What’s A Nice Jewish Grandmother Like You Doing At Seminary?

In 2013, I became a grad student at Northern Seminary. I wrote about the experience in this space here. My life-altering health diagnosis and costly montly treatments derailed my hopes of completing a degree, but the school was kind enough to tabulate the credits I did earn and grant me a graduate certificate. I am grateful to Dr. Scot McKnight, who invited me to attend the school, and for each professor and student from whom I  was privileged to learn…. Read more

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Precious few of us will ever receive an invitation to travel for free to the Holy Land or to tour with a group of high-level Christian influencers to witness first-hand the stories behind the headlines in places like Rwanda, Guatemala, or Haiti. But the experience of those who are invited on all-expenses-paid educational junkets sponsored by governments, NGO’s, and ministry organizations carries into the words and work of these influencers. This is precisely why these leaders have been chosen to… Read more

Jerusalem Day 2017

This Tuesday evening at sundown, the Jewish community will commemorate Jerusalem Day – the 50th anniversary of the day the vastly-outnumbered Israeli army reclaimed and reunified the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. My husband and I experienced the depth of the connection the Jewish people have with this place during our first visit to Israel in 2009 after Bill joined the board of the Caspari Center. We’d flown through the night, and had been awake more… Read more

Shavuot, Pentecost: To Learn, To Try, To Eat

Shavuot begins at sundown on Tuesday, May 30th. Click here for a 5-minute guide to the holiday. Pentecost is Sunday, June 4th. Click here for a 5-minute guide to the holiday. Why am I pairing these two holidays? Because just as every other part of Jesus’ ministry was rooted in his observant Jewish identity, the story of Pentecost recounted in Acts 2 is directly related to the reason people from every known tongue, tribe, and nation had converged on Jerusalem. They were… Read more

What Does “Rejoice In The Lord” Mean?

Not long ago, an acquaintance asked me how I was doing. She knows my husband and I are facing a number of serious trials. I was having a hard day, and told her so. My words hung in the air for a moment. She rushed to fill the uncomfortable silence with a Bible verse encouraging me to rejoice in God’s faithfulness. We’ve all been there – either on the speaking end or the receiving end. I cringe remembering times I’ve… Read more

Farewelling well

Many Evangelicals were shocked to hear that one of their own, broadcaster Hank Hanegraff, host of The Bible Answer Man syndicated radio program, had joined the Orthodox Church. Hanegraff’s faith shift is another account of a former Evangelical moving to a different stream of the Church. When former Evangelical Theological Society president Francis Beckwith joined the Catholic Church, a round of discussion and debate followed similar to the conversation currently taking place about Hanegraff’s decision. Though data shows that Evangelical… Read more

Some Thoughts On The Relationship Between Bloggers And The Local Church

I watched a cyclone of furor erupt online last week in response to Tish Harrison Warren’s CT Women piece entitled Who’s In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere? in which she called for greater accountability between Christian bloggers and their local churches and/or denominations. Though she was writing to a female audience, the message of her post certainly applies to male bloggers as well. Some bloggers infuriated by her piece took offense that she’d used Jen Hatmaker as an example, others observed… Read more

Introducing: Long Days Of Small Things

When writer-friend Catherine McNeil told me she was writing about the spiritual formation embedded in the baby-toddler-preschooler years, I was anxious to read what she had to say. I well remember discovering that the discipleship model I followed before I had children (hours of uninterrupted Bible study, reading, prayer, and service to others) needed an overhaul when my children came along. First, I needed to exorcise the notion of “uninterrupted” from my thinking. Second, I needed to assign value to what… Read more

It’s Still Easter: One Thing To Learn, One To Taste

It’s the Wednesday after Easter. All the decent candy (chocolate bunnies and Starburst jelly beans) marked 60% off is gone from the clearance section at Walgreens. The candy may be gone, but it’s still Easter on the liturgical church calendar. The fifty-day Easter season mirrors the fifty days between Passover and Shavuot in the Jewish festal calendar. It is in this space that you can most clearly see the relationship between the two calendars. I’ve discovered many people are interested… Read more

Is It Possible To Think For Ourselves AND Pursue Spiritual Community?

At one end of the spectrum, we have the language of the Benedict Option, which includes a call to nurture a comprehensive Christian worldview in the greenhouse of a shared, committed faith community. At the other end of the spectrum, we have encouragement for believers to think for themselves a la the Bereans named in Acts 17:11. Musician Steve Taylor’s 1983 satire, I Want To Be A Clone, sends up the fear driving some forms of Christian indoctrination: “They told… Read more

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