June 27, 2005

In recent blogs I’ve read, and in some e-mails I’ve received, I’m hearing a theme, a subtle one but one that appears to have plenty of punch and power with plenty. It is this: “this is an issue for the practitioners.” Perhaps it is related to what I have been calling the performance of the gospel vs. simple articulation of the gospel.Here’s a question for us to ponder: Who exactly is the practitioner?Evidently, some want to exclude the professional theologian… Read more

June 26, 2005

In this post we look at the Pharisees and Jesus. Our goal here is not to provide an exhaustive listing of everything, but to list some highlights of what Jesus says about the Pharisees. Tomorrow’s post will examine what the word “hypocrite” means, and then on Tuesday we will look at some suggestions on how to use the word “Pharisee” today.But, I begin with this: Josephus tells us that there were about 6,000 Pharisees at the time of Herod. Which… Read more

June 25, 2005

In this post we want to look at what Josephus, a 1st Century AD Jewish chronicler, has to say about the Pharisees. Josephus takes two pictures of the Pharisees, one in Bellum Judaicum (=BJ) book 2 (162-4) and one in Jewish Antiquities (=Ant), book 18 (12-15).I’ll limit my comments here, and the goal is for us (1) to have a more accurate view of the Pharisees so we can (2) speak more intelligently and respectfully of this ancient, revered, and… Read more

June 25, 2005

In this first post on the Pharisees, I wish to remind us of what we have learned about the Pharisees and I wish to get us to thinking about the potential danger of our rhetoric about them.Before I go to the Gospels (and Josephus) to summarize what the Pharisees are all about, let me remind us of how we got to where we are.First, it is a standard procedure to say “Pharisee” and mean “legalist, bigot, hypocrite, or picayune meddler… Read more

June 24, 2005

Lesslie Newbigin is a leading thinker in the Emergent conversation, and his Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture, which I finished last night, is a book still worth reading (published 1986). [The link will take you to a abebooks.com and there are plenty of used copies available.] In the next few weeks I’ll be working my way through a couple more of his books, some of them more recent.Here’s a prefatory word to his proposals, but which… Read more

June 23, 2005

Kim Lawton of PBS TV informs me now that the Emergent conversation TV show has been pushed back to the weekend of July 8 and 15, so keep your eye for the PBS interviews. Read more

June 23, 2005

Brian McLaren’s Generous Orthodoxy, on my first read, created all kinds of dialogue in my own mind and I found very few to discuss it with because I was not yet a blogger nor had any of my colleagues read it.Because I’ve been thinking of late what it means to be orthodox, I’ve returned back to his book a few times to pick up what he meant by generous. Let me suggest three elements to the meaning of the word… Read more

June 22, 2005

In this the fifth in a five-part set of posts on the Four Spiritual Laws, I will look at the fourth spiritual law of Campus Crusade’s influential evangelistic tract.We must individually receive Christ; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. Receiving Christ (John 1:12), the new birth (John 3:1-8), and reception by personal invitation (Revelation 3:20), are each supported by a scripture. Here is a clarification by the author:Receiving Christ involves turning to God… Read more

June 22, 2005

In this the fourth in a five-part set of posts on the Four Spiritual Laws, I will look at the 3d spiritual law:Jesus Christ is God’s ONLY provision for Man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life… The “law” then goes on to point out that Jesus died in our place, that he rose from the dead, and that He is the only way to God — citing Rom 5:8; 1 Cor… Read more

June 21, 2005

Yesterday I was interviewed by a sharp religion columnist with Religion and Ethics Newsweekly for PBS. Kim Lawton has worked hard to learn what “emergent” means, and I was deeply appreciative of the questions she had the mind to ask. She was fair; she remains curious; and she is willing to listen and learn. She asked me some astute questions.I don’t know what role I will play, but I do know that she said the program would air across the… Read more

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