Category Archives: hermeneutics

Reflections on “Do Not be Conformed to this World”

As a young visiting preacher, I sat on the back row in an auditorium adult Bible class listening to a discussion of Romans 12. “Do not be conformed to this world…” the teacher read aloud. “How is it that we … Continue reading

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Observations on a chord/nerve struck

Well, yesterday’s blog was widely read. I’m not used to that. My audience is typically fairly narrow, consisting mostly of family members. In fact, yesterday was so unusual that wordpress actually sent me a message alerting me that people were … Continue reading

Posted in Christian practice, hermeneutics, Scripture | 55 Comments

Preaching: In weakness and much trembling

As you get older, your self-perception changes. My fiancé will tell you that I tend to regale my former athletic accomplishments ad nauseam, because now to look at me and the way I move you could scarcely believe that I … Continue reading

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Rubel Shelly and the Drama of Discernment

At our conference, Streaming, a few weeks ago we focused on issues related to discernment. And some of our speakers focused on the large discernment narratives in Scripture, other on key theological notions. For instance, Luke Johnson dealt with the … Continue reading

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More Metrics for a post-Christendom Age

3. Can your congregation talk about difficult issues without it becoming contentious or divisive? Again, let me unpack the question. The question might also have been asked, can your congregation have a discussion at all? This question has two aspects: … Continue reading

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Out of Answers?: you’re not out of God

I have the privilege of teaching the Bible to college freshman. For most of them, the Bible is mostly a set of impressions. Even if they know some Bible stories, they really know very little about the Bible. They think … Continue reading

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The Christian Imagination According to Paul

In her recent book, Sin: The Early History of an Idea, Paula Fredricksen contrasts Jesus and Paul’s notions of sin and salvation (though they are not identical, they share important assumptions) with those of later Christian thinkers, notably Justin Martyr, … Continue reading

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The Work of Worship: The words we inhabit

Garrison Keillor, in one installment of Lake Wobegon, tells of the priest who has entered into a romantic pen-pal relationship with a woman in New York. The burden of pretending to be some who he is not finally gets to … Continue reading

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The Gospel and Cultures: The location of the gospel story

This piece is written primarily for the benefit of my grad students who are taking an online class, Gospel and Cultures. I think it’s pretty important stuff for all of us to think about though. So, you get to read … Continue reading

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How to Read Your Bible More Better, Drei

Beyond all the techniques for reading, the most important thing you bring to the text is questions. The kinds of questions you ask of a text determine to a large extent the kinds of answers you get back. So, in … Continue reading

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