Luke’s record of the Apostle Paul’s foray into the philosophy of religion/apologetics (Acts 17:22-31) portrays an approach to evangelism that differed significantly from Paul’s typical practice. Earlier in the chapter, Luke recounts Paul’s visits to the synagogue in Thessalonica, where “as he was accustomed,” Paul argued for faith in Christ based on his Continue reading To An Unknown God
“A fool expends all his [sic] energy, but a wise person keeps it in reserve” (Prov 29:11, my trans.)
In January a few years ago, a colleague and I attended a conference in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida. We had made our flight arrangements separately, but ended up booked for the same return flight. I reached the airport first and went to the kiosk to print out my boarding pass. The kiosk computer informed me that I needed to consult a ticket Continue reading Wise Expenditure of Energy
According to the Revised Common Lectionary, the Gospel reading for this Sunday, April 30, 2017, is the story of the encounter between two of Jesus’ disciples and the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, some seven miles outside Jerusalem. Only Luke tells this story, suggesting that he gathered it along with other information during his own research (cf. Continue reading Seeing Only What We Expect to See
One day early in my teaching career, I was laboring to help students in a small seminar on hermeneutics (the art of interpretation) to understand the logical and grammatical structure of a passage in Paul. As is often the case in Paul’s letters, the issue involved a simple “therefore,” by which Paul argued for the connection between what Christians Continue reading “Whispering Hope”
Many know the Old Testament lectionary reading for this coming Sunday, the fifth Sunday in Lent, through the familiar spiritual. Slaves in the American Sought clearly heard in Ezekiel and his visions of a wheel and a valley of dry bones a promise of God’s power to bring life out of death, freedom out of slavery. The passage finds its place in the common Continue reading Dry Bones
Sometimes multiple needs coincide to offer solutions to one another. I suggest that the contemporary church faces just such a confluence of opportunities masquerading as problems. The church needs help; resources are available. Continue reading An Appeal to Young Christians and a Prayer
I will be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks to tend to some pressing professional and personal concerns. Look for something new the week of March 20.
Until then, keep following Jesus.
Lately, I have read about and heard directly from pastors who have been accused of being political from the pulpit although they thought that they were simply preaching the Gospel. We live in a time when people on both sides of the political spectrum stand ready to take offense. Continue reading Mere Christianity
For a couple of weeks now, I have been preoccupied with the perception that the public discourse influences even believers toward stridency, rigidity, and lack of compassion. Oddly, at the same time, I have been hearing again and again in my mind’s ear the lyrics of a children’s hymn I learned to sing in Vacation Bible School: “Jesus loves the little Continue reading America First or Not my Problem
“Hadst Thou taken the world and Caesar’s purple, Thou wouldst have founded the universal state and have given universal peace. For who can rule men if not he who holds their conscience and their bread in his hands? We have taken the sword of Caesar, and in taking it, of course, have rejected Thee and followed him.” The Grand Inquisitor, Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
President Trump has dangled the forbidden fruit before the church with his promise to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment that prohibits non-profit organizations, including the church, from taking overtly partisan political action Trump has complained that the effect of the amendment on religious institutions is that “their voice has been taken away.” To Continue reading Get Thee Behind me… (Mark 8:33)