O Lord, Make us Have Perpetual Love

O Lord,make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name,for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­kindness;through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.Amen.BCP … [Read More...]

Downloads vs. The Duty to Worship God (Jason Micheli)

Downloads vs. The Duty to Worship GodHe pulled his earbuds out.He was working out on the crotch machine. You know the piece of equipment. The one where you exercise your thighs by pushing in and out like the levers of a pinball machine; the one that appears designed for no other purpose than to equip the exerciser for feats of ecstatic prowess. “I was just listening to your sermon from Sunday.”‘You can listen to sermons while you work out?’ I said.You listen to my voice while you … [Read More...]

Weekly Meanderings, 24 June 2017

Well done, Mike Bird. Now that Bernie Sanders has made socialism cool again, were the early church socialists?We have to ask because of those famous passages in Acts 2.44-45 and 4.32-35 about the believers selling their property and depositing the proceeds in a general fund, and quite understandably, people have touted the first Christians as proto-socialists. On the one hand, this has some traction since the Lucan Jesus always sides with the ‘poor’ and frequently condemns the rich (e.g. Lk … [Read More...]

Commentary as Voice

By John FryeA year ago, within 74 seconds Philando Castile was dead from a rapid firing police officer who thought Philando was reaching for his lawfully right-to-carry gun. Philando shouted to the officer that he did legally have a gun. Philando’s girlfriend testified that Philando was c … [Read More...]

The Bible is Central 17

Psalm 119:129-136 (letter pe) expresses two things: various words of the Bible (seven different ones) and the wonderful delight the psalmist finds in them. The first word mentioned is “statutes” (‘edot). He finds the edot of God wonderful and therefore he delights to obey them.Statutes are extol … [Read More...]

St. Augustine and Natural Theology (RJS)

Chapter eight of Alister McGrath's book A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology deals with the views of Augustine of Hippo on creation. Augustine reflected at length on Genesis, creation, and time. These reflections fill the second half of Confessions (Penguin Classics) and … [Read More...]

The Bible is Central 16

In the next paragraph of Psalm 119 (vv. 121-128, each beginning with the Hebrew letter Ayin), the psalmist considers his own integrity before God from a variety of angles. He appeals to God on the basis of his own integrity, he yearns for God on that same basis, he opens himself up to God, he … [Read More...]

The Christian Story of Sunday

I want to commend Justo Gonzalez's new book, A Brief History of Sunday: From the New Testament to the New Creation.The story is gnarly, there are some questions we may never answer, but the fact is clear:Christians have established Sunday as a day of worship, fellowship, and … [Read More...]

On the Side of Truth

By Bryan Schackmann the Preaching Minister at the Glendale Church of Christ in Glendale California.A couple months ago I was going to a performance for one of the teens at the church where I serve.On the way there this student texted me – “Are you still coming tonight?”“Yeah, I’m only a f … [Read More...]

The Bible is Central 15

Not only is God revealed as “teacher” in Psalm 119:113-120, but God is also the protector in v. 114. The psalmist uses two concrete images for God’s protections:First, God is “my refuge” — the place where the psalmist hides. Second, God is “my shield” — the place where one is protected from atta … [Read More...]

It is God’s Story (RJS)

In chapter six of Adam and the Genome Scot McKnight starts by outlining the ancient Near Eastern context of the biblical creation narratives, including those in Genesis 1-3. Several texts have come to light a few in a variety of forms. Scot considers Enuma Elish, Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the … [Read More...]

The Bible is Central 14

The Torah, the Bible for the psalmist, was God's communication with Israel in order to inform Israel of God's ways -- and its intent was to guide the whole of an Israelite -- heart, soul, and strength. Here the psalmist utters one of the few lines of this psalm -- from the nun section (119:105-112) … [Read More...]

Do Egalitarians Take the Bible Seriously?

J.W. Wartick: he holds an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University. His interests include philosophy of religion, theology, paleontology, running, and sci-fi and fantasy novels. He writes at jwwartick.com. He loves walking with God alongside his wife, Beth. This article appeared in the … [Read More...]

The Bible is Central 13

Psalm 119:97-104, the section labeled mem because every sentence begins with this letter, is about Bible study, or more accurately, Torah devotion. Today we look at v 97 and v 104.O how I love your Torah! It is my study (or musing) all day long (97).I ponder your precepts (piqud), or … [Read More...]

Keep, O Lord

Keep, O Lord,your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love,that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion;for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,one God, … [Read More...]

Comparing Commentary Types

By John Frye, The Commentary NichePastors usually have commentaries of various types. The Story of God Bible Commentary series aims to fill a niche that seeks to understand and live particular texts within the greater Story of God that the Bible presents. Let’s consider three commentaries I p … [Read More...]

The Bible is Central 12

We now turn to the "Lamed" section of Psalm 119 -- verses 89-96. The first word of this section, le-olam, "unto forever," sets the whole tone and opens the window on what the psalmist urges us to see. God is a forever-God.Time has its own way of confusing us, for if God created time, time is … [Read More...]