The Reagan and Bush era is called in Balmer’s book, God in the White House, “Listing Right.” I’m not sure about the personal faith of either GHW Bush or Ronald Reagan, but it appears to me that both of them […]
Out in the City of Rain (Seattle), our friend Eugene Cho at Q Cafe (and pastor at Quest Church), there is a coffee blend you just might want to try. It is called Zoka, 2008 Coffee Roaster of the Year. […]
OK, now stepping up to the plate in the kingdom game is a notoriously disputed text. Here it is in context: 11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John […]
Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope is the closest thing to C.S Lewis’ Mere Christianity I have seen. Sure, it’s a different kind of book, but it has the same level of immediacy and insight. Chp 4 is called “the strange […]
At the invitation of Pastor Phil Bauman, pastor of United Church of Christ Medfield MA, Kris and I spent last weekend on Cape Cod — and loved it! I’d like to start mentioning names, but just can’t. Too many to […]
From Bob Brague, posted last Saturday…
Here are the words of Jesus from Matthew 10, our next reference to kingdom in the Gospels: 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ?Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. […]
One of the most interesting elections I remember was the 1976 campaign that led to the election of ?born again? candidate, Jimmy Carter. Randy Balmer, in his God in the White House, says this: ?Abetted by the political chicanery of […]
Can’t believe this one: watch it and give us a caption. (HT: GP)
Yet another “kingdom” reference (from Q) can be found in Matthew 8:11 (par. Lk 13:29). Again, the full account: When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 ?Lord,? he said, ?my servant lies at […]
Please pray for this family — one of our blog’s readers is the father of the mother. Good news update as of 8am Tuesday morning.
Tom Wright’s new book, Surprised by Hope:, has just about become required reading for my Jesus of Nazareth class. In twenty gentle pages Tom sums up his massive study on the resurrection: Resurrection of the Son of God.
The word “missional” is in the air, and I’ve taken a stab myself at defining it (Bloglossary). The word to use for many of those using this word is “muddle.” What to do? I believe every pastor and every church […]
Most of those who read this blog have an interest in theology; many are students. One of the great students of theology and the Bible in the Church was St. Thomas Aquinas and this is the day, according to my […]
A favorite text for man is Matthew 6:33 (Q par. at Luke 12:31). Here it is in context: 25 ?Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what […]
3d Sunday after Epiphany 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 […]
MarkO pointed me to this snow sculpting in China. Cool. You know it’s cold when pigeons are seeking the flame:
The first part of Edith Humphrey’s book, Ecstasy and Intimacy, is about Love and has three sections: the Holy Tryst and Story, Separation and Approach, and (today’s post’s topic) Word and Wisdom/Knowledge and Faith.
O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by […]
We now come to a second “Q” text: Matthew 6:10. If Jesus ever defines kingdom of God it is here:
Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford each opened the door to the influence of the Christian faith on their Presidencies though they did so in discreet enough of ways not to offend the public nor to offend the principles […]
I haven’t known much about the Salvation Army though as a kid my parents had some friends were Salvationists, so it was with some anticipation of learning that I read Roger J. Green (a Salvationist himself) and his new book […]
We looked at the references to kingdom in Mark; we now turn to the passages found in both Matthew and Luke but not in Mark. Many Gospel scholars call these passages in Matthew and Luke (but not in Mark) “Q” […]
A key word for Tom Wright in his book Surprised by Hope: is “muddle.” That word best describes how so many Christians think about life after death and resurrection and the like. Wright aims to end the muddle. One of […]
The final reference in kingdom in our earliest source, the Gospel of Mark, is found in Mark 15:43 and it ties back to Mark 12:34 (Monday’s post). Here is the reference in context: 42 It was Preparation Day (that is, […]
We took a year or so ago at Randy Balmer’s Thy Kingdom Come and we want now to look at his newest book, God in the White House. The book studies a simple theme and traces the story — an […]
Kris and I watched the debate on CNN last night — at least most of it — and I’m wondering what you are thinking now about who will win? What strengths does your favorite have? (Avoid saying anything negative about […]
While “kingdom” is found twice in Mark 13:8 — “kingdom will rise against kingdom” — and neither of those is about Jesus’ kingdom, the usage here is part and parcel of what the word “kingdom” means because they are what […]
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [My source and video of it.]
We begin a series today with N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope::Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. For more than a decade or so Bishop Tom Wright has been making comments, dropping suggestions, and prompting the curiosity […]
Saturday I was up in bitterly cold Minneapolis where I addressed a gathering of Covenant pastors and lay folks on reading the Bible in a postmodern context. This was the first time I’ve spoken about the stuff I’ve been writing […]
Mark 12:34, in context, reads: “28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ?Of all the commandments, which is the most important?? 29 […]
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 Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed […]
The polar bear baby video and a picture and now a name:
I’m not here quoting the Beatles, but setting up a sentence. If you are setting up a home, or going off to college, or you need to fix something, there are only two items you will need in your home: […]
One of the most rugged realities of human and Christian existence finds best expression in words like darkness and separation. Those who dispute the value of the word “sin” or the reality of a “fall” fail, so I think, to […]
There are better books on the King James Version, there are better books on the rise of English Bibles, and there are better books on the technique of translation, but there is no better book that tells the behind-the-scenes story […]
On January 18, the Church celebrates the day of her founding. She recalls with awe the assertion of a Galilean fisherman, ?You are the Christ,? and the response of the God-among-us, ?Upon this rock, I will found my church.?
