I Give Thanks: Paul on Philemon’s Faith and Love

September 27, 2017

For those familiar with Paul’s letters, it is no surprise that Paul follows his opening salutation with a thanksgiving. Like the opening itself, we should read this thanksgiving as more than formulaic. Rather, it introduces themes and concepts upon which Paul builds in the body of the letter, including his three requests or hopes. Paul’s […]


Jonah 2:6-9 – Jonah’s Prayer, Part II: Did Jonah Repent?

November 18, 2015

The first half of Jonah’s prayer (Jonah 2:2-6a) recalled Jonah’s plight in the sea—thrown into the water, engulfed in the waves, and sinking deep into Sheol—and his prayerful response, a cry for help. The second half of the prayer expresses thanksgiving for Yahweh’s deliverance (Jonah 2:6b-9). The two halves represent a typical Thanksgiving Psalm where […]


Forgiving God: From Praise to Bitterness to Comfort

December 7, 2008

To forgive God is, for many–if not most, a necessary bridge to praising him.  But it is a difficult idea to grab hold of–how does one forgive God? What does that mean? And, indeed, it sounds blasphemous….as if God has done something wrong that needs forgiveness.  And who are we to forgive God anyway? We are […]