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 […]


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 […]


Revelation 6 – Divine Judgments on Empires

July 20, 2013

The Lamb, having taken the book of prophetic judgment from the hand of God, now begins to open it by breaking the seals. Systematically, the Lamb breaks one seal after another–six in Revelation 6. As each seal is opened John hears and sees a variety of images that evidence divine judgment or are related in […]


Alexander Campbell, Gratuitous Evil and Meticulous Providence

June 11, 2013

Yesterday I received my copy of J. Caleb Clanton’s new book entitled The Philosophy of Religion of Alexander Campbell (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2013). I had previously read the manuscript in early 2012 and am pleased to see it in print. Caleb taught philosophy at Pepperdine for several years but now teaches at Lipscomb.  I am […]


Can We Justify God?

February 17, 2013

Joshua, my son, you would have been 30 today.  I miss you, and yearn to hold you again.  One day….yes, one day.  Till then, rest peacefully. [I have republished this in honor of the anniversary of his birth on Feb. 17.] Joshua died  at the age of sixteen. I offer this chapter out of my […]


“I I should Die Before I Wake….” The Death of Children and the Story of Job

January 15, 2013

Leaven–a theological journal designed for ministers and “lay” leaders–is now available online. This is a significant resource. Various issues focus on biblical texts and theological topics. Every issue includes additional bibliographical and liturgical resources.  The most recent issue focuses on Romans 5-8. I encourage everyone to look into the various issues and use the search […]


Malachi 3:13-18 — Faithful and Unfaithful Lament

August 29, 2012

Everyone who has heard my story or has read much of what I have written knows that I encourage lament. The Psalms invite us to lament before God in the midst of our storms. Several days ago my Psalms class discussed Psalm 88–which is one of the most profound laments in the Psalms, and some […]


God and Evil: Can God Be Justified?

May 21, 2012

May 21 is a dark day in my own history. Joshua died eleven years ago today at the age of sixteen. I offer this chapter out of my ebook on The Shack and spiritual recovery in his honor. ******** Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, […]


Job 15-21 — The Second Cycle of Speeches

September 21, 2011

[Given time constraints in class–we will also cover Ecclesiastes this semester–the second (Job 15-21) and third speech (Job 22-27) cycles are only allotted one class period each.  Hopefully, at some point in the future, I will have opportunity to expand my posts on the these two cycles. But for now…this is what I have time […]


The Prologue of Job: The Structured Story

September 9, 2011

The story narrated by the Prologue is symmetrical and artistic.  It is neatly structured into two encounters between Yahweh and Satan bounded by an introductory affirmation of Job’s character and a concluding mourning with friends.  We may outline it in this manner. A. Introduction: Job’s Character (1:1-5) B.  First Encounter between Yahweh and Satan (1:6-12) […]