Jesus’ Memory Bank

By John Frye I was meditating through John 13-17 recently and a startling question popped into my head. Did Jesus in his humanity ever have an inkling of his pre-incarnate life? We know that at the age of 12 Jesus had some idea of his special mission: “Didn’t you know I had to be in [Read More…]

Is Mission an Enigma?

Never has the church been more obsessed with the meaning of “mission” and, at the same time, so babbled about accomplishing that mission. There is much hand-wringing and flag-waving and panel-discussing about mission but Michael Stroope, professor of missions at Truett Theological Seminary, wonders if the term “mission” and all its variants have not seen [Read More…]

Adam According to Jesus (RJS)

If it was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for us! This is sentiment I have heard repeatedly in the discussion of Adam, Eve, science and Christian faith. It seems clear (some will claim) that Jesus regarded Adam and Eve as historical figures. He taught that Adam and Eve were historical figures. But [Read More…]

Are Christians in the USA Persecuted?

There is nothing less than a full throated irritation among some today. Some contend Christians are being persecuted, some think that claim is risible and biting into a NothingBurger, some come back with responses of incredulity that anyone cannot see this, and others say this is alarmism pure and simple. More of some of this [Read More…]

An Innovative DMin

A new cohort for the DMin in New Testament Context is taking shape, and I could not be more excited about who is enrolling. Think about joining us… we begin July 10-14, 2017. This will be our second iteration of a new and innovative Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program at Northern Seminary. Here’s our announcement: [Read More…]

The Feelings of the Spiritual Life (Kelly Edmiston)

By Kelly Edmiston, @kellyedmiston Student minister at First Colony Church of Christ. I’m just not feelin’ it any longer,” she said to me, from across the table where we sat facing each other in the coffee shop. With our lattes between us, I could see the steam from the hot cups billow up and disappear [Read More…]

Three Elements of Faith

His contention is that faith means “allegiance.” Why? Because that’s what our gospel requires and because that is what the term “faith” (pistis) means.  The old question, “What is saving faith?” is the question Matthew Bates is actually answering, and it is an old theological question. (See Matthew Bates Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and [Read More…]

The Wisdom of this World (RJS)

Oftentimes when discussing issues of science and faith, or other issues that challenge the conventional thinking of the Christian faith, someone will up and quote or paraphrase Paul from his letters to the Corinthians. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it [Read More…]

Paul Behaving Badly?!

It’s a risk to ask if God behaves badly in the pages of the Old Testament, a question asked by David Lamb in his book God Behaving Badly, and it’s the same to ask with Mark Strauss about Jesus Behaving Badly, but there’s less risk to ask with Randy Richards and Brandon O’Brien about Paul Behaving [Read More…]

The Oddest Question Theologians Ask

There are good questions — How can a good God permit suffering? There are bad questions — How many angels can fit on a pinhead? There are odd questions but the oddest (and wrong-headediest of all) — Did Jesus preach the gospel? When someone is asking the last question they have something very seriously distorted. [Read More…]

What America’s Culture Wars Need Most?

I contend that as Americans on the Right or on the Left and as Americans of various races and ethnicities separate themselves from the church they develop transcendent expectations of Washington DC, the political process and our elected officials. Transcendence is inherent to who we are and either we locate it in God or we [Read More…]

What Do Your Kids Know about Communion?

What Do Your Kids Know About Communion? By Michelle Van Loon I taught Sunday School for years. The experience taught me a few things. One essential lesson was to avoid any craft project involving glitter. I found glitter in my clothes, hair, and Bible for days after creating sparkly Noah’s Ark rainbows with [Read More…]

Prayer to Pray

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ [Read More…]

Weekly Meanderings, 18 March 2017

Thank you, Hilda! Ryan Miller: Vivienne Malone-Mayes. Jane Hinton. Jessie Price. You may have never heard of these black female scientists, but one woman is looking to bring their images back to life. With the help of Twitter, Hilda Bastian (@MissingSciFaces) has worked for the past two months to uncover pictures and stories of prominent, but under-represented scientists. With the [Read More…]

Discussing a Parable

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St Patrick’s Prayer

The Prayer of St Patrick, usually called St Patrick’s Breastplate, is a prayer for opening the day, and it contains these famous and beautiful lines — though there are various versions of even these lines: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on [Read More…]

The One-Two Punch

By John Frye Last night was the last session of a nine week class on What is the Gospel? The church where I was pastor for 24 years asked me to teach this class. Since the late 80s and early 90s I have questioned, as a pastor, the wisdom of what Scot McKnight labels “the [Read More…]