1 Peter 4:7-11 — Communal Life in a Hostile World

August 29, 2015

Here is concluding counsel for a marginalized, victimized group. As exiles and aliens (1 Peter 2:11-12) within Roman society, Peter calls them to transcend their situation by living as an authentic community, which seeks only good for its surrounding culture. This section concludes the major exhortation section of 1 Peter. It opened with the vocative […]

The SCOTUS Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

July 30, 2015

My response to the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States regarding same-sex marriage has been published on the Lipscomb University College of Bible and Ministry page. Originally, it was two separate Facebook posts, but is now a single piece. You may read it here.  

1 Peter 1:22-2:3 — Identity Empowered by the Gospel

June 17, 2015

A marginalized, refugee community within a hostile culture is potentially filled with stress, suspicion, and selfishness. Communities sometimes turn on each other rather than caring for each other. Peter recognizes this possibility and addresses the need for this new community, living a new life, to grow in love for each other. As children of God […]

David Lipscomb: A Sermon at the Penitentiary (1900)

May 14, 2014

This sermon by David Lipscomb appeared in The Nashville American (February 21, 1900, p. 5). I thought it was interesting to read what Lipscomb said to those incarcerated at the “State Prison.” I thought the reference to “character” rather than status, place or position was a veiled reference to looking at the heart of a […]

3 John: When Love is Abused

December 18, 2013

This small letter is the tale of two house-church leaders, Gaius and Diotrephes. One demonstrates love for God’s family while the other seeks a preeminent place in the family. One supports those who are traveling “for the sake of the name” while the other refuses to welcome them. “The elder”—the same one who authored 1 […]

2 John: Discerning Love

December 11, 2013

“The elder” writes to the “elect lady” about “truth and love.” The brief three-verse salutation of the letter (1-3)—a feature that 1 John did not have—uses the term “truth” four times and “love” twice. This signals the theme of the letter as the two major sections in the body of the letter exhort the church […]

Malachi 1:2-5 — Lord, How Have You Loved Us?

July 3, 2012

The opening line is simple, direct and profound: “I have loved you, says Yahweh.” That should be good news, but there are times when it may be heard with a bit of skepticism or even bitterness. It is a difficult word to hear when someone has just told you in the previous breath that your […]

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, […]

Zechariah 8:1-17 – God Remembers Jerusalem

March 16, 2012

In December 518 representatives from Bethel came to Judah and asked the leaders whether they should continue their lament fasts over the fall of Jerusalem (Zechariah 7:1-3). Zechariah responded with four distinct oracles (identified by the phrase the “word of the Lord came to me/Zechariah” in7:4, 8; 8:1, 18). He first questioned their motives for […]

When We Assemble….(Small Group Resources)

October 14, 2010

This weekend I am conducting a retreat on the topic of my previous three blogs (When We Assemble…). It will involve three presentations, one on each blog topic. I am also providing resources for small group discussion of the presentations, though the first is a private meditation. These are simple and basic, but hopefully helpful. […]