The Unfamiliar Testament

Last week I read a fascinating book called The Old Testament is Dying (2017, Baker Academic) by Brent Strawn, an Old Testament professor from Candler Seminary at Emory. I found I couldn't stop reading it once I started, partly because it's so engagingly written, but...

The benefits of growing up

In preparation for Bible Study and for tomorrow's worship service, I've been thinking about the New Testament idea of maturity. According to the apostle Paul, we are growing toward maturity in Christ. This is God's intention for us, as we see in Romans 8:29 ("he...

The Church and November 11

Thinking Christianly An old theology professor of mine used to tell us that one of his goals with our classes was to help us to learn to “think Christianly.” He wanted us to develop a habit of mind that would help us to see all of life through Christian eyes. This...

On Blogging, and on Prayer

I think I would be unsettled to know the number of times in the past year that “write a blog post” has been on my to-do list for the day. The reason I’d be unsettled, of course, is that I’ve written very few posts recently. But like attending church for many people...

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING II — HIS FAITHFUL CARE

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. (Ps. 43:3) Climbers who want to reach the top of Everest know how important it is to have a reliable guide who not only knows the...

Francis de Sales on being formed in Christ

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) is known to Christian history as one of the great spiritual directors, meaning he would help people discern ways of paying attention to God in their own situations. He didn’t just give general advice; he spoke with friends about how...

The Season of Lent

In the weeks leading up to Easter, the Christian church has traditionally kept a season of preparation, called Lent. During these weeks, we consider the human condition and the need we have for Jesus, whose coming, death, and resurrection is our hope. Early on, the...

Ghosts in Our Past

Almost all of my trick or treating took place in the 1980s. By the end of that decade I was in grade eight and had pretty much left October 31st to the younger kids. My Halloween tradition was by then reduced to little more than listening to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the...

Prayer in Quiet and in Crisis

For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. – Nehemiah 1:4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king. – Nehemiah 2:4-5 Nehemiah was both a man of prayer and a man of action. The...