We undertake to faithfully read Scripture with our kids because we trust the one who creates, saves, and perfects all things and, by the life and strength that his Spirit gives, we long to be faithful to him.
Robert Farrar Capon, an avid cook and Episcopal priest, wrote a sort of theological cookbook called The Supper of the Lamb. In his book, he contrasts ‘ferial’ and ‘festal’ eating. Ferial cuisine is the kind of everyday food that makes the most out of less expensive ingredients.
“You hypocrites!” says Christ in Calvin Seerveld’s paraphrase of Matthew 23:24, “You strain gnats out of your wine but swallow the American, suburban way of life whole, like a camel.” Jesus, of course, directed his stinging dart at the Pharisees, but Seerveld applies his to suburban Americans, and probably more specifically, suburban American Christians.
In her new book, Inspired, popular blogger Rachel Held Evans engagingly wrestles in reconciling the difficult passages in the Old Testament with the overarching message of the Bible.
As people of God, in our resting and in our working, in our solitude and in our communion, in our being and in our doing, we are a river of life. Our acts of justice and righteousness are water in a dry and thirsty land.
One way to go about shaking ourselves from the interpretive grooves (ruts!) formed by our Western assumptions is to encounter a reading of a well-known text that seems shocking at first, until the “new” reading focuses our eyes upon the biblical words themselves.
There is a lot to know about the Bible, and they are good things to know. But the Holy Spirit brings God’s word and God’s world to life in ways that can’t be known only through objective trivia.
Lectio divina takes us beyond ourselves, away from a self-centered faith and into an other-centered way of living the Christ-like transformation taking shape in us. The purposeful stages of lectio divina develop a Spirit-led mindfulness which seeps into every moment of our day, and somehow gives us an awareness of the Divine in every facet of life.
As the Ethiopian eunuch replied when Philip asked if he understood the portions from Isaiah he was reading, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” Such guides include pastors and teachers and spiritual mentors of many kinds, but especially for those of us living in a time and place radically separated from the culture and languages of the Bible, such guides must also include biblical scholars.
In doing the work that we do, we seek to ensure that the dignity of mothers, children, men, women, the elderly, and the young is respected. God has provided us with a world of plenty, making the injustice of hunger so much more egregious.
If Christians are to live out their lives before the face of God, where should they look for guiding principles in how to conduct agriculture?
Sometimes our Reformation emphasis on putting the Bible in hands of everyone leads to the false conclusion that the Bible requires no interpretation.
The best thing we can do to prepare to read and hear the biblical story is to exercise our imagination.
I have become more solidly convinced over time that a huge reason why we don’t read our Bibles more isn’t because we are afraid it isn’t true but because are terrified that it really is.
Maybe the truth of Christianity is proven, not when our ideas perfectly capture how the world is, but first and foremost by our God working in and through us, helping us become what we (truly) are: image bearers of the one true God.
Scripture instructs us to “take every thought captive” to the authority of Christ as revealed to us in the Bible (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV). By our own admission, though, few American Christians have given much thought to how our faith ought to inform our thinking about immigrants and immigration.
Christians often talk about the need to avoid reductionism, especially scientific naturalism. But what about the opposite extreme—isn’t it dangerous also to focus too little on science, and let ourselves be shaped too much by superstition or ‘traditional’ beliefs?