Invitation to Lent

Robert Webber in his book Ancient Future Time writes of Lent the following.  Does Webber’s experience reflect your own in the Protestant and evangelical church? How can we recover a Lenten spirituality without failing into the trap of empty ritual? For most people coming from my background, an Ash Wednesday service and Lent are quite [Read More…]

Mutual Interdependence – the Key to Paul’s logic in Gal 3:1-4:11

William Dalton (“The Meaning of “We” in Galatians.” ABR 38 (1990): 33-44) studies the use of “we” in Galatians within a new interpretive framework of Paul that represents a “re-appraisal . . . [of] his relationship with Israel” (35). His interpretation begins with the assumption that Paul’s audience is pagan Gentile Christian with absolutely no [Read More…]

What is Humility?

Here’s a fresh take on the concept of humility I came across recently: What exactly is humility? Does it mean speaking of ourselves as unaccomplished, even when this is not the case?  In truth, humility is not difficult to define (though it is hard to embody). It means not regarding ourselves as more important than [Read More…]

Prayer of the Sixth Week after Epiphany

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who [Read More…]

Lent – The School of Repentance

Alexander Schmemann in his book Great Lent refers to Lent as the “School of Repentance”. Writing for an Orthodox readership, Schmemann has something nevertheless to say to us all Christians. We are approaching again the Great Lent-the time of repentance, the time or our reconciliation with God. Repentance is the beginning and also the condition [Read More…]

An Invitation to Lent

As I’ve posted previously with reference to Advent, I have decided to orient my spiritual life this year around the Christian liturgical calendar. As I said before, I am 40 years old, I’ve grown up in the church, I have a Ph.D. in New Testament, I’m a pastor, and as crazy at it sounds I [Read More…]

What difference does Predestination or Freewill have on ministry effectiveness?

While there is certainly many ways to answer this question, Stephen Tomkins in his recent biography of John Wesley reflects eloquently on the fundamental difference between George Whitefield (a strong Calvinist) and Wesley. The fundamental difference between Wesley and Whitefield was not the theological one that so exercised them both and sadly caused conflict in [Read More…]

Feminization of the Conquered

In general support of the earlier post by Mike Bird, I offer this piece of evidence. Although not directly related to the act of crucifixion, it is widely known that the Romans portrayed their conquered in feminine ways. Consider the picture here. It depicts a conquered people under the hand of a victorious Roman emperor. [Read More…]