Hermeneutics is Always Inferential

January 21, 2020

Below I summarize the point of Searching for the Pattern: My Journey in Interpreting the Bible.h Growing up in Churches of Christ, I embraced and practiced a hermeneutic that sought an implicit blueprint for the work and worship of the church in Acts and the Epistles. Through a filter of generic/specific distinctions, coordinate associations, the […]


Response to Dan Owen’s Article in the Gospel Advocate

January 16, 2020

In the December 2019 issue of the Gospel Advocate, Dan Owen offered a brief response, in part, to my recent book Searching for the Pattern. I thank Dan for reading the book, and I am grateful for his article as it calls attention to an important concern about how we read the Bible. I wish […]


Millennials and the Oregon Trail Generation: Suggestions for Doing and Being Church with Them

February 8, 2018

This is a guest post by Jeremy Marshall who is the Minister of the Word at Central Church of Christ in Stockton, CA. He is married to Megan. He holds a B.A. in Bible and M.A. in New Testament Studies from Freed-Hardeman University, Henderson, TN. He enjoys exploring the intersections between biblical theology and popular […]


Psalm 66

September 23, 2017

Some people enjoy hearing testimonies. Others do not. As for the latter, their reasons vary.  Some testimonies appear superficial or lack discernment. Some believe testimonies are too subjective and individualistic. Some regard testimonies as private, a matter of personal interpretation rather than public proclamation. People should keep “testimonies,” according to some, to themselves, and they […]


When Shovels Break: A Review

August 18, 2015

Several weeks ago, Michael Shank asked—by email—if I would review his new book, When Shovels Break, on my blog. Since I reviewed his first book Muscle and a Shovel, I thought it brotherly to say “Yes” to his request, just as I have responded to all his communication with me in the wake of my […]


The Power of a Biblical Story

August 6, 2015

Bible stories. Many of us have heard them since we were children. Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Noah’s Ark. Three Angels Visiting Abraham. Moses and the Burning Bush. David and Goliath. And many more! Bible stories are important. They do more than tweak the emotions or offer a moralism, as important as those dimensions are. […]


Review of Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank (Part 3)

August 22, 2014

[Michael Shank, Muscle and a Shovel: A raw, gritty, true story about finding the Truth in a world drowning in religious confusion (5th edition, 2013; Kindle version). I have cited the book with chapter number first, then the Kindle location. For example, Chapter 1, location 245 is cited as 1:245.] [My first and second blogs […]


Review of Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank (Part 2)

August 21, 2014

[Michael Shank, Muscle and a Shovel: A raw, gritty, true story about finding the Truth in a world drowning in religious confusion (5th edition, 2013; Kindle version). I have cited the book with chapter number first, then the Kindle location. For example, Chapter 1, location 245 is cited as 1:245.] [My first blog in this […]


Mark 12:28-34 — Kingdom Priorities

May 14, 2012

As Jesus teaches in the temple courts, his opponents confront him with a series of questions. Jesus had enraged the temple authorities when he cleansed the Court of the Gentiles from merchandizers. They questioned his authority, his allegiances, and his theology. These hostile questions intended to subvert his popularity and/or endanger his life. Now, however, […]


Mark 12:18-27: Who is Your God?

May 10, 2012

In this story Jesus confronts the limiting rationality of Sadducees who think it impossible that God should raise the dead. Their theology is limited by their own experience and rational argumentation. I dare say that is not too uncommon in our present moment as well. For example, it is not unusual to hear, “If God is like […]