The Bible and Authority (RJS)

A few years ago NT Wright published a short book on the authority of scripture: The Last Word: Scripture and the Authority of God–Getting Beyond the Bible Wars. Scot posted on this book when both the book and his blog were new (about 3 1/2 years ago), but it is worth a revisit in the [Read More…]

Justification and New Perspective 11

In the 5th chp of NT Wright’s new book, Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision , Wright explains the significance of Abraham in the middle of Galatians. Three issues emerge in chps three and four, and it gets to the heart of Tom Wright’s proposal within the new perspective — and it is not a [Read More…]

South Africa #2

We were invited to Stellenbosch, South Africa, through the offices of Coenie Burger and Communitas, and the primary event was a conference on the Book of Acts and the Missional Church. Most of the speaking events I had while there, both in Pretoria and Stellenbosch, revolved around Acts and Missional themes. Here’s a brief on [Read More…]

A Brother’s Wisdom 58

Genuine wisdom manifests itself in living. Wisdom is not the same as “knowledge,” with the second term more tied to “information” and “mastery of facts.” Wisdom transcends knowledge as worship transcends music. Notice how James shows the importance of living for wisdom, and I quote from James 3:13: “Let them show it by their good [Read More…]

Faith and the Prospect of Death

I hope the title to this post didn’t scare you off because I want to address a serious topic: how we face death. But we can address this from a variety of angles — like Christian hope or the medical, physical dimensions of death — and I’d like to look at it from the angle [Read More…]

The Power of “With” 6

Where do we begin if we believe in the power of “with,” the power of loving gays and lesbians? This is perhaps the central issue addressed in Andrew Marin’s new book, Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation With the Gay Community . One of Andrew’s suggestions is that we need to get our heads [Read More…]

South Africa #1

I thought I’d write a few posts this week about our trip to South Africa, and today I want to talk about the good, hospitable, hard-working folks we enjoyed. We flew into Johannesburg and spent most of the first week in Pretoria — the capital of South Africa and home to the University of Pretoria. [Read More…]

A Brother’s Wisdom 57

We turn now to James 3:13-18, one of the favorite sections in James for many Christians. I want to quote the whole passage today so you can read it in context: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from [Read More…]

Justification and New Perspective 10

NT Wright’s new book, Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision , has a very interesting format (in the American version I’m using — I had an English copy but gave it to my colleague): the first four chps are called “Introduction” and chps 5-8 are called “Exegesis” and have chps on Galatians, Interlude on Phil, [Read More…]

Memorial Day: Prayers for Peace

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquillity your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns [Read More…]

Prayer for the Week

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you [Read More…]

Convince Me!

I’m willing to hear your arguments: How is European soccer better than American baseball? [Read more…]

Friday is for Friends: Jeremy Berg

A post from Jeremy Berg for our Friday is (from and) for Friends: I’m typing this blog from my laptop while text messaging, checking my email, listening to my Ipod, updating my Twitter and sipping an iced mocha. I’m totally wired–both from caffeine and all the electrical cords juicing all my gadgets. Just another over-stimulated [Read More…]

Youth Ministry: Family Based? (by Chris Folmsbee)

Here is a recognized youth ministry leader who is asking us for some help. Let’s pool our ideas and see what we can say… Since I began posting here several months ago I have received a dozen or so requests for me to post on “family-based youth ministry.”   For those of you who have been [Read More…]

Justification and New Perspective 9

Kris and I leave South Africa today and ask for your prayers for our trip home — a long one through Paris. But, the blog goes on!  We are working our way through Tom Wright’s new book, Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision and are now at the point of getting into Wright’s understanding of [Read More…]

Pastor’s Bookshelf: 2 Corinthians

Ah, Second Corinthians. One of the most formative classes I had in seminary was Murray Harris’ class on 2 Corinthians, and I’ve paid attention to the commentaries ever since. I begin with C.K. Barrett because I learned so much from him in our class: The Second Epistle to Corinthians . Then I go to my [Read More…]

A Brother’s Wisdom 56

James now brings his teachings about the impact of the tongue to a close in chapter three: With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can [Read More…]