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John’s Letters as Highest-Proof Grain Alcohol

“Finally, if 1-3 John leave the disciple who studies them with any single lasting impression, it is the grandeur and centrality of God.  Part of this is the sheer volume of references to him.  There is hardly a verse or even clause anywhere that does not name a person of the Godhead (Trinity), a divine […]

Dominated by Jesus

In a technical article on the Greek word for “false teacher” used in 2 Peter 2:1, K. Rengstorf says this term shows their teaching was false and “in every respect they are a perversion of the Christian διδασκολος [teacher], since they reject the claim of Jesus to domination over their whole lives.”[1] This is an […]

Own Your Ignorance

“In our daily reading of Scripture we come upon many obscure passages that convict us of ignorance” – John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.2.4 This statement from Calvin is striking. At the time Calvin is writing this he is widely regarded as the leading theologian of the Reformation. No one else had produced […]

C. S. Lewis, Preaching & Rhetoric

I am in the midst of the last proofreading of the forthcoming book, Forgotten Songs: Reclaiming the Psalms for Christian Worship and am really enjoying the essays even though I’ve been through them several times already. In Jack Collins’ essay on the liturgical purpose of the Psalms in their Old Testament context he helpfully discusses […]

Worship Frees Us from Self-reliance

Here is another excerpt from Brueggemann’s sermon on Psalm 100 [“Psalm 100,” Interpretation 39 (1985): 65-69]. In this section he is making the point that worship along the lines called for in Psalm 100 is a summons to reorient life in light of the reality that God is our Creator and Shepherd. To sing in […]

Praise as Polemic

I have plenty of differences with Walter Brueggemann, but his sermon on Psalm 100 is very rich [“Psalm 100,” Interpretation 39 (1985): 65-69]. The following quote makes a profound point about praise and has helped me see more of the importance of praise. To praise is to reject alternative loyalties and false definitions of reality. […]