The Opening and Closing of the Letter to Philemon

September 19, 2017

As is common in ancient letters from the first century, the letter to Philemon has an identifiable opening (vv. 1-3) and closing (at least 23-25, some say 19-25). Though brief, they are significant for several reasons. First, they introduce us to the people connected to this letter. This includes not only the letter’s primary author […]


The Narrative World of the Letter to Philemon

September 11, 2017

This brief letter contains its own narrative world. What it offers is partial, often ambiguous (to us), but nonetheless profound. I begin this series on Philemon by simply (though it is not all that simple) observing the world this letter evinces. Backstory Paul’s letter presumes a relationship with Philemon who was, presumably, the host of […]


On Reading 1 John

January 10, 2017

Though 1 John is anonymous, tradition associates it with the Apostle John or perhaps Elder John who are both connected to churches in Asia Minor in the late first century. Whatever the case (and I will call the author “John”), it is rather immaterial to the themes and meaning of the text. 1 John begins […]


Salvation: Sector 6

January 16, 2010

What is salvation? In my first post in this series I proposed the below chart as a way of answering that important question. In this post I will comment on the sixth sector (6).   Past Justification Present Sanctification Future Glorification Personal Forgiveness of Sins and Relationship with God (1) Moral (Inner and Outer)  Transformation (2) […]


Profiles in Character: A Look at Shepherding and Spiritual Leadership V

July 27, 2009

[This is a brief small group/Bible class series that parallels the sermons of Dean Barham at Woodmont Hills Family of God in Nashville, TN, for the month of July 2009. The is the final installment. Unfortunately, I offer the homily on this one to which you may listen here when it becomes available.] Leadership in Community 1 […]


Ecclesiology: Practicing the Kingdom of God (SBD 14)

June 29, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] “Church”  is not necessarily a popular word […]


Soteriology: Union with Christ (SBD 13)

June 16, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] The Father elects, redeems and saves in […]


Fearless and Free during Economic Storms IV

May 20, 2009

Note: This is the second of six small group studies that are coordinated with a sermon series by Dean Barham, the preaching minister at the Woodmont Family of God. Eventually, his sermons will be available here. The first small group study lesson is here. John Mark presented the oral lesson on this topic, “Living in Community,” Woodmont Hills […]


Creation: A Divine Piece of Work (SBD 3)

May 8, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] The divine community enjoys communion with the […]


Acts 2:42 – Practicing the Kingdom of God

March 18, 2009

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42, NASV) Borrowing from Brother Lawrence, I have been using the language of “practicing the kingdom of God” in recent years. I don’t mean that as an alternative to or a substitute for Brother […]