Talk of church discipline today often brings to mind “images of witch trials, scarlet letters, public humiliations, and damning excommunications.”1 However, each of the Protestant Reformers, in their own way, recognized the importance of church discipline. John Calvin went so far as to say that the neglect of church discipline would contribute to the “ultimate dissolution of the church.”2 If Calvin could “discern frightful devastation beginning to threaten the church”3 in sixteenth century Geneva, what would he say about today’s Western Protestant Christianity, where the reigning ideal of tolerance and the omnivorous appetite of the market have combined to eviscerate the church of any remaining sense of its disciplined character? Continue reading Discipline Is Not a Dirty Word
This past Thursday, Christopher Wright was at Tyndale University College and Seminary to present a lecture entitled, “The Mission of God and the Cape Town Commitment.” Wright’s contributions to missional hermeneutics, as well as his massive textbook, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative, have been hugely influential on the theological curriculum at Tyndale in recent years. Wright is a consummate “churchman” whose current role as the director of Langham Partnership International has involved him in teaching ministries across the globe. While chairing the Lausanne Theology Working Group, he was the chief architect of “The Cape Town Commitment: A Confession of Faith and a Call to Action.” Continue reading Christopher Wright and the Mission of God
I’ve recently been given a glimpse of the cover design for my forthcoming book: For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas (Pickwick Publications).
I particularly appreciate the striking juxtaposition of colours and images. Not to mention that the image of a garden in the wasteland is one of my favourite biblical metaphors for the new creation reality of the church.
I’ll have more to say about the book in the days ahead as the release date draws near. Suffice to say, though, the appearance of the cover design signals that the day is fast approaching!
Yesterday Fuller Studio premiered a new documentary that focuses on the unlikely friendship and love of the Psalms shared by, arguably, two of today’s most important spiritual leaders – Bono and Eugene Peterson. Peterson, who is perhaps most widely known for his translation of the Bible known as The Message, has significantly shaped contemporary conversation in the areas of pastoral and spiritual theology. Over the past forty years, his calm and steady voice has saved many pastors from foundering on the rocks of the Church Growth and Marketing movements. For those who aren’t familiar with Bono, he is an international activist and humanitarian who moonlights as the front-man of the Irish rock band U2. Continue reading The Prophet and the Pastor: Bono and Eugene Peterson
After 42 years of practicing law, my dad hung up his tabs and gown and left the legal profession at the end of this past calendar year. This past weekend my family and some close friends gathered to celebrate my dad’s retirement. It was a wonderful evening of laughter, reminiscing and giving thanks. Towards the end of the evening I had the opportunity to share a few words with the group and to extend a blessing to my dad as he entered into this next phase of life. The following reflections upon retirement and vocation are based upon the thoughts I shared at the celebration. However, at the risk of making it a less compelling read, I have opted to leave out the more personal recollections. Continue reading Old Lawyers Never Die, They Just Lose Their Appeal!
The events of 2 Samuel 11-12 depicting the encounter between David and Bathsheba and its fallout mark “the great turning point of the whole David story.” 1 According to its traditional superscription, Psalm 51 was composed by David following his dramatic confrontation with the prophet Nathan. This great penitential psalm has rightly occupied a cherished place in the life of worship and prayer of the Christian church through the ages. In many traditions, it is corporately read or sung on Ash Wednesday. Reflecting upon the psalm leads Robert Barron to observe the somewhat counter-intuitive connection between saint and sinner in the Christian faith: Continue reading On Saints and Sinners
- Robert Alter, The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel (New York: W.W. Norton, 1999), 249, quoted in Robert Baron, 2 Samuel (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2015), 95. ↩