A Problem

Let’s think about Genesis 12-16—of God’s promise of a son to Abram and Sarai. This son extended God’s blessing promise made to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15. And, as we now know, the birth anticipated a son born of Abram’s lineage centuries later: Jesus, the Son of God. The plan started badly. As the …

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Affective Spirituality

“What do you mean by ‘affective theology?’ I’ve never heard of it before I met you.” It’s a fair question. I first found the label in Heiko Oberman’s The Dawn of the Reformation where he wrote of fourteenth-century Christians whose “suspicion of speculation” led them away from prior theological streams. They preferred “an affective theology …

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Loving the Truth

Jesus aligned himself with the truth as the personified pathway to life in John 14:6—“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” He elevated his invincible life even in the face of crucifixion. Jesus clearly meant to reassure disciples both then and now. Yet there are different approaches to truth—even among believers. One …

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Spirituality in the Word

I’m reading and rereading books on Christian spirituality these days. It comes with my prepping to teach on the subject. With that as context I’ll offer a brief reflection on two widely appreciated works that promote spiritual transformation. One, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, lists disciplines under the headings of Inward, Outward, and Corporate. The …

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Brilliantly Wrong!

Some people enjoy exceptional intellectual gifts: strong memories, analytic and synthetic abilities, and good language skills. But Moses, it seems, wasn’t one of these. He was certain his speech impediment precluded any public ministry. Which raises a question. Why doesn’t God do better in finding followers? Moses was defective. Peter, too, seemed less than brilliant. …

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Focus

Each morning we move from our sleep into a more focused wakefulness. It comes in stages. We may have morning birds, family nudges, or an alarm to stir us. Then we’re on to the standard start-up stuff of every morning. A shower. Toast and coffee along with some family coordinating. We all have our own …

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Spiritual Formation

How do we, as Christians, build up others? I’m asking this with both our secular contacts and fellow believers in view. Is there a special evangelism and discipleship program, ministry strategy, or sermon series available to do the trick? Are there seminars to attend, disciplines to engage, or educators to invite to teach spiritual formation …

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Calvin & the Spirit

In the sixteenth century John Calvin was a gift to the young Protestant Reformation; and he remains helpful today. The broad Bible reach of his Institutes, for instance, is still engaging. Some, I know, will be suspicious. Calvin has a reputation as a cold intellectual fixated on divine sovereignty and predestination. But, certainly to my …

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