Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Great Forty Days. For a second straight year we will witness the juxtaposition of the foremost penitential season of the church year with the continuing restrictions and death-dealing associated with the pandemic. Continue reading “Remember You Are Dust . . .”
When I was teaching in Toronto, there was a period of several years in a row where I read Lesslie Newbigin’s Foolishness to the Greeks with my students. I consider the book, written in 1986, to be something of a 20th century theological classic. As evidence of that, I did try a few years ago to blog through Newbigin’s seven essentials for a church seeking a genuine missionary encounter with Western culture. I only made it through the first four before other endeavors required my attention, but you can find links to those previous posts here. Continue reading Newbigin’s Prophetic Insight
The following is a response I was invited to recently give to chapter 1 of Matt Brough’s forthcoming book Let God Send: Crossing Boundaries and Serving in Christ’s Name. Matt is the Minister of Word and Sacraments at Prairie Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He also serves as the Program Coordinator for the New Worshiping Communities Initiative of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Continue reading “God’s Unpredictable Plans”
My friend Paul Johansen has been sharing daily devotionals with the congregation of Good Shepherd Community Church in Scarborough, ON during this Lenten season of social distancing. He’s given me permission to share his reflection for Holy Saturday. Continue reading “What in the World Is Going on Today”: A Holy Saturday Reflection
I’ve had the privilege of spending this week with the Doctor of Ministry cohort at Providence Theological Seminary leading them a week-long intensive course entitled “Thinking and Interpreting Theologically.” While not large in size, the members of the cohort manage to represent both coasts of Canada, the province of Manitoba, and the country of Nigeria. Continue reading The Meaning of a Sermon: Some Wisdom from Flannery O’Connor
Fleming Rutledge recently delivered the Parchman Lectures at Truett Divinity School located at Baylor University on the theme “By the Word Worked: The Unique Power of Biblical Preaching.” I recently had the opportunity to watch the first two lectures which are available for public viewing through the Parchman Lectures Media Library.
In the second half of the first lecture, Rutledge incisively identified four trends that weaken the power of contemporary preaching, before positing five counter-affirmations about the power of the preached word. In what follows, I’ll attempt to summarize her important observations, in the hope of encouraging interested readers to watch the lecture itself. Continue reading Powerful Preaching: Fleming Rutledge’s Parchman Lectures