and he went out, not knowing

  "and he went out, not knowing" (Hebrews 11:8, KJV) Last night, our group was studying Genesis chapter 12, and the calling of Abraham. Such a remarkable story, the more you think of it. We were struck again by the radical nature of the call - leave everything, and go to the land I'll show... Continue Reading →

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Getting the Bible Inside

Eugene Peterson: "A caveat about the disciplines: I’m uneasy about the word discipline. It’s a useful word, which Richard Foster has brought back into the Protestant vocabulary. But in practice it often encourages people to take charge of their own spirituality. When you practice a discipline, you’re doingsomething. There’s not much relaxation. There’s not much... Continue Reading →

We get a completely new set of people

Thomas Long, writing in his book Accompany Them With Singing: The Christian Funeral, imagines a funeral for a wife and mother named Annette. The funeral he imagines is, like so many others, "sweet and nostalgic", featuring readings of Psalm 23 and Proverbs 31, and celebrating that she "was a good woman, a good Christian". He... Continue Reading →

hiding behind the ironic mantle

"What will future generations make of this rampant sarcasm and unapologetic cultivation of silliness? Will we be satisfied to leave an archive filled with video clips of people doing stupid things? Is an ironic legacy even a legacy at all? The ironic life is certainly a provisional answer to the problems of too much comfort,... Continue Reading →

the art of a good death

Thomas Long, in his book Accompany Them With Singing: The Christian Funeral, takes on Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' classic On Death and Dying. One objection: "the implication in Kubler-Ross's work that knowledge of impending death somehow drives people rapidly up the stairway of emotional and ethical development is a fiction of the therapeutic culture." "The fact is... Continue Reading →

when God says “no”

In reading recently, struck with two prayers to which God said "no". I Kings 19:4: "He (Elijah) came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, LORD,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.'" God's answer to Elijah's prayer? A... Continue Reading →

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