New Testament Hymns

February 5, 2012

The early church, even as its Scripture was being written, expaned the Hebrew Psalter to include their own faith-hymns. Some (like Luke’s Canticles) are squarely rooted in the Hebrew traditions though with a Christological application and others reflect the new situation of the people of God in the church as the story of Israel is […]


When We Assemble (3)…God Loves Us

October 13, 2010

When we assemble,  God loves us. I sense an immediate danger in that statement. It could potentially mean that God loves us only when we assemble or that God loves us because we assemble. I mean neither. Rather, I mean that when we assemble, God is actively engaged with us during the assembly by loving on […]


When We Assemble (2)….We Love God

October 12, 2010

When we assemble, we love God. Or, more to the point I want to make, when we assemble, we love on God.  There are many ways to make this point. We could look at the Psalms where we have example after example of expressed love for God through prayer, praise and assembly. For example, Psalm […]


When We Assemble (1)…We Love Each Other

October 11, 2010

I am increasingly convinced that all theological and ethical thought must be organically rooted–not simply tangentially connected–and illuminated by what Scot McKnight calls the “Jesus Creed,” that is, the first and second greatest commandments: Love God and love your neighbor. As a step in that direction, I offer three blogs on the nature and purpose […]


Which Calendar Orients Your Life?

February 10, 2010

We all live with multiple and varied calendars. My work life is regulated by an academic calendar—a schedule of convocations, breaks, exams and class schedules. My national life is regulated by a federal calendar that has declared certain days as “holidays”: Martin Luther King’s birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, […]


All Saints Day

October 30, 2009

When the Byzantine Emperor Leo V (866-911) wanted to dedicate a church to his recently deceased and godly wife, the Patriarch denied this requested.  Consequently, he dedicated it to “all saints” which, he assumed, would include his wife. Thus was born the Eastern festival celebration of “all saints” on the first Sunday after Pentecost. In […]


Before Praying….

December 17, 2008

Last Wednesday evening I was reminded by Terry Smith of a wonderful summary of worship from William Temple, Archbishop of Cantebury (1942-1944). It was Temple’s vision of how liturgical community can help spiritually form a person. Terry first heard it from E. H. Ijams who, at the time, was an elder at the Highland Church […]


“It Ain’t That Complicated” — Applied Theological Hermeneutics II

August 6, 2008

In this post I will consider the use of 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 among Churches of Christ as a legal prescription or pattern for weekly giving as an act of worship in the Sunday assembly. My purpose is to illustrate the use of the CEI hermeneutic to establish biblical authority. In my next few posts I will […]


Madisonville, Kentucky Seminars

June 19, 2008

In 1996, 1998, and 2000 I conducted one day, Saturday, seminars for the Pennyrile Church of Christ in Madisonville, KY to which area ministers and members were invited to spend a day discussing “current” theological questions.  My friend Norris DeBerry was the minister for the church at the time. Those were encouraging, helpful discussions, I […]


Assembly, Presence and Comfort for the Grieving (Theological Hermeneutics Applied)

June 17, 2008

When I think of the dramatic story of Scripture in terms of divine presence (as I did in my previous post on theological hermeneutics), my mind always turns toward the absence of those whom I have loved and lost. This may seem a strange twist, but it is a natural flow for me because divine presence […]