An upcoming opportunity to preach on a passage from the book of Romans provided me with a convenient excuse to dive into Beverly Roberts Gaventa’s new book, When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel according to Paul. In addition to being one of the most cleverly titled books I’ve come across in some time, the book confirms Gaventa’s place in the rare company of biblical scholars whose writing demonstrates theological sensibilities and is at the same time accessible to pastors and laypeople. (I would also place Richard Hays and Michael Gorman, among others, in this category.) Gaventa is clearly informed of the most recent scholarly debates, as evidenced in the endnotes, but she wears her learning lightly. Her lucid prose is peppered with references to contemporary culture, including, for example, a discussion of Terrence Malick’s film, The Tree of Life. Continue reading When in Romans: A Short Review
Congratulations to Fleming Rutledge, whose book The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ has been named “Book of the Year” by Christianity Today. The full article can be read here.
After publishing several powerful collections of sermons and having faithfully served the cause of the Gospel for many years in pulpits both within her own Episcopal Church and across the ecumenical spectrum, it is wonderful to see her magnum opus receiving this kind of well-deserved recognition. Continue reading Book of the Year
While speaking to a gathering of youth and young adults this past Sunday evening, I took the opportunity to reflect upon the fact that God’s plan to save humanity rested upon the faithfulness of an unknown teenage girl. This morning I came across a poetic passage in which Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) depicts the whole of creation on tiptoes, listening in on the conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel, anxiously awaiting Mary’s response. Continue reading Bernard of Clairvaux on the Annunciation
Isaiah stands as the preeminent prophet of the Season of Advent. Many of the most recognizable Scripture readings associated with the season are found in the pages of what is sometimes referred to as “the fifth Gospel.” These include:
“A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD .’” (40:3 NRSV) Continue reading It Ain’t Easy Being a Prophet
I recently discovered that my article, “Tolkien and the Adventure of Discipleship: Imaginative Resources for a Missional Ecclesiology,” which appeared a little over a year ago in the Canadian Theological Review, can now be electronically downloaded from the website of the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association. The Canadian Evangelical Theological Association is reorganizing in the new year to form the Canadian-American Theological Association, so it’s unclear how long the article will be available online. So, if you’re interested in reading it, download it now. The full article can be accessed here. Continue reading Tolkien and the Adventure of Discipleship: Available Online
The one year anniversary of Thinking After is fast approaching. Right around the time I started the blog, I preached an Advent sermon at Tyndale Seminary for the MDiv In-Ministry students. The sermon was one of my first blog postings. The theme of judgment sounds forth mightily from many of the traditional texts for the first week of Advent. Having been encountered afresh by these Scriptures, it seemed like it might worthwhile to re-post last year’s sermon, both for those who may have missed it and those who might like to read it again. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a sermon on 2 Peter 3, much less one that includes appearances by the Toronto Blue Jays, Westboro Baptist Church, Karl Barth, Glen Soderholm, a Pizza Pizza theologian, and that has the music of Josh Ritter as its soundtrack. Continue reading Fire is Still Coming!: Some Josh Ritter for Advent