Epiphany: Authority in Mark’s Gospel

This past Sunday we found Jesus in the Synagogue teaching and rebuking unclean spirits. In both of these acts Mark introduces us to the authority of Jesus, a theme he will develop throughout the good news he is sharing. This authority is declared both by the people hearing Jesus teach, and the demon that is ...

Epiphany

This week we did a brief survey of the main themes we will explore during the season of Epiphany. As we focused on the Baptism of Jesus as Mark records it, we “looked forward and backward” noticing connecting points between the primary images in Mark and listening for echoes from other texts. The first image ...

Advent 1

As we begin this “new year” we adjust our posture to prepare for the coming messiah. This first week of Advent we pause to consider the hope we have in Christ Jesus. This hope is simultaneously a present reality and an anticipated future. The obvious hope we are “anticipating” is the birth of Jesus in ...

Christ the King

November 26, 2017 Reflecting on the theme for this Sunday*, I thought I’d post a little background info. to fill out our time in Ephesians 1:15-23 This text is an introductory prayer of thanksgiving for the church at Ephesus. In verses 15-19 Paul thanks God for the “relational resources” He has blessed the Ephesians with; ...

Renovation of the Church I

“How can discipleship to Jesus—in a sense recognizable from the Bible, with the spiritual transformation it brings—be the mode of operation in a thriving North American congregation?” Renovation of the Church p. 9 I believe this question, articulated by Dallas Willard, is the question for the western church in today’s North American culture. The forces ...

Apologetics

We often hear 1 Peter 3:15 quoted as a defense for, and stated expectation of, apologetics in our current context. I am writing this post today to ask all apologists everywhere to actually assume the posture and pursue the purpose described in 1 Peter 3 rather than using part of verse 15 to justify an aggressive, one-sided, ...

defining “church”

What exactly is a church? It seems to me that this would be an essential task for those of us that say we belong to, or work for, a group of people that gather in a place for the purpose of “church.” What we realize as soon as we begin to consider this question, however, ...