Category Archives: Uncategorized

The reputation of the woman at the well

I heard it in church again today. I’ve no doubt said it myself before. The woman at the well is “a woman of questionable moral character.” All of this because of her multiple marriages and current questionable living arrangements. Maybe. … Continue reading

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Salvation is bigger and different than we’ve imagined

I mean, you can’t keep up with the literature. The books and articles and presentations charting revisionary directions on the meaning of salvation are like crickets in a Texas summer: plague like and chirping. There are two prominent themes. First, … Continue reading

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Blessed is anyone who eats bread in the kingdom of God?

I preached yesterday from Luke 14, Jesus eating at the home of a Pharisee on the Sabbath, and came to a surprising realization in the middle of the sermon. I’ve preached on this passage several times, adjusting the sermon for … Continue reading

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Preaching the startling news

So, if part of the saving work of the gospel is to startle us into a new perception of the world (see my two previous posts), then what should the aim of preaching be? Preaching, every week preaching, should be … Continue reading

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Some implications of being startled

In my last post, I suggested that there is often a connection between the word “gospel” and being surprised. The good news is not the same old, same old, because it is truly startling. And I wondered if this might … Continue reading

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Startled unto Salvation

I’ve been thinking a lot about gospel and salvation these days, and some things are falling together in ways that they haven’t before. Let me begin with the idea that the gospel is “news.” Shocking, I know. But we tend … Continue reading

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A little riff on Springsteen

This past October, James Smith led our Streaming conference on worship and the formation of missional communities. He also supplied the title for the conference, “Everybody has a hungry heart,” a Springsteen lyric. We took his title and ran with … Continue reading

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Shifting the center of worship from sermon to table

In anticipation of the conference we hosted a few weeks ago, “Everybody Has a Hungry Heart: Worship and the Formation of Missional Communities,” I put out a survey for those who plan and lead worship. The results were revealing in … Continue reading

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When excellence is a guiding principle, is your worship Christian?

At a conference at a Christian University several years ago, I heard Stanley Hauerwas comment on part of the University’s mission statement that used the word “excellence.” As only Hauerwas can say it, “When excellence is in your mission statement, … Continue reading

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The Patient Practice of Sail Making

A little excerpt from the book I’m trying to finish on Luke’s view of the church. The movement and power of the Holy Spirit explains the practices and shape of the church in Acts. This statement bears some emphasis. In … Continue reading

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