Our 15th reference to kingdom is found in Mark 11:10 but we need the immediate context too: 4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing […]
I need not comment because I’ll leave that to you. Enjoy!
In 1919 Babe Ruth was sold from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees, and it took 85 years for the Red Sox to win another World Series. It happened in 2004. Antony Flew tells us that it […]
Mark 10:23-25, three more references to kingdom, say about the rich young ruler’s response to Jesus: 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ?How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!? 24 The […]
One of the issues permeating the question of why there are world religions has to do with the massive diversity in the world and — to be blunt about it all — the “luck” or “chance” involved in some hearing […]
My Monday evening class, “Women, Mary and Jesus,” just started and I have to admit it may have been the best first class session I’ve ever had. To set the whole class into context, we focused last night on discussions […]
The response to the cover post on Monday was not only fun and informative, but overwhelming. The feedback factored into our “vote” to the publisher, which in the end is Zondervan’s decision. We’ll not announce yet which cover it will […]
Our next text is actually two texts: Mark 10:14-15. Here it is: “13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said […]
I will call it “AirBook.” Check it out here.
The more I read Gerald McDermott’s God’s Rivals the more convinced I am that this is the kind of book churches need to be using and here are my reasons for saying this:
Ridgewood Baptist Church, in Brookfield WI, installed Kent Palmer Sunday as senior pastor. We will miss Kent and Phyllis, but we are so glad for Ridgewood. Here are some of our impressions:
Mark 9:47, our 9th reference to kingdom, reads as follows in context: “42 ?And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea […]
I’m using this letter with permission. The issue is the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (next Sunday and how many are reducing it to an anti-abortion Sunday). What are your thoughts? (And I assume you’ll offer some wisdom for this […]
A, B, or C? [We are picking covers now for the book; the book will be published next Fall.] A B C
Mark 9:1 is one of those texts that has baffled interpreters for centuries: And he said to them, ?I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come […]
First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord 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 […]
Inspite of a Packer victory, we at North Park University again extend our appreciation to the fine work of Mike Holmgren at the Seattle Hawks and the support of Mike and Kathy of North Park:
Here’s how we play golf here in the Midwest in the winter:
I cannot count the number of times I have, in reading someone or listening to someone, thought to myself: that is a spirituality that is closer to gnosticism than it is to the biblical faith. That is one reason I […]
What makes Gerald McDermott’s book God’s Rivals distinctive is that it explores how both the Bible and early Christians dealt with other religions. In chp 6 he explores how Irenaeus’ debates with Gnosticism shed light on why God has permitted […]
Mark 4:30, much like our parable from yesterday, deserves to be quoted as well in context:
We turn now to Calvin’s arguments from the early church (Institutes of the Christian Religion).
I was at Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay OH the last two days, so my access to the blog was limited to just a few minutes each day … got home Wednesday evening to see that there has been a […]
Our kingdom series now moves to Mark 4:26, the fifth reference to kingdom:
A distinct contribution of Gerald McDermott’s God’s Rivals is his exposition of how the earliest Christians approached the question of other religions. Chp 5 deals with Justin Martyr’s ideal of “seeds of the Word in other religions.”
Stephen Tomkins’ gift seems to be irony and the ability to prick the halo bubble around saints, which he did with John Wesley but does a little less directly in his book William Wilberforce: A Biography.
We turn today to two texts, Mark 3:24 and 4:11. Here are the texts:
John Franke, professor at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, PA, has assigned my penitence to be reading Calvin’s treatment of infant baptism (Institutes of the Christian Religion). Today I turn to 4.16.21-22. The rumor is that John has escaped my critique […]
“That sav’d a wretch like me!” These are words from the second line of America’s favorite hymn, a hymn written by John Newton and a central chapter in Jonathan Aitken’s fine, uplifting, and well-written biography called John Newton: From Disgrace […]
There are 85/eighty-five distinguishable references to “kingdom” in the Synoptic Gospels. There are more references, but there are overlaps between Matthew, Mark and Luke that permit us to narrow the references to 85. We’ll look at each one. Here is […]
Gerald McDermott, in God’s Rivals, addresses an issue of major significance in the Church today, especially (so it seems to me) for the emerging crowd. The issue is the role of world religions and how Christians can explain them. In […]
Over Christmas break I read six biographies, one of which I posted about already but which will come up again later this week. Today I want to focus on my favorite biography of the break: that of William Tyndale, by […]
We begin today a series on the relationship of the kingdom of God to the Church and I do so for several reasons:
Epiphany January 6 O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face […]
Just north of Chicago folks take the polar bear plunge on New Year’s Day. These folks are hardy, I’ll give ’em that:
“At some point in the past twenty years,” Edith Humphrey writes in her book Ecstasy and Intimacy, “North Americans crossed a Rubicon.” Which? “When I was an undergraduate, the emphasis in class was completely upon ‘objectivity,’ ‘neutral observation,’ proving one’s […]
What did you think of the results of the Iowa caucuses?
I don’t know if you have observed this, but if you pay attention you will see something in the Old Testament: the authors and people of the OT at times seem to believe there are other gods. In chp 3 […]
In chp 2 of Gerald McDermott’s God’s Rivals we are treated to a study of the surprising knowledge of God outside Israel and the Church. Again, the question here is the scandal of particularity and God’s rivals in world religions.
January 1, The Holy Name Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of […]