Adam Hamilton has a way of grabbing his reader’s attention: in his discussion of the truth about the spiritual formation of most of us, he says this: some days are good but somedays are not — on those days you […]
The most famous sermon in American history is “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The most famous theologian in American history is Jonathan Edwards, the theologian who preached that most famous sermon. My friend and a Jonathan Edwards […]
No matter how you read it, the end of Romans 11 is tough stuff:
Scot having tried his hand at science a couple of weeks ago (here), I (RJS) will step up to bat once again and start to tackle what may be the toughest question in the science and faith discussion. We have […]
After a losing fight with a porcupine, this dog is doing fine, and now that we know it’s fine … what does this picture bring to mind? Who is this dog’s analogy in our world? Which Church leader feels like […]
We skip in Romans from Romans 2 to Romans 10 to find the next use of “gospel.” There are two uses of “gospel/gospeling” in Romans 10:15-16 and I have provided additional verses to exhibit the context:
Some Christians are functional deists: they believe in God but their God has very little to do with this world. He’s the clockmaker God; made this place and then let it run. On the other hand, some Christians are theological […]
I’ve recently been brewing a few different coffees, including Strada coffee from Africa and some wonderful new stuff from the great place called Burnsville, Minnesota. They have a fine coffee and coffee shop — my kind of place — called […]
Undoubtedly, the one passage in Romans that doesn’t seem to “fit” the standard Reformation explanations of both gospel and justification is found in Romans 2 and I am clipping a few verses to set our next use of “gospel” in […]
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in […]
We’re resting on Weekly Meanderings for this week … we’re on vacation after all. Festivus 2008 was “less” than the last few Festivus-es … fewer folks and with a few of the originals now married and with kids, the whole […]
A few weeks back we flew to Boston and back. We booked our return flight about 4pm … confirmed, the whole nine yards. We were set. Then they notified us, via e-mail, that we had been pushed back to the […]
Adam Hamilton asks if there will be Hindus in heaven in the 12th chp of his book, Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics. He opens this chapter with a widely-known (at […]
What do you think is going through Peter Lonard’s (the golfer’s) mind?
Kris and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas from Wrigley!
On the eve of our Christmas celebration, Jesus’ birthday, we light all of the candles of the Advent wreath.
The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day December 25 O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with […]
It’s Christmas Day, Advent is here. Today we read this text aloud throughout the world. May God bless the reading of God’s Word this day:
This is the second part of the letter we received the other day. Again, I’m keen on hearing how you would respond to this seeker. Bottom line I would like an absolute truth. A Fact. It seems reasonable to me […]
What does a Third Way approach look like when it comes to the meaning of the “gospel.” No small matter here but I enter this discussion with Adam Hamilton:Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, […]
What is hinted at in the Benedictus of Zechariah and in the Gloria in excelsis of the Angels, and what comes out into clear focus with Simeon, becomes concrete reality in Matthew’s Gospel, chp 2. The magi, Gentile star gazers, […]
Is it “cancelled” or “canceled”?
Here is a letter sent to me about a woman struggling with faith, and one of her major questions is a deep, dread-type question: The shocking injustices some experience. Gary Haugen spoke at the service at Willow on the International […]
Kris and I are wondering if we need a land line. Each of us has a cell; yet we’ve held on to our land line phone for two or three years. We don’t have a fax. So, tell me, what […]
What the Angels envisioned – “peace on earth” – Simeon envisions as well. Here are the words of this aged saint who spent his time waiting for the Messianic kingdom: 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, […]
I wish my family had known of these things years ago! Just got this in the e-mail today from Amazon and had to pass it on for those who still don’t know what to buy.
I will give you my reasons why I’m baffled by the reactions by liberal Democrats because President Elect Obama has invited Rick Warren to give the invocation. First, because Inauguration Day is not a day for triumphalism, domination and a […]
This is what I found at Border’s. Here’s the image. As you can see, they managed to get The Blue Parakeet’s author as a certain former, pretty student of mine named Ron Martoia: This is Ron Martoia and it does […]
The four acts of advent are adoration, activism, community-building and – our theme this week – expansion. Today we look at the message of the Angels from Luke 2: 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with […]
We’ve talked a time or two about Inspired By The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible. I’ve listened to a number of NT books and most of the Psalms, and I’m wondering what you think of this wonderful tool. You might […]
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one […]
Today we relight the first three candles of the Advent Wreath — the candles of HOPE, PEACE and JOY. Now we light the fourth candle of Advent. This is the candle of LOVE.
