By Jeffrey Kloha Textual Background Ezekiel’s ministry took place among the captives taken to Babylon in the early sixth century BC prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. They were already experiencing God’s judgment. The cry of 33:10 expresses the crush of this judgment: “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot ..
A number of years ago I drove up to Minnesota to attend a conference with a professor of mine. When we decided to stop for lunch in the middle of Iowa, he insisted that we not stop at a chain fast food place that made every town look like every other town in America. Instead, we drove into the downtown and found a local diner. He said that it was important to take in the “proprium” (distinctiveness, uniqueness) of that place and culture lest we lose sight of the rich diversity of gifts that God has provided in his creation..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald The Lectionary for Year C provides little help for preacher or hearer in terms of placing this reading from Jeremiah 26 in a historical or narrative context. Three of the Sundays in the Epiphany season offer readings from Jeremiah, but they are neither consecutive nor sequential—and the “early” beginning of the ..
So I just ran across this from another blog : ChurchRater.com . Evidently, founder Jim Henderson decided to start the Web site to rate churches–in the same way that TripAdvisor rates hotels or Yelp rates everything else–to help people find local faith communities. And in case you were wondering, Jim owns a consulting business to help churches “see themselves through the eyes of Outsiders.” Yeah, I’m not surprised either. I’m curious to see how high this gets off the ground. I have found myself using Yelp or AroundMe on my iPhone to check out churches when I’m out of town. The pickings are slim. Perhaps this will fill a void. As to what it says about the commodification of American religion, there’s a long line in that check-out lane
By Glenn Nielsen The approach for this sermon is a textual structure that uses key phrases in the text in the order in which they appear. What follows are brief comments about the key phrases with possible illustrations, applications, stories, and visual aids that could be used. The goal of this sermon is that the hearers ..
A recent story in The Economist caught my eye, because it describes a very rare phenomenon: a church in Africa which openly welcomes homosexuals. “House of Rainbow” is an independent Nigerian church, founded in Lagos by Rowland Jide Macaulay in 2006. After violence against the tiny congregation and death threats against the pastor, Macaulay fled ..
During the past week, there have been hundreds of articles written about the tragic faculty shooting in Alabama. One of the themes that is beginning to emerge is the mental stability of higher education faculty. Thomas Bartlett and Robin Wilson in a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education opened by stating that the ..
An Oregon case spotlights the legal conundrum of charting the legal limts of religious faith and practice in America. The facts are as follows:a jury has convicted an Oregon couple of criminally negligent homicide after the death of their 16-year old son. They are members of the Followers of Christ Church, and as such they ..
By Travis Scholl None of the gospels tell us what mountain Jesus climbed with Peter, James, and John to be transfigured. But I’d like to think it was Mount Nebo, despite the fact that the geography makes it virtually impossible. I’d like to think that from its mountaintop, the three disciples could have seen the ..
The last couple of months a number of news reports have raised concerns regarding the use of evidence in various scientific papers to support the idea of human induced climate change. Most recently, questions have been directed at studies cited by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
At what point has it gone too far? I have my macbook, iPhone, bluetooth mice and keyboards, Quad Core PC running Windows 7, a GPS for my bike that syncs wirelessly with a power meter (and another for my wife’s bike), with some friends I text more than I talk on the phone, and unlike ..
By Kent Burreson The Theophany of God, Cleansing, and Call of Isaiah The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany offers the opportunity to preach on a liturgical text: the Sanctus. Since the biblical narrative informs the liturgical text and action, it would be appropriate to preach from within the purpose and movement of the Sanctus (and Benedictus) ..
By Reed Lessing Introduction “Blessed Lord, who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them….” This familiar Collect for the Word is an apt theme for Jeremiah 1:4—10, as this pericope is all about Yahweh’s Word. This ..
The other day I found myself wanting to agree with with Stanley Fish (an alarming thought!) when he wrote: “[T]he various projects we pursue and engage in may not all cohere in a single intelligible story. We may not be unified beings.” Well, I thought, that rings all too true. Last week Fish used his ..