Speaking of books, all of my valuable time this past week was taken up by reading the various New Testament theologies that are out there in preparation for my fall class on the subject. I’ve decided to require Frank Thielman’s Theology of the New Testament. Thielman is very readable and interesting, and he takes a canonical (rather than a systematic) approach. The focus on the cross is wonderful, and at 800 pages the book is a veritable mine of information. Thankfully the author refuses to be dull or boring.
If you’ve never read this book (or any book on New Testament theology for that matter), I strongly urge you to do so. The New Testament is so wonderful, so full of surprises, so deep and wide and profound that you can never wrap your mind around it — and that’s just for starters! Good stuff, I tell you. It’ll be a small class (yeah!), so I’ll get to treat it more like a graduate seminar than a typical class — which means high class participation.
It is a special temptation when Sunday falls so close to July 4. Surely people should be permitted to express their seasonal enthusiasms? I don’t think so. Nationalism is not part of the deepest Christian tradition. Conventional songs of secular-style patriotism cannot contribute to the liturgy but rather depart, even radically, from its spirit and intent.
Last night I had a great talk with Jon Glass about the Lord’s Supper. How dare we settle for anything but the best in our churches! The meeting of the New Testament church was a memorable scene, radiant with brotherly love as members sat down together for a love feast that included the breaking of the bread. Christocentric, rather than preacher-centered! Alive with spiritual power! Every member making use of his or her gift for the benefit of the whole Body! And it was the Holy Spirit who was the cause of it all. The evidence for a highly participatory meeting is incontrovertible. This is what will always attract me to the writings of the New Testament — the power of the Spirit unleashed in every member!
We have added where to buy links to the sidebar. Keep in mind that these are pre-purchase links; the release date remains approximately July 20. When individual dealers will have the book in stock may vary by a number of days.
Jesus writes in the sand. Why? To show that He remains above the angry mood of the crowd. By remaining in total control of Himself, He broke the momentum of the moment. Is Jesus writing in the sand of your life? Or in your family? Or in your denomination? Yes, Jesus can even speak to a denomination if we will listen. Composure in the midst of crisis. Serenity in the midst of silliness. Let Him write, Baptists, let Him write, Methodists, let Him write!
Allow me to tell you a story, Bro. Lionel. Not long ago I heard about a congregation of mostly home-schooling families. The church was, of course, age-integrated (no Awana, no youth group, no children’s church, no VBS), elder-led (and no elder received a salary), and focused on edification during their meetings (rather than on “worship”). My kind of church exactly! One day they heard about a very traditional Baptist church across town that needed help with their Awana program on Wednesday nights. Seems they didn’t have enough adults to listen to the children recite their memory verses. Do you know what that age-integrated congregation of home-schooling families decided to do? That’s right. They said, “Well, we’re not doing anything on Wednesday nights. Why don’t we go over and help them?” And that’s exactly what they did.
“To build the kind of church Jesus envisioned in John 17 we must help our people realize that it is not about us or about our church. It’s about His kingdom, a kingdom that centers around Christ’s glorious act of self-sacrifice. If we think we can present the Gospel without surrendering and forsaking everything in us, then we have not understood the Gospel.” Source: Dave Black Online
The Jesus Paradigm: A Book that will set you on a downward path