Border and Bombs — Response by Austin Fischer

A clip is circulating of Robert Jeffress, pastor of FBC Dallas, using Romans 13 to argue that the Christian response to the Paris attacks is “borders and bombs.” It got me curious about Romans 13, so I went back to my trusty New Interpreter’s Bible to see what the trusty N.T. Wright has to say about it. Below is a summary of Wright’s commentary, with a few reflections on them and Jeffress’ comments in light of them.Wright argues that, despite some understandable arguments to the contrary, Rom … [Read More...]

Helping Your Child’s Brain

By Joshua Straub:Here are five fun ways to build your child’s brain each day:Take Time Each Day to Be a Kid AgainTell Family StoriesGive Your Child the Gift of BoredomAsk Yourself One QuestionWhenever your kids are emotionally overwhelmed, ask yourself, “How can I respond in an emotionally safe way so my child knows he is loved?”Prioritize Eye Contact over iContactParenting isn’t rocket science, it’s just brain surgery. … [Read More...]

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 8.28.04 PM

First Candle of Advent

With Christians around the world, we use this light to help us prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.May we receive God’s light as we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah:"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness -- on them light has shined." -- Isaiah 9:2 Let us pray: Lord as we look to the birth of Jesus, grant that the light of your love for us will help us to become lights in t … [Read More...]

Advent Sunday Prayer

Almighty God,give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,and put on the armor of light,now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility;that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both … [Read More...]

First Family Reads

From WaPo: President Obama, a diligent Small Business Saturday shopper, patronized Petworth's Upshur Street Books for the first time this afternoon.The uber-local independent bookstore, which opened just over a year ago, highlights the city's "past and present, and work from local authors from p … [Read More...]

Family Dinners

Anne Fishel is a co-founder of the Family Dinner Project, a professor at Harvard Medical School and the author of "Home for Dinner."Each year, more than 9 in 10 Americans gather around the table with family and friends for Thanksgiving. But only 50 percent of us eat with our family on a … [Read More...]

Weekly Meanderings, 28 November 2015

Lisa Sharon Harper, and a white angel Christmas:After a full day of work I went to Union Station to run errands. I stopped in the Christmas store to buy a gift for my niece. They had a wall full of beautiful ballerina angel ornaments. None of the adult ones I wanted were black. I asked the store … [Read More...]

Self-Directed Study

Will this work?Erin Siegal McIntyre: Nothing in particular stands out about the two adjoining rooms at South Burlington High School, one littered with desks, the other lined with simple grey cubicles. Yet the 30 students working inside are taking part in a uniquely personalized curriculum … [Read More...]

The Blood Still Cries

By John Frye.Beheaded. Not a pleasant word; not a pleasant reality. It is barbaric in the minds of most, if not all of us. Yet, the word has worked its way into news headlines as Middle Eastern terrorists stalk the planet with a view to world-wide domination. The Roman Empire’s crude means of e … [Read More...]

Chronic Critique Syndrome, by David Roseberry

By David Roseberry, pastor at Christ Church Plano. The week of Thanksgiving is one of the few times of the year I find relief from a sickness I have. I have CCS.  Chronic Critique Syndrome. I have had it most of my life. I remember noticing it early on after my call to the ministry in 1978. Well, … [Read More...]

Thanksgiving Snoozing

Rachel Feltman:And finally, everyone's favorite Thanksgiving feast side effect: snoozing. You might think that your post-turkey nap is caused by the bird itself, but this is actually just a myth. It's true that turkey meat contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to produce … [Read More...]

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Kris and I say to one and all, Happy Thanksgiving! Almighty and gracious Father,We give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the … [Read More...]

(G)O Canada!

AP: By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press Nov. 24, 2015 12:02 AM ETTORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce Tuesday his plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees and he says all 10 of Canada's provincial premiers support bringing that many in. Trudeau hasn't backed down from a ple … [Read More...]

Greed, by Jonathan Storment

It doesn’t feel like Christmas until someone gets pepper sprayed at Target. -Jon StewartI am tired of the War on Christmas.  It is my least favorite holiday tradition.  I think it has become one of the more polarizing parts of our culture and, frankly, not that helpful for anyone.  So I have a mo … [Read More...]

Where is Northern Theologically?

Occasionally I am asked -- and others at Northern Seminary are asked -- where we stand theologically? Where are we, the questions, when it comes to theology?If you want to know where we are, we recommend you take a good hard look at the Cape Town Commitment. David Fitch and I had a good … [Read More...]

Questions for Chicago’s Police

I have these questions for the Chicago Police after seeing the shooting (and now charged) murder of Laquan Mcdonald:1. Why shoot a man walking perpendicular to the police cars?2. Why shoot him after Laquan was on the ground and no longer remotely a threat?3. Why was he shot sixteen … [Read More...]

God Redeems His People … Then and Now (RJS)

One of the overarching themes of the Old Testament is God's redemption of his people (and boy, do they (we) need it).   Chapter six four of Richard Middleton's book A New Heaven and a New Earth sketches this Old Testament view of salvation. But, and this is an important but, salvation in the Old T … [Read More...]