Skating in Millennium Park:Good reminder from CNN about the sleep needs of teenagers. Before I forget, I have to say that I’m liking that little mouse the ads have for the Tale of Despereaux … a kind of reepicheep thing […]
At Beliefnet I am participating with other bloggers in nominating my top books of the year and here are my top picks. I’ve chosen books I’ve reviewed here and ones that drew either strong affirmation and great discussions. Klyne Snodgrass’ […]
Most of the time I hand off anything about science to “RJS” but the next two chps in Adam Hamilton’s Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics are about Galileo and evolution and […]
This just added: Beliefnet has a discussion group about Anne Rice. Recently I read Anne Rice’s new memoir, I reviewed it on this blog (part one, part two), and Beliefnet found a way for us to get in contact with […]
We can’t neglect Anna this Christmas. Here is her story from Luke 2: 36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years […]
Do you think folks convert at a single moment or do you think it happens (for some) over time? Do you think it happens different for different people — some all at once and others over time? Let me give […]
I don’t know if you saw this, but our President-Elect Barack Obama is proving that he wants to work with conservatives (and evangelicals) by asking Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. We are happy for Rick Warren, […]
I recently read Anne Rice’s memoir (Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession ); the good folks at Beliefnet got me in touch with Anne for an interview — and I’m most grateful for her time and for her answers. […]
One of my favorite Advent figures is Simeon, another witness to Advent being the act of God to form the new Messiah-led community. Notice what Simeon says when God reveals to him that the little baby in the Temple is […]
A friend of mine recently said that theologians can say just about anything about anything about Jesus but to say something fresh or innovative or out of the ordinary about Scripture is to invite trouble. I suppose what is said […]
Steven Waldman, editor of Beliefnet, recently sat down with Rick Warren for an interview, and in the midst of that interview Rick Warren said a negative thing or two about the social gospel. Waldman’s had several posts about the interview. […]
Notice how Zechariah’s vision of what God is about to do on the First Advent was completely shaped by building the community of God in this world: 67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:68 “Praise be to […]
In the last post in this series I suggested that one of the important issues in the current discussion of science and faith in our culture deals with knowing; how do we “know” and understand? None of us can know […]
When Kris and I got to the airport in Atlanta Sunday afternoon, we had one of those “Did all that just happen to us?” moments. Some of you may know that I was asked to preach at North Point Community […]
The acts of advent, those actions that advent generates, include adoration, activism, and building community. Any reading of the birth stories, those stories that are designed to shape how we understanding Advent, reveals how central it is to God to […]
The Third Way is like the sweet spot on a golf club — when you hit the ball on the sweet spot you avoid the ball wandering either left or right. This analogy is from Adam Hamilton’s book, Seeing Gray […]
How do you read Genesis 32:22-32? Today I want to return to an issue I mentioned in our post about the vigorous conversation over reading the Bible theologically. In that post I mentioned Frances Young’s wonderful book, Brokenness and Blessing: […]
Three acts of advent: adoration, activism, and community-building. I’m struck in the advent stories of how focused they are on the people of God … and today’s text makes that abundantly clear. It comes from Matthew 1:20-21. 20 But after he […]
Today we relight the first two candles of the Advent wreath. The candle of HOPE and the candle of PEACE.
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, […]
A high resolution here: Christine Sine.
Chicago!(Perhaps a little dimmer this week.) Speaking of Chicago in grief over Blagojevich, did you see the powerful plea from Chuck Colson? I go on record here to thank Beliefnet for its policy of advertising. The secret for them is […]
The Third way knows the difference between essentials and non-essentials and lets the Way be shaped by the essentials. In the second chp of Adam Hamilton’s Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and […]
Here’s my suggestion … first take a look at this woman from Brazil and count your lucky stars! Seriously … what have your conversations been? Is this what Marko might look like in a few years?
