November 16, 2018

WHY WORSHIP SERVICES ARE BORING, by Mike Glenn People who know me know I love college football and I love one college football team more than any other. Growing up in Alabama during the time of legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, I have been a serious fan of the Crimson Tide since childhood. Friends know not to call me if the Crimson Tide is on TV because I won’t answer the phone. Friends who are watching the game with me… Read more

November 16, 2018

In our series on the patristic writings, we return to 2 Clement, today’s post covering chapters 16-20. Our series uses for its text Michael Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers. What’s 2 Clement about? It’s an exhortation to faithfulness to the way of Christ in the face of threats like gnosticism, false teachers and rebellion against leaders. It reads like a sermon, and it is relentlessly a call to Christian behavior. After his first summons to repentance in chps 8-11, we turn to… Read more

November 15, 2018

Earlier this year I looked at the first several chapters in Elaine Ecklund’s new book with Christopher Scheitle: Religion vs. Science: What Religious People Really Think. After looking at the issue of creationism and evolution it moved to the back burner. It appears timely to return, however, and look at the next chapter “Religious People are Climate Change Deniers.” Certainly evangelical Christians have this reputation in at least some circles. The statement is not true, although it is necessary to… Read more

November 14, 2018

In his new book, How New is the New Testament?, Don Hagner carries on the good fun at Fuller Seminary in responding kindly to John Goldingay’s Do We Need the New Testament? Hagner says this about the famous saying of Jesus, which reads: Matthew 13:51-52: Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his… Read more

November 13, 2018

James Bryan Smith, whom I consider one of North America’s leading voices on spiritual formation, directs The Apprentice Institute in Wichita KS and his program is connected to Northern Seminary’s DMin program in spiritual formation. I have myself participated in their program for three years and I come away blessed each time. James Bryan Smith’s trilogy — The Great and Beautiful series — is followed in the way only James Bryan Smith can write, in the Magnificent series. These are books for groups… Read more

November 13, 2018

I believe in … the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. The Apostles’ Creed ends on a note of hope, bringing the brief synopsis of the biblical story to a close. Christian hope culminates in the age to come, when the heavens and earth are restored and we live in resurrection bodies – immortal, not subject to decay. The reality of resurrection and life everlasting is more than personal salvation. It is victory over death. It is assurance… Read more

November 12, 2018

NYReview of Books, by Bill McKibben: Though it was published at the beginning of October, Global Warming of 1.5°C, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is a document with its origins in another era, one not so distant from ours but politically an age apart. To read it makes you weep not just for our future but for our present. The report was prepared at the request of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at… Read more

November 12, 2018

Reading Revelation well means reading it in light of the End of all Ends, which means in some ways learning to read it backwards. It’s too easy to equate a book like this with our penchant for inductive arguments, but Revelation won’t cooperate. The End of Revelation is the point from the very beginning. To wait, unless you are engulfed in reading it as if for the first time, is to risk not knowing where it’s headed. Once you know… Read more

November 11, 2018

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever…. Read more

November 10, 2018

A book-loving family we are. (Thanks Ben.) The little Puritanism we all need: There was only one way to “avoid this shipwreck,”  in Winthrop’s words: “We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body.” Doing that would encourage discovery that God would “command a blessing upon us in all our ways.” Massachusetts could… Read more

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