As our church continues to read the book of Acts, the second chapter highlights the day of Pentecost. The author of Acts, Luke, assumes his readers are familiar with the holy-day/holiday. He, therefore, doesn’t explicitly tease out what Jesus sending the Holy Spirit on his people that day (of all days) means. If you skip over Pentecost you miss a lot of color within the text’s story that the wording itself doesn’t always supply. Here are four blogs surveying some of the meaning behind that day and what’s going on in Acts 2. Continue reading “What’s Pentecost About?”
Author vs Audience Questions
When we read the Bible or any other book, we bring our own questions. This isn’t always bad, but it can cause us to read books with a filter whereby we pass over material we don’t consider relevant to our question. In fact, we might be so “locked in” to our own thinking and concerns that we miss what the author intentionally builds into his story or letter. We don’t totally disregard our questions, but we read more slowly and more carefully in an attempt to let the author’s concerns shine through.
The quotable Keller doesn’t disappoint in his book on prayer. One section I’ve found especially helpful defines and explains prayer as conversations in response to our knowledge of God. An implication is that one way to galvanize our prayer life is to grow our theology. Continue reading “Good Theology Makes for Good Prayers”
One word in the Bible can be a game changer. When John says “SEE what kind of the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God, and so we are” (1 John 3:1), it’s like he brings us to a halt with hands waving and fingers pointing to a jaw-dropping sight. You’ve got to see this! Look! Come and see something you won’t believe! While we are quick to speak of God-especially his love-with generalizations and glance over Scripture in our readings, John invites us to slow down, take a look at something, and be amazed.
The superhero film genre shows no signs of slowing down. Every month a new DC or Marvel film tries to quench our thirst for heroes. We were made for heroes. We need them. The problem is we lack authentic, relatable, real-life heroes who show us what a life of passion, love, virtue, courage looks like in a flesh-and-blood human being. Superman and Wonder Woman might leave us looking for someone to save us, but they are so fundamentally unlike us that they fail to provide fallen human heroes we can emulate. Continue reading “Steal Away Home”
Lecrae’s newest album is his most controversial. Some suggest a transition beyond “Christian music” (a label Lecrae himself rejects). Mainstream musicians such as Ty Dolla Sign and Tori Kelly collaborate on several songs. He vocalizes frustrations with evangelicals—among others—wanting him to be a “religious puppet.” He raises issues of social justice. Lecrae questions his faith, admits his depression and doubt, and confesses his sins. Does this album reflect the same values, theology, skill, and expression of biblical faith that drew so many Christians (including white evangelicals)?
The first words of Holy Scripture describe the story’s opening drama of creation, creation by God speaking forth light into the dark abyss. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…and darkness was over the face of the deep…And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light’” (Gen 1:1, 3). Bruce Waltke recognizes the Bible’s theme here and expresses it as “God irrupting into chaos to establish his rule over everything.” The creation account emphasizes the God who speaks light into darkness and breaks the silence with the power of his voice.