Book Review: The Very Good Gospel

I should state at the outset of my review that I am a white, 46 year-old, educated, public special education teacher who happens also to be a man. I am a Christian and I have bachelors degree in theology and bible teaching and a masters degree in education. I am a public school teacher as… Continue reading Book Review: The Very Good Gospel

Book Review: Subversive Jesus

I was almost immediately turned off by this book when one of the first things I saw was a quote by Shane Claiborne. I pressed on because that's the deal and eventually arrived at page 24-25. What I read on those two pages inspired me to press on further: From the time of the murder… Continue reading Book Review: Subversive Jesus

Matthew 13: Kingdom of God (a sermon text)

I preached a couple of weeks ago (again!) and I decided to use Matthew 13 as my text. I had been doing some light research on the chapter and taught a little of it in my Sunday school class so I took the next logical step and went ahead with a full blown manuscript. It… Continue reading Matthew 13: Kingdom of God (a sermon text)

Some Thoughts on Mark 1, The Church, and Power

Part 3: What the Church Needs. Now. We've been taking the last Sunday of each month the past couple of months to visit other churches in our area. This, in conjunction with our travels to preach in various churches, gives us the opportunity to see how the Lord is working in our part of the… Continue reading Some Thoughts on Mark 1, The Church, and Power

Some Thoughts on Mark 1, The Church, and Preaching

Part 2 of 3: What the Church Needs to be Preaching. Now. In part one of this short series of posts, I talked about what I think the church needs to be doing now, namely, preparing the way for the coming of Jesus. By preparing the way, I mean: calling people to repentance. It may… Continue reading Some Thoughts on Mark 1, The Church, and Preaching

Some Thoughts on Mark 1, the Church, and Repentance

Part 1 of 3: What the Church Needs to be Doing. Now. Been thinking about church. I do that a lot for some reason. It's not like I have anything else to do with my time. (/sarcasm). The truth is, I'm fairly heavily involved with my local church through helping lead worship (singing, playing guitar,… Continue reading Some Thoughts on Mark 1, the Church, and Repentance

Advent Day 12: Matthew 12: Something Greater

Read: Matthew 12; Exodus; 1 Kings 1-11 In his short little book simply titled Following Jesus, NT Wright waltzes through several New Testament books and explores their main themes and ideas. Among the books explored is the Gospel according to Matthew. Of Matthew he writes: Matthew's whole gospel is, in fact, a Coronation Anthem. And… Continue reading Advent Day 12: Matthew 12: Something Greater

Advent Day 11: Matthew 11: Being Offended by Jesus

In case you don't want to open your book, here's Matthew 11. I have only a couple of thoughts today. After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. 2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah,… Continue reading Advent Day 11: Matthew 11: Being Offended by Jesus

Advent Day 10: Matthew 10: Following Jesus is an Upside Down Business

Eugene Peterson wrote, in his book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, "Jesus' imagery, to be followed soon by his sacrifice, is totally counter to our culture of more, more. Could Jesus have made it any clearer? We don't become more, we become less. Instead of grasping more tightly to whatever we value, we let… Continue reading Advent Day 10: Matthew 10: Following Jesus is an Upside Down Business

Advent Day 9: Matthew 9: The Things Jesus Says

I'm still thinking about chapter 8 to an extent–that Jesus we follow who mixes and mingles and heals people that we typically reject. Jesus didn't consider himself better than them–which is exactly how we tend to think of most people. We tend to stick with our own because it's comfortable for us. I'm not necessarily… Continue reading Advent Day 9: Matthew 9: The Things Jesus Says

Advent Day 8: Matthew 8: The Jesus We Follow

The eight chapter of Matthew, close on the heels of the Sermon on the Mount, is a spectacular introduction to the Jesus we follow. What is probably most amazing is the variety of people that Jesus meets along the way after he came down from teaching. This is probably significant. It probably means something amazing… Continue reading Advent Day 8: Matthew 8: The Jesus We Follow

Advent Day 6: Matthew 6: Continuing to be Different

Read: Matthew 6 Let's be short today. Maybe. Matthew six is a chapter that has been abused and misused by preachers throughout the ages. And by pew-sitters too. I'll be honest when I say that it is not a terribly complicated passage of Scripture to understand, but it's not necessarily easy to understand either. It's… Continue reading Advent Day 6: Matthew 6: Continuing to be Different

Advent Day 5: Matthew 5: The Things We Often Forget

Read: Matthew 5; Galatians 5; Exodus At its very core, Advent is a time to think about the first coming of Messiah and, perhaps, to telescope that thinking into the future and his Second Revelation. When we take the time to pause and think about the Advent of our Lord, we are pausing to note… Continue reading Advent Day 5: Matthew 5: The Things We Often Forget

Advent Day 4: Matthew 4: Jesus Preached the Kingdom

Read: Matthew 4; Daniel 7; Isaiah 52-53; Romans 10 "Nowhere in scripture is it set out more clearly that the kingdom of the one true God stands over against the kingdoms of the world, judging them, calling them to account, condemning them, and vindicating God's people" than in the Book of Daniel. (NT Wright, Simply… Continue reading Advent Day 4: Matthew 4: Jesus Preached the Kingdom