Jewish Identity Markers in Pre-exilic Period

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Shaye Cohen claims that in the pre-exilic period circumcision, while of unusual importance, was not an essential mark of Jewish identity. The status of circumcision as the essential mark of Jewish identity did not emerge until the Maccabean period. Cohen in From the Maccabees to the Mishnah writes: The central ritual of conversion was circumcision. [Read More...]

Scot McKnight’s Books of 2011

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Over at Jesus Creed Scot McKnight gave his list of the best books of 2011. If your looking for books to read in 2012, Scot provides a good starting point. He categorized them under 10 headings and lists two or three under each. Scot’s best book of 2011 . . . Christian Smith’s The Bible [Read More...]

Funny Things Kids Say

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Over the last couple of days, my kids have said some funny things. First, as I was putting Zion down for a nap yesterday he says to me “Daddy, I have something to tell you.”. I said to him, “Ok, what is it?”. He says, Sometimes big people say things that little people don’t understand! [Read More...]

Excellence in Preaching

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Excellence in Preaching: Studying the Craft of Leading Preachers (IVP, 2011) presents the composite of a good preacher. Simon Vibert of Wycliffe Hall in Oxford has written this book profiling some of the most gifted preachers in the Western Hemisphere. The preachers profiled in the book illustrate 12 things good preachers do well.   Tim [Read More...]

Practices of the Church 4, Spiritual Gifting, the Fullness of Christ

The fourth practice of the church in John Howard Yoder’s book Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before a Watching World he calls the “Fullness of Christ”. Based on Ephesians 4:11-13 and 1 Corinthians 12, Yoder defines the fullness of Christ as A new mode of group relationships, in which every member of [Read More...]

A Christmas Prayer

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  Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that I, who have been born again and made your child by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through my Lord Jesus Messiah, to [Read More...]

Celebrating Advent with a Young Family

In this fourth and final week of Advent we lit the candle of Hope. The devotion we followed labeled the four candles: Promise, Light, Love and Hope. Each week we’ve been anticipating the coming of Jesus. We’ve meditated on God’s promise to send his Son to be the light of the world, the very embodiment [Read More...]

The Kind of Pastor You Want to Be

The Pastor Eugene Peterson

Most pastors in ministry I know had a vision of what they wanted to be as a pastor before entering the ministry. Many still do. But a good many of those pastors are now frustrated, or unsatisfied or angst-filled because they are not being the pastor they want to be. Recently I was having coffee [Read More...]


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