The Zealot’s Way (by John Frye)

The Zealot’s WaySome medications come in a gel capsule. The advantage is that the medicine inside is released into the body gradually. This is important if the medicine is very potent. “Time released capsules” is the mantra. Truth is very potent and sometimes quite hard to take. The gel capsule of truth is love. According to the Apostle Paul, “speaking the truth in love” helps us to grow, to mature as Christ-followers (cf. Ephesians 4:15).Under the guise of being “prophetic,” many Christi … [Read More...]

Thoughts on Spiritual Formation

Let us say you think Christians ought to progress in some ways toward a deeper spiritual maturity over time. Let us agree that in general we can gain a good glimpse of what maturity looks like. Let us then also agree that we can work toward developing a plan for each of us to become more spiritually mature-- with emphasis on each and not just the group. This is the burden of Thomas E. Bergler, From Here to Maturity: Overcoming the Juvenilization of American Christianity.What, then, is sp … [Read More...]

michelangelo's Adam 2

It’s About God and God’s Kingdom (RJS)

The second essay in N. T. Wright's book Surprised by Scripture addresses the question Do We Need a Historical Adam?  Wright accepts a historical Adam and Eve as a representative pair chosen by God, much as God later chose Abraham and Israel.  The need for a historical Adam is much the same as the need for a historical Israel. This is the way the story is told, and the way God worked in the world. (My interpretation, Wright never put it quite like this.) The significance of Adam isn't as p … [Read More...]

The Church’s Struggle with Utopia

It is not uncommon to read someone poke the church but no one pokes the kingdom. (There's a story in that observation that can't be engaged in this post but I discuss how to compare the two in Kingdom Conspiracy.) More often than not people poke the church because they have an eye (or two) on the … [Read More...]

Andy Stanley’s Temple Model

Amy Jacobs:For the past few weeks, [Andy] Stanley has been exhorting Christians to ditch their traditional "temple model" ways and go back to the one command Jesus prioritized — to love your neighbor as yourself. The "temple model," as defined by Stanley, "grants extraordinary power to sacred m … [Read More...]

A Christian Kind of Call to Action (by Jonathan Storment)

Like many of you I’ve had a dull ache in the pit of my stomach since last week’s video was released of ISIS beheading 21 Coptic Christians as a symbolic way of spreading terror.I’ve spent some time in Egypt with Coptic Christians before and wrote some last week about my experiences with them and … [Read More...]

A Teacher’s Story (by Cheryl Arnold)

As many of you know, my daughter, Laura, and I published a book together late last year -- Sharing God's Love: The Jesus Creed for Children. It is our hope that the children's version of The Jesus Creed will assist parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, as they guide children into loving … [Read More...]

Afterlife and Hope in the Old Testament (RJS)

Any discussion of Christian hope must look carefully at Scripture, both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The next section of John Polkinghorne's book The God of Hope and the End of the World turns to Scripture beginning with the Old Testament and the views of life, death, hope, and the … [Read More...]

Fresh Air for Every Day

This is what Eugene Peterson says about Jack Levison's new book, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit: Jack Levison studies, meditates, prays, and writes of the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives with more skill and understanding than anyone I know. His latest book, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit, is … [Read More...]

St Johns Lutheran Bloomington

More than ten years ago I wrote The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others. Then along followed 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed, which extended the Jesus Creed into other portions of the New Testament, then came a DVD and then The Jesus Creed for Students and then Sharing God's Love.The idea of th … [Read More...]

Rural Churches in England

Ysenda Maxtone Graham:Excellent read about the struggle to keep rural English churches on their feet. Some of the longest job descriptions belong to rural Church of England clergy. ‘So what do you do?’ ‘I’m the Rector of Aldwincle, Clopton, Pilton, Stoke Doyle, Thorpe Achurch, Titchmarsh and Wad … [Read More...]

Is God Timeless?

Roger Olson, at the link here, opens up a good conversation on whether God is himself timeless:In my immediately preceding post I argued that far too much Christian theology includes unwarranted speculation—especially about God. Under pressure from Greek ontology traditional, “classical theism” h … [Read More...]

A Robust Kingdom

The most annoying response I have received from others about my Kingdom Conspiracy book is this one: "I see what you are saying, but I'm Kuyperian or I'm a skinny jeans person or I'm a liberation theologian or I'm Niebuhrian." OK, each of those is located in the history of interpreting the kingdom bu … [Read More...]

Prayer for the Week

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan:Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations;and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us,let each one find you mighty to save;through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,who lives and … [Read More...]

Spurgeon’s Sorrows, by Zack Eswine

An interview by David G. Moore.I first encountered Zack Eswine’s work while reading his terrific article, “Listening for the Sound of Reality: The Melancholy of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Haddon Spurgeon.“  Years later, I read his wonderful book, Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being … [Read More...]

Weekly Meanderings, 21 February 2015

Hani Abdel Messihah: (by Sophia Jones) Hani loved his four children -- three girls and a boy, the youngest -- more than anything in the world, his family says. He was gentle and kind, always making a joke whenever he could. His wife Magda Aziz, 29, will forever remember his laugh."I felt like … [Read More...]

Wonder Bread (John Frye)

Wonder Bread, by John FryeWe ended with the Lord’s Table. I was at a pastors’ and spouses’ retreat of our region of the Evangelical Covenant Church this past Fall. One of our sisters in Christ who is an ordained pastor was leading us at the Table. She was commenting on the bread. She said somet … [Read More...]