Books That Compel Us to Return

book1

There are books that you read and, when finished, place back on the shelf to never again pick up.

There are books you read, find great enjoyment in them, and maybe have even sensed the words of impact upon the pages. Even as they sit upon the shelf, a glimpse at their spine reminds you of the lasting significance of those words.

Then there are books that you read, possibly shedding a tear or closing your eyes to soak in the content, sensing the voice of God himself ringing through the pages, but even more……you know you will, you must, dust off these works, returning to them again and again to feed upon the treasure at hand. To not do so would be considered a personal tragedy of the gravest kind.

One such book for me is Thomas Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion. It has had such an impact on my life for 12 years now, so much so that I listed it as one of the top 10 books that has impacted my life. I shall never be able to rid myself of this little work. Continue reading

Pentecostal & Charismatic Contributions: Beyond What We First Imagine

pentecost-1024x492

With a group of Christians hovering around the 600 million mark worldwide, one would expect such a collective to have a substantial impact across a host of areas. That is the resounding reality within the Pentecostal and Charismatic branch of the church. Yet, while many might begin by looking at this group’s unique perspective on the Holy Spirit and his gifts or their efforts in mass evangelism, and such factors should be noted as major contributions, there are a few other areas that might not be on one’s radar.

I want to bring up three positive, maybe unconsidered, offerings that Pentecostalism and Charismatic churches have brought to the table. I’ll do so in a more “academic” way – as this was originally a paper I submitted for a class. Nonetheless, I think you’ll catch and appreciate the significant work of this group of churches. Continue reading

When We’ve Lost Our Voice

lost voice

My boys love dinosaurs. And that’s an understatement, to say the least! I’ve actually learned more about dinosaurs from my 6-year old than I did in elementary school, probably due to the fact that there is so much more knowledge available 25-30 years on. But he has much knowledge to pass along about the Styracosaurus or Rebbachisaurus or Yangchuanosaurus! It’s truly amazing.

And my 4-year old is learning a lot, whether from story time just before bed or listening to his brother tell about the varied dinosaur creatures.

But here is what they also love – to roar and scream like dinosaurs! Of course, what else could one expect from 2 boys?! My 4-year old can scream like a T-Rex over and over and over. Ear plugs probably wouldn’t help.

While it’s cute at times, and annoying at others, the best way we’ve counteracted the constant dinosaur screams is by explaining to him the concept of losing his voice. One day, after many attempts of belting out like the beloved T-Rex, my son’s voice started to somewhat go, sounding a little raspy. That was when we took the opportunity to enlighten him.

Joshua, it’s ok to pretend to be a dinosaur at times, but if you yell too much, you’ll lose your voice. That’s why your throat is hurting. So try doing a quiet roar. You can still look scary, but you won’t lose your voice.

I was shocked that he was willing to try this – raise his hands in a T-Rex position, open his mouth, expose his teeth, and roar, yet with hardly a sound coming out of his mouth. He’s actually learning pretty well, though not always.

Well done, my Joshua. Way to listen! Continue reading

N.T. Wright Engages Critics

The Paul DebateThe man pops out books like no one else’s business. And he’s one of the few who is able to engage at both the scholarly and popular level.

As a colleague of mine recently remarked, no one can ever take up Pauline studies (or New Testament or Jesus studies, for that matter) from now on without pouring over Wright’s works. He’s done that much work and has had that much effect over the past few decades!

Well, he’s throwing another work into the masses, set to go live on October 1st of this year.

The title?

The Paul Debate: Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle.

What’s the gist of this shorter, 100-page or so work? Continue reading

Heroes Reborn

heroes-reborn-header2

I love the stories of superheroes. What boy doesn’t? Yes, I’m a boy at heart in many ways. I’m happy with that. People who can fly, move at the speed of light, morph into other forms, heal themselves, save others, defeat the enemy, and more! It’s captivated me ever since I can remember. And the same is true of my own 2 boys today. Continue reading