Holiness is a Mighty Fortress

I have a Meditation for All Hallows Eve up over at Credenda.  

Worship is Language Class

Speaking Bible does not come naturally; it is a foreign language. We have to learn to name the world Christianly, and we do this chiefly in worship. Worship is language class. … But we do not learn foreign languages by listening to someone talk about the language. Teaching is essential, but so is drill, repetition,…

Our Formidable Unity

For Reformation Day and All Saints: We are all rightly distressed, and ashamed also, at the divisions of Christendom. But those who have always lived within the Christian fold may be too easily dispirited by them. They are bad, but such people do not know what it looks like from without. Seen from there, what…

Sanctified I-Don’t-Care-Ness

There is a fresh, sanctified I-don’t-care-ness that accompanies belief in the gospel. Whether you like me or not doesn’t matter, because my worth and my dignity and my identity are anchored in God’s approval. Christ won all of the approval and acceptance I need. ——- The pressure’s off. Jesus measured up so I wouldn’t have…

Seeing, Dying, Proclaiming

1 Jn. 1:2 has a neat little chiasm: Life manifested We have seen We have witnessed We have proclaimed Life (eternal with the Father) manifested   The center of the verse is the word “witnessed” or “martyred.” This suggests a progression: first there is seeing, then there is dying, then there is proclaiming. Jesus has…

Nothing Hidden

In Mark’s gospel the word “revealed” (phaneros/phanerao) tells a fascinating story. Initially, after cleansing a leper, Jesus is unable to “openly” enter the city because the leper has proclaimed (lit. preached) the fact of his healing (1:45). Again, Jesus strictly warns the demons not to make Him known (3:12), but later, immediately following the parable…

Peace He Will Make for Me

Is. 27:5 literally says: “or let him grasp or cling to my strength; let him make peace for me; peace he will make for me.” This seems to be the climax of Yahweh’s song of love to Israel, His vineyard, His bride. The song climaxes with this insistence, this burning desire for peace, repeated for…

Thaddeus Grant

“And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.” (Is. 27:12) Isaiah describes a particular scene, a particular day of judgment and deliverance for Israel, but…

But You Should Have

“For it is a people of no understanding; therefore He who made them will not have mercy on them, and He who formed them will show them no favor.” (Is. 27:11) Here, like many other places in Scripture God holds people to a standard of understanding, a standard of knowledge. Children love the excuse, “but…

Worship is History Class

Hearing the stories of God’s works as they are read from Scripture, listening to the preaching of the Word, singing about Yahweh’s heroics against Philistine and Canaanite, reciting the creeds, and commemorating Christ’s victory on the cross at the Lord’s table, we, the new Israel, are renewed in the story of God. In worship, the…