Weekly Meanderings, 6 February 2016

Grandma and grandpa, mom and dad -- read to 'em:(CNN)When parents read to their children the difference shows in children's behavior and academic performance. And according to a new study, the difference also shows in their brain activity.Researchers looked at children ages 3 to 5 who underwent brain scans called functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI) while listening to a pre-recorded story. The parents answered questions about how much they read to, and communicated with, their … [Read More...]

Power Posing

Amy Cuddy, by Elsa Vulliamy:People who struggle with a lack of confidence or are naturally shy are often the same people who sit bunched up, make themselves small and occupy as little space as possible. The Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy has a simple piece of advice to make such people feel more confident and assertive. Dr Cuddy is known for a TED talk she gave in 2012 about the significance of body language on confidence and success in the workplace or classroom. Her research alongside Dr … [Read More...]

The Bread Winner

The Bread Winner, by John Frye“He has done everything well” (Mark 7:37).We are currently following Jesus into “unclean” territories. Jesus had radically redefined “unclean” and his definition is so big, it was hard for the church to wrap it arms around (see, for example, Acts 10 with Peter thrust by the Spirit into Cornelius’ house).  Jesus has gone into the region of Tyre and Sidon and is now hanging around in Decapolis. Notorious Gentile (unclean) regions. Robert H. Stein admits that Ma … [Read More...]

A Grace called Mess

Perhaps the most interesting book I've read in a long time about the LGBTQ community is Caleb Kaltenbach's Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others without Sacrificing Conviction. He opens -- and then suspends the conclusion -- with a sermon he was about to preach on … [Read More...]

Baptism in the Jordan to the Tune of Amazing Grace

By David Roseberry:A surprise baptism at the original site of the Lord’s baptism  (Mark 1) created an international incident yesterday…and a glimpse of the age to come.  Here is what happened. I am leading a tour of 30 adults through the Holy Land. Our bus pulled up to the newly renovated site c … [Read More...]

All Authority in Heaven and on Earth (RJS)

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am w … [Read More...]

Politics on the Ivy League Mind

Image creditAnd what does this tell us about our reading, our philosophy, our nation? … [Read More...]

Bill Hull: Conversion and Discipleship

Buzz words abound in the church today. Sometimes they are little more than a publicity stunt, sometimes they are just below shallow, and other times they are genuine attempts to get to the heart of God’s mission in this world. Single terms will only take us so far so terms like “missional” or “form … [Read More...]

Why Should the Church Now Weep?

By Joe James, who is the associate minister at the Southside Church of Christ in Rogers Arkansas. Part 1: Lamenting Our Violence Some of you avid Jesus Creed readers may remember my story I shared here a few months back about my almost killing my neighbor. You can read that story here.  I do not b … [Read More...]

Jesus Remembered is also Jesus Interpreted

Though it is at times overcooked it is just as often undercooked -- the Jesus who was remembered was interpreted in that very act of remembering. We are looking at James D.G. Dunn's Neither Jew nor Greek: A Contested Identity,  which builds on Dunn's earlier volumes: Jesus Remembered and Beginning fr … [Read More...]

Late to Work Excuses

Straight from the Tribune: Here are some of the highlights:•"A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right."•"My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed o … [Read More...]

Rabbi Evan Moffic — What Christians Need to Know about Jesus’ Jewishness

I endorsed Rabbi Evan Moffic's book as a good example of civil discourse and dialogue. I hope that we can engage in public discussions about Jesus.Today Rabbi Evan Moffic releases a new book about the Jewishness of Jesus. Rabbi Moffic is a well-known congregational rabbi outside of Chicago whose … [Read More...]

Too Busy?

Eugene Peterson's golden words:I (and most pastors, I believe) become busy for two reasons; both reasons are ignoble. I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant. What better way than to be busy? The incredible hours, the crowded schedule, and the heavy demands on my … [Read More...]

Prepared in Heaven, Unveiled on Earth and Left Behind (RJS)

The next chapter of Richard Middleton's book A New Heaven and a New Earth looks at passages in the New Testament that appear to support the idea of  heaven hereafter, either as a permanent or temporary abode.  These can be divided into three types. There are several texts that portray heaven as an i … [Read More...]

The M.O. of Christians in Church-State Relations

Most evangelicals and liberals are united in believing that the proper response to the state is to engage it by working in the system to transform it. I'm not sure that many wonder what would happen if a deep and pervasive transformation occurred -- would it become a Constantinian state or would it b … [Read More...]

Jonathan Merritt, Donald Trump and Populist Evangelicals

Jonathan Merritt, The Atlantic: This division was first popularized in Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite, by Michael Lindsay, who was a sociologist at Rice University at the time. After conducting hundreds of in-depth interviews with American evangelicals, L … [Read More...]

Situational Obedience

By Erin Ortega, from Arise newsletter:Erin Ortega lives in Southern California with her husband, Erick. She is a passionate, Jesus-loving intellectual. In addition to egalitarianism, she also has a passion for cross-cultural work, teaching, emotional health, and worship ministries. You can find h … [Read More...]