Chains Shall He Break: The Jewish Messiah, the Christian Church, and the Hope of Justice

The Christian tradition has a complicated relationship with justice. In some situations, Christianized systems have been terribly unjust; in other situations, Christians have led the way toward justice. Sometimes Christians have denied that societal justice should be a concern of the faithful; at other times, Christians have decried any model of Christian theology that downplays … More Chains Shall He Break: The Jewish Messiah, the Christian Church, and the Hope of Justice

Reading for the Story: An Invitation to Read Large Portions of Scripture

Have you ever started watching a movie late at night, on a whim, only to have your better reason kick in and exchange the entertainment for a better night’s sleep? Or walked into a theater five minutes late and missed the opening scenes of a film? Or watched only bits and pieces of a documentary … More Reading for the Story: An Invitation to Read Large Portions of Scripture

The Moral of the Story and the Story of the Moral

You know the moral of the story. Everyone knows the moral of the story. But do you know the story behind the moral? Every story teaches powerful lessons, whether explicitly or implicitly. We pick up on these lessons, by ethical osmosis, even if we don’t get them quite right or we wonder what exactly the … More The Moral of the Story and the Story of the Moral

The Nation and the Kingdom: Re-enchanting the Political Mind

When an idol begins dissolving in your hands, do you clench tighter, or do you let go, look up, and grasp something truly stable? American Christians are facing a watershed moment. Any presidential clout we hoped to regain in this election is slowly proving to be a mirage. Elect Hillary Clinton, and we sanction a … More The Nation and the Kingdom: Re-enchanting the Political Mind

O Church, Arise

Good morning, Christian. Today, you and I and all who are united with Christ rise from sleep to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, son of Mary and son of God. As we rise from sleep, we are reminded of two other risings — one past, and one future. We rise this morning and gather with … More O Church, Arise

Lesson and Legacy: Tell the Coming Generation (Sermon from Psalm 78:1-8)

The following is the manuscript of a sermon I preached at Fellowship Church in Louisville, Kentucky (audio here). Psalm 78:1-8 (ESV) 1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of … More Lesson and Legacy: Tell the Coming Generation (Sermon from Psalm 78:1-8)

Ode to the Church

Every seven days a rebirthed humanity, inflamed with a shared Spirit, gathers around a common table to hear the true story of the world. Church isn’t merely steeples and Sunday School classes, pulpits and pews, praise bands and bulletins. The church is a risen and rising humanity of ex-corpses and ex-slaves testifying to the Messianic … More Ode to the Church

The Enemies in the Psalms (Student Question)

Occasionally I post responses to questions I receive from my students or other readers. Here’s my answer to a question that came by email recently. Student Question: When David is lamenting his pursuers and the dangers he’s facing, are we to interpret those only as human enemies, or can we apply the idea to the workings … More The Enemies in the Psalms (Student Question)

What the OT Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible (Review)

The tree of the New Testament rises from the roots of the Old; the roots of the Old Testament break out in the tree of the New. The New Testament is nonsensical without the Old; and the Old Testament is unfulfilled and ultimately uninterpreted without the New. Therefore, I’m grateful to Jason DeRouchie of Bethlehem … More What the OT Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible (Review)

Singing in the Reign: The Psalms and the Liturgy of God’s Kingdom by Michael Barber (Review)

The Hebrew Scriptures are adorned and haunted by their crown jewel — the Psalter. The Psalms fathom the depths of evil, suffering, and betrayal, and scale the heights of devotion, deliverance, and steadfast love. Through the centuries, Jews and Christians have turned to the Psalter both as individuals and communities to lament, repent, question, declare, and … More Singing in the Reign: The Psalms and the Liturgy of God’s Kingdom by Michael Barber (Review)

The Jesus Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition (Review)

With four children ages 5-7, I care deeply about children’s Bibles. If the Bible is the sacred book we believe it is, then the selection of stories, their emphases and implications, the language and tone, the artwork — everything matters. The tagline of the popular Jesus Storybook Bible (ZonderKidz, 2009) reads: “Every story whispers his name.” In the introduction … More The Jesus Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition (Review)

The Psalter Reclaimed: Praying and Praising with the Psalms by Gordon Wenham (Review)

The Psalter Reclaimed: Praying and Praising with the Psalms (Crossway, 2013) is a collection of insightful essays by seasoned OT scholar Gordon Wenham. Wenham promotes using the Psalms in worship, reading the Psalms through canonical, messianic, and ethical lenses, and valuing the imprecatory psalms. Emphasizing a canonical approach throughout, Wenham seeks to interpret a particular psalm in light … More The Psalter Reclaimed: Praying and Praising with the Psalms by Gordon Wenham (Review)

Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King (Review)

The Bible contains a rich tapestry of interwoven themes, intricate layers, and imaginative development. Reducing its grand story to a sterile set of platitudes or a disposable heap of shallowly constructed contradictions is naïve at best. As I go deeper into the unfolding themes of Scripture, I continue to marvel at its intricacy and sophistication. … More Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King (Review)

Biblical Theology Briefing (#2)

On November 6, Zondervan will release what looks like a helpful new compare-the-approaches book on biblical theology: Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice by Edward W. Klink III and Darian R. Lockett. Klink and Lockett both teach at Biola University in Los Angeles. PUBLISHER’S DESCRIPTION Understanding Biblical Theology examines the five major schools of … More Biblical Theology Briefing (#2)