Come hungry
Bible | Food | Holidays | Opinion

Come hungry

We’re all hungry. Some are hungry for literal food. We might be hungry for the social engagement of eating together. COVID has prompted hunger for many aspects of life. We hunger for communion – with people and with God. God promises a banquet. In my high school we had Junior/Senior Banquets, not proms. We could…

The resting place
Bible | Opinion

The resting place

Rabbis point out that creation’s seventh day had no end, no “evening and morning.” It is the context for life, the whole story to come. Key words in Biblical passages help us make connections. The parallel words and days in Genesis 1 show the construction and populating of God’s creation temple. We miss out because…

Tradition Shapes the Heart
Bible | Opinion | Reformed

Tradition Shapes the Heart

Remember the song “Tradition!” from the Fiddler on the Roof? Tevye sings the play’s theme of how to have balance in life in a rapidly changing and threatening world. Tradition gives structure and stability. Tradition forms our identity (being) and direction (doing). Christian Courier is a tradition, and this issue explores other traditions. Tevye says that, “without…

The Five Stages of Lament
Bible | Opinion | Theology & Spirituality

The Five Stages of Lament

Lament. Lament is an old word we are hearing more. Lament is a prayer that expresses frustration with the world. The most common Biblical Psalms are laments. They address God with poetic depictions of struggles and usually a confession of trust and vow of praise and thanksgiving. They often seem to be written retrospectively, when one is out of the pit.

Called to be Cultural Heretics
Media & Culture | Opinion | Theology & Spirituality

Called to be Cultural Heretics

Heresy is that which deviates from established beliefs. Christianity itself is therefore a heresy. Christianity challenges established beliefs in our culture. It is hard for a heresy to get a hearing because it seems foreign. I completed a strange semester with students at the University of Iowa as a campus pastor this year, while also teaching at a private college with a Reformed heritage. All my students have some church background, but their foreground is more Western culture.

The Blessing Hands
Opinion

The Blessing Hands

May 21 is Ascension Day, and May 24 Pentecost. I have said Ascension Day is all about the cloud – true in the Book of Acts. Luke gives us a different emphasis at the end of his Gospel. Luke presents how the divine purpose in Scripture culminates in Jesus’ ascension. After his resurrection, Jesus tells his disciples, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.

Biblical Tech
Opinion

Biblical Tech

Why is technology highlighted as Cainite? Technology is the study of an art or a skill, but it has come to mean the material objects produced by such art or skill, especially scientific or industrial products. How does the Bible view its purpose? ‘In the beginning. . .’ We were created to create, but this is not unique to humans.

Scriptural Mash-up
Opinion

Scriptural Mash-up

A mash-up in music or movies is when parts of previous productions are brought together to create something new. Often, I do not know enough of the past materials to catch this. This is also an easy-to-miss Scriptural technique. Luke references this in Jesus’ resurrection discussion on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:25-27). Jesus and Matthew’s Gospel are masters of mash-up.

Templing
Opinion

Templing

We are not a temple culture. A few churches use the word in their name, but temples are largely of a different world and time. Yet the temple is central to the Biblical story. The Bible starts and ends with temple imagery. Genesis 1:1-2:3 pictures God structuring and populating his creation temple, and then on the seventh day moving into it. God rests in his temple. Solomon’s temple reflected creation’s structure and beauty before God.

Shepherd Leadership
Opinion

Shepherd Leadership

We head into the new year with continuing political chaos in the U.S., Canada, the UK and the world. At the close of the year in the Christmas season we sang “King of kings and Lord of lords.” We heard the song of Mary expecting a revolution to “bring down rulers from their thrones” (Luke 1:52a). The season of Epiphany follows Magi, representatives of kings, coming to worship a new king, who is anointed the royal Son of God in his baptism. How does his kingship address today?