Showing posts from May, 2015

Academy of Parish Clergy Books of the Year for 2014 (Part 1)

I recently returned from the Academy of Parish Clergy's annual conference which met this year at the beautiful Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown, Maryland. The Academy of Parish Clergy is a small but growing collection of pastors, chaplains, and pastoral care givers of all stripes who seek growth towards greater excellence ministry. APC members value honest and affirming dialogue, collegiality and continued enhancement of pastoral skills and competency, all directed towards identifying and addressing the spiritual needs and welfare of their communities. You can find more information at the Academy's website: I joined the organization little over three years ago, and this year found myself as the chairperson for the APC's Parish Ministry Books of the Year selection committee. The Academy selects a list of the top ten books we consider to be of great value to women and men engaged in pastoral ministry, and if read, we believe will provide tangible

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: Malachi 2:17–3:3

Malachi 2.17–3.3 [17] You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?” [3.1] “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. [2] But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. [3] He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness. ========================== COMMENTARY: In finishing up chapter two, Calvin fixates on the logic at work in the imagined responses on the part of the Jewish leadership to the criticisms made by Malachi. They claim that either

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

…or, Something to keep you busy over the weekend… …or, The Past Fortnight in the Theoblogosphere. Fornight?!?!?! Who comes up with this stuff? *nervous cough Well, gentle readers, I’m deeply chagrinned to say that it has been over two months since the last link post . I know. I know. You don’t have to tell me. I’m as shocked as you are! But there we are. And here we are, back with another set of links for you to savor; another opportunity for you to sift the flood waters of the theo-blogosphere. But before we get to the links, I have a couple announcements. First, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that my book - The Sign of the Gospel: Toward an Evangelical Doctrine of Infant Baptism after Karl Barth - has now been reviewed on the Center for Barth studies website . So you’ll want to check that out. [*wink, wink; nudge, nudge] Second, I’d like to highlight a new program that I learned about recently. “The Davenant Latin Institute aims to equip today’s semi

Dying in the Midst of Prayer

She died as I was praying for her. Three days earlier, she cried as I prayed for her. But today she died. The patient was a 65-year-old woman — one year older than my mother and father. She had been sick for quite a while, but no one expected her to die, at least not now, not here, not in the hospital. She had been on the general medicine floor for little less than a week. She came in confused, and never did shake the sense that she wasn't supposed to be there. She told me repeatedly in my visits with her that all she wanted was “to go home,” that her daughter “means well, but by forcing me to be here she is hurting me. I want to go home.” Sometimes when I would pop by to say hello she would be on the phone, tears flying down in agony, “I want to go home.” Three days before she died I met her. I held her hand and I listened to her story. She told me about her family, how she loved them but that she was puzzled as to why they were forcing her to be in the hospital. This was her

Christology and Creation: A Concluding Thought from Osborn

Well, gentle readers, here we are. I’ve enjoyed sharing with you some of the bits of Osborn’s book that most interested me and sparked my mind while I read it. I hope that you’ll take the time to read through it for yourself. But all good things must come to an end. So now I want to let you all in on what I think is perhaps the most damning criticism that Osborn makes of “literalist” ways of thinking about creation. That criticism is this: there is “nothing intrinsically christological” in such a doctrine of creation. Ready to hear more? I hope so. As always, bold is mine and italics are in the original. Ronald E. Osborn, Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014). One striking implication of biblical literalism is that Genesis tells us everything we need to know about God’s way of creating without any reference whatsoever to the Christ of the New Testament. God’s stupendous might, God’s total control, God

New Center for Barth Studies Book Reviews

I haven’t done one of these posts for a while, but I wanted to call your attention – gentle readers – to some new book reviews that the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary have recently published. These should make for pretty good weekend reading, so be sure to check them out. Paul L. Metzger reviews Jessica DeCou, Playful, Glad, and Free: Karl Barth and a Theology of Popular Culture . R. David Nelson reviews W. Travis McMaken, The Sign of the Gospel: Toward an Evangelical Doctrine of Infant Baptism after Karl Barth . Ben Rhodes reviews Michael R. Allen, Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics: An Introduction and Reader . Davd B. Ward reviews Angela Dienhart Hancock, Karl Barth's Emergency Homilietic: 1932-1933 A Summons to Prophetic Witness . Enjoy! ================================== Follow @WTravisMcMaken