Church and State – Reflections on Rom 13:1-7

Paul and politics or Paul and empire are the fashionable topics these days. The one text in Romans that says the most about the Roman governing authorities is Rom 13:1-7. Yet this passage is arguably benign in its remarks concerning Romans power. If anything, this text could be said to promote an attitude of submission [Read More...]

Still in Czech – Czech Believers are so Hungry for Teaching

I’ve just completed an English Camp with a team of over 20 from our church. There was a total of 60 plus Czech folks who joined us for us for the camp that began Monday and ended last night. I want to mention one of the most exciting elements of the week for me. Each [Read More...]

Feast of Meanings – Theology of the Eucharist (Part 5)

The Eucharist as Dinner Theatre The Eucharist is the gospel in sight, smell, and taste. The gospel is proclaimed so we know what the elements mean. The drama of the gospel comes alive as we feed on the Christ who saved us by his death, resurrection, and ascension. We are spectators and participants in the [Read More...]

Feast of Meanings – Theology of the Eucharist (Part 4)

Presidency and Participation Okay, now let’s get real controversial. I regard the presidency issue as fairly straight forward. Though the developing church restricted Eucharist to presidency by the bishop,[1] if we really believe in the priesthood of all believers, then in theory anyone can stand up and lead the people the Eucharist. In practice though, [Read More...]

A Feast of Meanings – Theology of the Eucharist (Part 3)

Blessing of the Meal Let’s start out by asking: what do you get from this meal that you don’t get from anywhere else? What is available at the Lord’s Table that is not on the menu at Sizzler? What is the efficacy and blessing of the Eucharist? Traditionally the Protestant churches have confessed that the [Read More...]

Creation to New Creation, From Genesis to Revelation

My buddy Michael W. Pahl has a cute little book called The Beginning and the End: Rereading Genesis’s Stories and Revelation’s Visions (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2011). Here’s a good quote from the book: One can almost hear the music swelling majestically as the curtain is opened for this final scene. A new heaven and a [Read More...]

A Feast of Meanings – Theology of the Eucharist (Part 2)

It’s all About Presence I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “Monster’s Inc.,” but there is a charming scene where the head monster in the monster energy factory tells one of the scarers that it is “all about presence” (which is how you scare children in order to harvest their scream which the monsters [Read More...]

A Feast of Meanings: Theology of the Eucharist (Part 1)

I’m starting a series on the Eucharist based on some lectures and writing I’ve done recently. Here is the first installment. For 2000 years one of the most visible emblems of historical Christianity has been that believers have ordinarily met together to share an extraordinary meal, celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, varyingly [Read More...]

John Stott, Now Home with His Lord

Dear friends, for those who have not yet heard, John Stott has departed this life and entered into the presence of Jesus. It is a sad loss for us, but a wondrous reward for John. I still remember reading his book The Cross of Christ in seminary and how it had a profound impact on [Read More...]

Czech Republic Mission Trip

This week I’m heading to the Czech Republic with my College Ministry at CCC for a couple weeks of ministry among 20 somethings. The ministry is an English camp that we’re helping to lead with a church in the city of Pisek just outside of Prague. I bring this to your attention for two reasons. [Read More...]

After the New Perspective – Part 3

I’ve already said that the NPP was a good correction to ahistorical and asocial readings of Paul. It gives a more rounded and thicker description of Paul as a Jewish Christian theologian. That said, there’s several areas where the NPP moved in the wrong direction. 1. Whilst Judaism might broadly be characterized as “covenantal nomism,” [Read More...]

Church Planting in NYC … Aussie Style

Over at CT is an article “City Parish: An Australian Builds NYC Networks“. It’s a good  piece about missional church planting in urban contexts. Perhaps I’m biased, but if you really want a job done properly, send in the Australians. As Field Marshall Rommel said: “Give me a brigade of Australians and I could do [Read More...]

D.A. Carson with John Piper on the Importance of Background

Over at the Gospel Coalition, there is a round table with Carson and Piper discussing how necessary it is to study the background culture and context for good preaching. This formed one of my criticisms of Piper in my recent JETS article in that I think Piper (needlessly) diminishes the value of historical study for [Read More...]

Barth and Israel

I’ve become interested in Karl Barth’s view of Israel and the Jewish question. Most know Barth is considered the greatest Protestant theologian since Calvin. He lived through the Nazi era and was part of the Confessing Church which stood against Hitler and the Nazis. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was highly influenced by Barth’s theology–introduced to it when [Read More...]

Michael Wyschogrod on the Land of Israel

I read this passage by Jewish philosopher-theologian  Michael Wyschogrod years ago and recently bumped into it again. You can find it in his essay on “Judaism and the Land” in the book Abraham’s Promise. His conclusion is eloquent in both its caution and confident faith: In our time, the people of Israel has returned to [Read More...]