Five Lectures on the Book of Job: Midwest Preachers’ Retreat (2014)

May 28, 2015

In September 2014, I was honored to present some material on the book of Job to a group of dedicated and devout servants in the church at the Midwest Preachers’ Retreat in Wisconsin.  Here are the audio links to those presentations. 1.  The Text of Job as Dramatic Lament: The Dialogical Structure of the Book […]


Psalm 44: Communal Disappointment with God

March 4, 2015

Israel had recently experienced defeat. Though perhaps an exilic context, it probably reflects a military defeat in the pre-exilic period (e.g., the invasion of Zerah the Cushite during the reign of righteous Asa in 2 Chron 14:9-10, the invasion of the Moabites during the reign of righteous Jehoshaphat in 2 Chron 20:1, or some other […]


Psalm 88

February 15, 2015

Perhaps originally an individual lament by Heman, the Psalm became part of the repertoire of Israel’s communal worship at the temple. The faithful community sang and prayed these words. These words were not hidden in a corner, but heralded in the temple courts as the congregation of Israel worshiped God. Though they may have begun […]


Lament Prayer

January 20, 2015

God, take your hands out of your pockets and do something! Psalm 74:11a A Lament Prayer. http://t.co/NpomTUK0HC


Job 12-14 — “You’re Kidding, Right?”

September 15, 2014

Perhaps a good word to describe Job’s reaction is….incredulous. Did Zophar just say what he did? “Did I hear him right?” Job might have thought. Job cannot convince his own friends that the tables have been turned on him. While once he “called upon God and he answered” and “though righteous and blameless [integrity],” now […]


On Reading Lamentations

September 3, 2014

There is always reason to weep. We don’t have to look too far into our world—whether through social media, television, or newsprint—to find reason to weep. Yet, too often we—especially the church—ignore, hide our eyes, or look past the pain in order to escape into fantasy, denial, or hope. We rarely sit in our grief […]


Two Chapel Speeches on Lament

April 28, 2014

Below are links to two chapel speeches this year—my only chapel speeches this academic year. The first was delivered to the whole Lipscomb student body after the loss of Isaac Philips who was found dead in his dorm room in late September 2013. You may view the chapel speech at this link. The second was […]


Yet Will I Trust Him: Trusting God in the Storms of Life

April 19, 2014

The College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon, TN, invited me to teach a class on “Yet Will I Trust Him: Trusting God in the Storms of Life” throughout January and February 2014.  It was a good experience for me, though whether it was for everyone else is something I cannot judge. I am grateful […]


Joel 1:15-20 — Even Creation Groans

April 8, 2014

After opening with a call for lamentation, the text presents two laments (1:15-18 and 1:19-20). The first laments the day, and the second cries out to Yahweh. The first weeps over the  devastation of the land and the suffering of the livestock. In the second both the people and the animals cry out to God […]


Joel 1:1-14 — A Call for Lamentation

April 4, 2014

Whether Joel calls for lament in a specific historical situation or provides a liturgical frame for communal lament (or both!), the opening calls the people of God to cry out to God as they weep and wail in their despair. There are times to lament, and the people of God need the regular rhythms of […]