The Healed Man, The Saved Man (Acts 3-4): What Salvation Looks Like

Last year at this time we were preaching from Acts called “Walking in the Way.” I covered the man at the Beautiful Gate (3.1-10) and then moved through the pericope on Solomon’s Portico (3.11-26). This is followed by the arrest of Peter and John in chapter 4. It is a story that merits reflection. Acts […]

Why Are We in Our Predicament? Hosea on the Failure of the Theologians

This is a meditation upon encountering the Prophet Hosea. Today is Day 200 of the Year 2022. There are 165 days left in this year. Every year I read through the Bible. To go through the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), the Middle Testament (Apocrypha) and the New Testament, I average about three and a half […]

Six things I Pray for Churches of Christ in 2022

In recent days the powers that be in Churches of Christ have lamented “apostasy” from preachers, congregations, and “colleges” that do not toe the unwritten creedal line. The irony is deep because historically it has been claimed that God’s church does not own any colleges therefore did not have a creedal position on anything. But […]

Salvation: What on Earth is it? Five Realities

My Misunderstanding Last Sunday at Eastside, I mentioned that sometimes our understanding of “salvation” is not so much unbiblical as it is anemic. So today I want to reflect upon the “doctrine” of salvation. You would think in a fellowship like Churches of Christ that we would have “salvation” down pretty good. I did, after […]

Can the “Churches of Christ” be Saved?

These are musings and nothing more. I do not claim to have the answers. It is no secret that not only Churches of Christ in America but churches across the board are losing people rapidly. The vast majority of CofCs are congregations of less than 100 people. But this reflects a trend in ALL Christian […]

At the Table: Passover, Jesus, and God’s Time

The Lord’s Supper. An important dimension to the Supper is eschatology. We might imagine eschatology as end time scenarios for the demise of world but that is only a small dimension. Perhaps we get a better insight into what eschatology is if we think of it as when God’s time washes over our time. When […]

God’s Amazing Love

God is love (1 John 4.16). The Sabbath in the Bible was a day of many things. It was a day of rest. It was a day of family. It was a day celebrating God’s creation. It was a day celebrating redemption from slavery. It was a day of togetherness. It was a day that […]

God in the Rear View Mirror: My Adventure with Wineskins

May. May 1992 specifically. Last night I was digging in one of the half dozen boxes that remain in my garage from my move a couple years ago. Out came a stack of old magazines: Wineskins! I flipped through the fifteen inch deep stack. I remember that one, that one and that one. Finally, I […]

Grace and Truth: Moses Heard it, We Saw it

“And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth … From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one […]

And the Women: Luke, Women and God’s New World

Today is Easter Sunday, or known as “pascha” to most non-English speaking Christians around the world. We join Christians around the world, and throughout history, in remembering the culmination of God’s “passover plot” to liberate enslaved creation from sin and death through the Jubilee ministry, crucifixion and resurrection in the flesh of a Jew named […]

Jesus, a Baby Like Moses: Matthew’s Jewish Nativity

The depth of the Spirit inspired Jewish character of the Gospels is often missed in our contemporary world. Today we will look at how Matthew thinks we are experts in Exodus “pattern” and have lots of Jewish tradition floating in our heads as he begins the story of the Messiah. The existence of Luke shows […]

Psalm 103: A Thanksgiving Meditation

“I will continually sing hymns of thanksgiving” (Sirach 51.11) This year, 2020, has been a long, challenging year, for a great many people. Not only disciples of Jesus but those who are not. Not only for those in the United States but those in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and literally around the globe. It […]

The Psalms and Two Gifts of Prayer

The context for the Book of Psalms is the public worship of God’s people, that is the people who use these prayer hymns are not primarily the person/people who composed them. In this way they are analogous to our hymnals. Every text presupposes corporate worship in the temple. As we enter the literary sanctuary of […]

What Kind of God Hears Our Prayer? A Loving Abba

James A. Harding was a legendary evangelist, debater, and co-founder of Nashville Bible School (now Lipscomb University) and founder of Potter Bible College. During his prime, Harding was one of the most influential men in the Churches of Christ. What is not often remembered about Harding is that he was a prayer warrior. Harding cultivated […]

Dishing Out Mercy: A Radical Text

Do We Dish It Out? One of the most radical texts in the Bible is one we Christians seemingly do not really believe. This text is not in Paul though it is as radical as anything he ever wrote. The text has a two fold thrust and both tend to not be believed. Believing, our […]

Jesus in the Wilderness, Living the Israel Story (Mt. 4.1-11)

This post is an exercise in “thinking out loud” as we read the Bible. It is a reflection on Matthew 4.1-11. The Gospel of Matthew proclaims to today’s Gentile church, “Ya’ll cannot have Jesus without the Hebrew Bible and Israel. Ya’ll cannot have the person of Yeshua without his DNA. In fact Jesus, according to […]

The Discipleship of Hermeneutics

Regardless of claims to the contrary no one merely reads the Bible. The Bible is interpreted, by everyone. When Christians say that women do not have wear veils; we do not have to greet each other with a kiss; we do not have to lift up hands in prayer; women are not saved by having […]

Exodus: The Biblical Context of the New Testament

Now and Then Two thousand years of Christian history separates today’s disciples from those we read of in the Acts of the Apostles. That distance has created some major conceptual changes that sometimes make it harder to hear the writings of the apostles. For today’s Christians our first thought of Scripture will be Matthew, Luke, […]