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

November 9, 2018

The Challenge of Pastoral Succession – KR 109 Passing on the mantle of church leadership is one of the most significant elements of church health today. More times than not it can go wrong because of personality challenges or structural issues. Bobby and Doug share their story of Pastoral Succession and are a breath of fresh air on how pastoral succession can go well when it is submitted to Jesus’ leadership. Suggested Resource: Next: Pastoral Succession That Works by William… Read more

November 8, 2018

The newest resource for lectionary preachers, which means turning soon to the weeks of Advent, is a new multi-volume series called Connections C: 1, and volume 2 is coming out in December (Connections C: 2). Buy one volume each season in the church calendar and in three years you will have a complete commentary on the whole lectionary. You will also have a multitude of suggestions on how to connect the texts to our world. The editors of Year C, Volume… Read more

November 8, 2018

Mark Watney was stranded – on Mars in a rather barren environment. The image above (Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) from the Mars Rover Curiosity can be found along with many others at the NASA Website. Mark Watney, for those who don’t know, is the major character in a book and movie The Martian. Stranded alone on Mars, he has to figure out how to survive and communicate with Earth leading to his rescue. It is an enthralling story. Andy Walsh in his… Read more

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