The Promise of Pentecost You May Not Know

In the days prior to that first Pentecost, Jesus’ followers were huddled together, gathered around a single command, a solitary promise. Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem for the “promise of the father” (Luke 24;49). So they did.What would that promise have looked like to them? What exactly were they waiting for? A clue to the answer lies in Peter’s sermon, which he delivers after the upper-room faithful are filled with the holy spirit and speak in other dialects, which scattered Jewis … [Read more...]

Scot McKnight’s A Fellowship Of Differents

What happens when you cross a top notch New Testament scholar, a genuinely funny guy, and a former fundamentalist?You get Scot McKnight, who has ample skill to imagine the world of the New Testament (that’s the scholar part), who can happily compare the church to a salad (that’s the funny guy), and who can relate to many of his readers by talking frankly about his upbringing in a conservative church—though without rancor (that’s the former fundie). Scot McKnight is a one-of-a-kind author who … [Read more...]

When Will the Untold Stories End? Another Entry for Black History Month

Guest essay by Priscilla Pope-Levison Around the turn of the nineteenth century, Emma Ray and her husband L.P. experienced conversion to the Christian faith at an African Methodist Episcopal church in Seattle, Washington.Not long after, they experienced that distinctive, instantaneous experience of the holiness movement called sanctification. In her autobiography, Twice Sold, Twice Ransomed,  Emma describes a jolt like a lightning bolt that struck her head and coursed through her body "from … [Read more...]

Can o’ Corn! A Simple Practice for a Significant Lent

“Can o’ corn!” my high school baseball coach, Coach Hogan, used to quip whenever one of us popped up. “Can o’ corn,” in baseball slang, means “Easy play.” Boy, did I ever give Coach Hogan opportunities to say, “Can o’ corn.”Patheos’ Deborah Arca has asked some of us, If we've never considered a spiritual practice for Lent, what is a first step, or a first experience, we might consider?Heck, the answer to that is a can o’ corn.No, I mean it: “Can o’ corn.”Huh?It’s easy to set o … [Read more...]

Why Do We Give Up Something for Lent?

Deborah Arca, director of All Things Patheos, from my perspective, asked the question, Why does Lent typically involve giving something up?My trusty Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church tells me that Lent was originally a time of fasting. “During the early centuries the observance of the fast was very strict. Only one meal a day, taken towards evening, was allowed, and flesh-meat and fish, and in most places also eggs and lacticinia [I figure that’s milk products], were absolutely for … [Read more...]

The Holy Spirit: so much left to learn!

40 scripture texts.40 thoughtful meditations.40 spaces to write your own reflections.40 original prayers to the Holy Spirit.That's my newest book, Forty Days with the Holy Spirit, hot off the press. So hot, in fact, it's just out at Amazon, or you can get your copy on sale straight from Paraclete Press. It's the perfect book to deepen your discipleship and refresh your faith during Lent, which begins in a couple of weeks.I'll post the first day's meditation and prayer later on … [Read more...]