Jewish Context of the New Testament Story

Roberts_Fall of Jerusalem

This coming semester I’m teaching one of my favorite courses, Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. In preparation I’ve already begun reading up again on things ancient Jewish. The books on the Second Temple period that I’m having students read as background are two brief introductions: Lester Grabbe, An Introduction to Second Temple Judaism (T [Read More...]

Celebrating Advent with a Young Family

We’ve come to the beginning of the fourth week of Advent. We’ve been celebrating it with our two 4-year old twins, Zion and Mary. This week we hit about 4 of the 7 days, not too bad. The script for our Advent devotion is pretty simple: light the candles, read and talk about a Bible [Read More...]

Practices of the Church 3: Baptism

I’ve been reading John Howard Yoder’s book Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before the Watching World. It was unintentional, however providential, that the book, which focuses on the mission and politics of the church, was chosen in close proximity to the engagement with Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert’s book What’s the Mission [Read More...]

The Pastor – My Favorite Book This Year

0323 The Pastor Eugene Peterson Message Bible cover

Eugene Peterson, the author of the Message, published this year a memoir of his 25 plus years of pastoral ministry titled The Pastor. It might very well be my favorite book I read this year. It is is one I’m recommending whenever I talk to pastor friends. I just had a friend text me this [Read More...]

Scripture & Theology Conference on Galatians at St. Andrews

GalatnsPoster copy

If you’ve not already heard, there’s an exciting conference at the University of St. Andrews this summer, July 10-13 2012. Here’s the link to the School of Divinity’s website. Not only is St. Andrews one of the most beautiful places in the UK, but the line of scholars participating is impressive. I have plans to [Read More...]

How do we decide what our Student Ministry should teach?


On Friday of this past week, I spent the day with our Student Ministry team on a one-day retreat. In Student Ministry style we met for the day at Game Works, a Video Game Restaurant. We used a conference room there for the day. The SM team at our church are great guys: Eric Ferris, [Read More...]

Celebrating Advent with a Young Family

Our family just finished week two of Advent and begin week three today. It is surprising how fast the Season goes by when you are marking the weeks by candles. These first two weeks are something of a blur. After celebrating a second week of Advent with my young family I offer these reflections. First, [Read More...]

The Practices of the Church 2 “Breaking Bread Together”

Christ Church Stellarton

John Howard Yoder in his little book Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before a Watching World addresses the Eucharist as another practice of the church. His contention is that the central element and meaning of the Eucharist has been buried under a mound of ritualistic and superstitious religious notions “borrowed from other [Read More...]