, is available and I’m happy to say that it is now in stock at Amazon.com. The issue of atonement is, as you may know, both […]
Some of this I anticipated yesterday but will now state.
I believe most Protestants know more about what they don’t believe about Mary than what they do believe about Mary. In an effort to get us to think about Mary, I wrote The Real Mary. I think we’ve got to […]
Bultmann unleashed a set of criteria that were used to determine if what is attributed to Jesus in the Gospels really came from him. Now once again let’s remind ourselves of something: the historical Jesus quest is about discerning what […]
What to say about missional Jesus and the confession of Peter? I’ll provide the text, ask you to comment what you will, but here are a few points to observe:
More people say bad things about Bultmann than who have read him (1884-1976). Bultmann was escorted into the theological world in the day of Schweitzer’s famous Quest. Bultmann, a faithful church-going organist-playing son of the Lutheran church, knew that one […]
A letter from a former Christian who now is atheistic or agnostic, used with permission and now also leading to some observations about our study on the “anatomy of apostasy.”
Now here’s a good clean fun kind of pastor, Bob Smallman.
Missional Jesus continues to be opposed; he keeps on walking.
Go to your local Barnes and Noble or Borders or any bookshop of fine taste and you will find a section on Jesus, and the books about Jesus make one subtle or not-so-subtle promise: the book will reveal who the […]
I recently got the suggestion to make available information about a pastor’s retreat center from Jim Watters. The report Jim sent me indicates why this is worth a conversation on this blog.
There are good reasons for missional Jesus experiencing difficulties at home. Opposition to Jesus derived from his behavior, his attitude, and his remarks to those who questioned his behavior and the chutzpah he had to do what he was doing.
Dean’s Beans, a fair trade coffee company, designed The Jesus Creed Blend — and that is what we are now drinking. Much to our delight, I might add!
Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our […]
The dog days of Santa Barbara:
We are at the second to last chapter in Jon Wilson’s Why Church Matters and I want to ask a question that for many of my readers is (perhaps) ludicrous to ask. If not ludicrous, perhaps the question is just […]
The crux of the fierce criticism of the New Perspective on Paul is what I will call an Augustinian anthropology. Here me out because I think this is behind nearly every criticism I’m hearing of the NPP, and many times […]
We’ll be in San Diego this year for the National Pastor’s Convention for two workshops, one on praying with the church and the other on “the third way” — a theology for postmodern evangelicals.
Life for missional Jesus was not easy; especially not in his own home of Nazareth.
With these three summaries now on the table, and with some fine clarifications by others, I wish now to state what we have to do when we start talking about the “New Perspective” because I’m hearing lots of things that […]
Today I will be attending Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit. During the afternoon I have been asked to blog about the session of Floyd Flake (he looks like Dr. J so I know I’ll like him) and it will appear on […]
Missional Jesus works with all kinds of people — not just his followers and not just his family. In this passage today we find missional Jesus revealing what “missional” means.
The first phase of the New Perspective on Paul was E.P. Sanders; the second was the work of James Dunn; the third phase is the work of N.T. Wright, whose earliest book was a study of Paul and who then […]
Every now and then I post a brief review of books that I simply can’t give a lengthy series to — and they often deserve it. But, I can only do so many books on the blog and we’ve got […]
Matthew 13 is a collection of Jesus’ parables and I want to provide brief summaries of each today. Why? Each of these parables reveals a dimension of missional Jesus and his mission.
Today we will look at the second phase of the New Perspective on Paul. The first phase is the work of E.P. Sanders in 1977. The second phase was the work of Jimmy Dunn, and that began in 1982 and […]
When are you most creative? Or, should I put it more profoundly: When are you most yourself? In the early hours of the day, before most others have awakened, or after midnight, when most have gone on to the rest […]
Missional Jesus likens his own missional teaching to someone who teaches and spreads a message but who draws differing responses. Notice this parable and its interpretation:
In the most recent edition of Christianity Today, Simon Gathercole (now) of Cambridge University, has a lengthy and fine study of the good and bad of the New Perspective on Paul. [I don’t know if the piece is online yet; […]
Whose names are Hank Aaron and Roger Maris.
Missional Jesus establishes and forms the kingdom of God, and he does so in the form of a new family of faith.
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you […]
Greatest sports scandals — and they didn’t mention Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro or Brady Anderson. Come to think of it, how did they forget Paul Hornung and Alex Karas?
The 8th chp of Jonathan Wilson’s study, Why Church Matters, has to do with baptism, eucharist and footwashing, and in today’s post I will take issue in a way that I hope will generate a good conversation.
I discovered yesterday from a reader named “grace” that my Missional Jesus 10 post never saw the light of day — though it was sitting in my computer and we thought it was public. So here it is again:
Jesus’ missional work generated criticisms of who he was, what he was doing, and whether or not God was in his work at all. In fact, his work is charged as inspired by Satan. This is no small charge against […]
One of the sources for my research into why and how some “lose” their orthodox faith is Edward T. Babinski, Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists. My research is not simply concerned with folks who begin as Christian and […]
Now before I go any further to state my view on this, let it be known that my kind of doctorate is, as one pastor once introduced me before a Sunday morning sermon, “not the kind that does anybody any […]
Missional Jesus incorporated women in his missional work.
Blogs vary from the fun to the gravely serious, and sometimes on this blog I set out an idea or an argument about which I have confidence and sometimes I put forth an idea to generate conversation that I’d like […]
The first day of each month for the next two years we will be discussing John Goldingay’s OT Theology: Israel’s Gospel, and we are now on chp 5, “God Delivered: The Exodus.” So, here goes … and I hope you […]
Missional Jesus moves on. Wherever he goes, missional Jesus happens. Today we look at a long-ish text, Luke 7:36-50, and we will see missional Jesus at work.