Sitting Just Quietly in God’s Light

One the happiest parts of my life at present is the view out my office window. My second-story window in Sutherland Hall at Biola University looks down on a little sunlit courtyard with a fountain. The branches of a tree touch the window, and through-out the day, the sunlight filters through the leaves illuming and [Read More…]

Ashes and Life

This summer a neighbor of mine died. I had gotten to know Jim and his wife, Teresa, during the last ten years I’ve lived on their street. I had the privilege of offering a tribute at his memorial service. The service was unlike any I’d ever been part of because instead of burying his body, [Read More…]

Schleiermacher was Wrong

As I celebrated the graduation of the Torrey Honors Institute class of 2013, I took some time to think back on significant times I had shared with them. I thought of the Christmas party at my house their freshman year and the camping trip their sophomore year, when we read the entire Divine Comedy around [Read More…]

Reminding God of the Brevity of Human Life

I’d like to suggest an alternative to the common understanding of a well-known verse. Verse 12 of Psalm 90 is translated: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (ESV). The verse is usually taken as a prayer for God to give us the wisdom that comes from [Read More…]

Hebrews: The Mind-blowing Finale

The book of Hebrews is the grand finale of the first semester in the Torrey Honors Institute. After the freshman fall, the curriculums for Torrey’s two houses take their separate ways: the Morgan House following a roughly chronological path to bring them up to the twentieth century in senior spring and the Johnson House dwelling [Read More…]

The Wily Work of the Gibeonites

Several years ago I preached a sermon on Joshua 9, a chapter my Bible titles, “The Gibeonite Deception.” The story tells how the Israelites, fresh from their initial victories over the Canaanites at Jericho and Ai, were tricked into making covenant with the people from the city of Gibeon. The Gibeonites were Hivites (Josh 9:7), [Read More…]

General Honors 1920 and Torrey Honors 2012

In the Torrey Honors Institute we read Western classics; then we sit in a circle and talk about them. This peculiar form of education (and the list of classic books) can be traced back to the General Honors course offered at Colombia University beginning in the fall semester of 1920. It’s remarkable how many of [Read More…]