It is easy to get stuck in Luke’s grand and glorious vision of advent, and to find that kind of advent activism to be the whole story. But there’s a great example of what is meant and it can be […]
As those who read this blog regularly will know, I (RJS) am a scientist and a professor – at a secular University, not a Christian college. This perspective and expertise plays a major role in my view of scripture and […]
This selection of new biblical studies books is a bit of a grab book of “must-reads” I saw at SBL. The Jesus Creed blog is committed to speaking about and against racism, and so we want to highlight a new […]
I’m impressed not only with the activist vision of Mary in the Magnificat but also of the same kind of vision in Zechariah’s Benedictus vision. Here are his words from Luke 1: 67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy […]
This series concerns Barack Obama, the Freedom of Choice Act, and what FOCA might mean for health care in the USA. The series is by Mary Veeneman, professor of theology and a Christian ethicist at North Park University. The issues […]
Rod Blagojevich, who rode a wave of replacing George Ryan (now in prison) to clean things up in Illinois, received a phone call at daybreak informing him of a warrant for his arrest. US Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, informed the public […]
The second act of advent is activism in the kingdom work of God. We now look at what Mary thinks the kingdom will bring and so today I bolden the Magnificat’s appropriate portions that spell out what that kingdom means: […]
One of the aims of our conversation on this blog is to grapple with the issues of reasonable faith. As a professor and a scientist, I (RJS) find this a crucial and unavoidable discussion. It is a fact of our […]
In our last post on new books we listed some top-notch new reference books and commentaries. Today I want to mention seven new books in theology and Christian thought. I begin with what is becoming an international argument: the relationship […]
The first act of advent is adoration; the second is “activism” for the kingdom of God. It is far too easy for some to “spiritualize” the word “kingdom” so that it means personal relationship with God; it is far too […]
There is a Third Way, and this post officially kicks off a series of occasional reflections about the Third Way. The Third Way approach to the orthodox Christian faith is one that gets beyond the fighting and between the fighters […]
All of us, I suppose, have stories about our medical system. But this one from our son is better than anything we’ve ever had. Lukas and Annika recently gave birth to a son — Aksel — and this is the […]
The first act of advent, which we looked at last week, is “adoration,” the second act of advent is activism. By that I mean this: a genuine commitment to the advent vision of the Bible is a commitment to active […]
Second Sunday of Advent Today we relight the candle of HOPE. Now we light the candle for the second Sunday in Advent. This is the candle of PEACE. As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we remember that Jesus […]
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ […]
In Chicago, we vote early and often, and our Santas arrive early and often too! We haven’t said this in a while, but if you have a post or know of a post that you would like to spread around […]
I read two wildly distinct pieces this week that somehow are joined at the hip — I read some more in Kathleen Norris’s book Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life , and I also read Barry […]
Not that long ago I heard that Biro, a manufacturer of cheap pens, has now accounted for 100 billion Bic pens. These little pieces of silliness are disposable and are now clogging up pipes, glutting our dump yards, and defying […]
The first Act of Advent is Adoration, and today’s text, drawn from the stories about Simeon and Anna from Luke 2, once again draws us into seeing why we are led to adoration.
Every year at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature I meander through the book stalls, make some purchases, and set myself up for another year of reading and researching. Today I want to make some book suggestions […]
Many theology professors inform classes that the average Christian is “docetic”. That is, they explain how most Christians affirm the humanity of Christ but when it comes down to it they are often uncomfortable with what it means to embrace […]
The first Act of Advent is Adoration, adoration of God who in Jesus Christ has enacted his great and lasting promises to Israel. Why is the first Act of Advent Adoration?
Christopher Wright openly and honestly admits that those of us who adhere to a classic form of belief in God — God is good, holy, loving, sovereign — have a problem: evil. Evil is a problem for any thinking Christian […]
Joshua Guthrie, son of a friend of mine (George Guthrie), is a young man with a heart to help the poor find water. I’d encourage you to go to his site and donate a dollar. He is calling his vision […]
Advent begins on bended knee, on the knee of adoration of Jesus Christ as Messiah and Lord and Savior and King. Today’s text is from Luke 1, and this text too illuminates the nature of Advent adoration.
I (RJS) saw Ben Stein’s “documentary” movie EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed over Thanksgiving on DVD, or I saw parts of it anyway – some of the family saw the entire movie. I have also been asked about this movie at […]
Another letter about women in ministry … and this letter illustrates a very important point we all need to be aware of in “applying” the Bible: each culture summons us to live in ways appropriate to that culture. But, and […]
The first “act” of advent is to adore the Lord. Our text this morning, one that can give us more than enough space to see why we need to begin Advent on the note of adoration, is Mary’s Magnificat from […]
One of the arguments of our new book,The Blue Parakeet, is that any church that calls itself biblical must permit women to do now what they did in the New Testament, and that includes prophesying, teaching, praying and founding churches. […]
I receive a letter like this two or three times a month and thought it might be a good idea to jot down a brief response. First, the letter; then, the response. Hello Scot, My name is [Kip]. I’m a […]
This year’s series on Advent will focus on the acts of Advent: adoration, activism, community, and expansion. Each week will be dedicated to one of these themes, and this week — the first week of Advent — we will focus […]