Posts from November 2011

A Parable of the Spiritual Heart

By John McKinley Nov. 28, 2011 3:07 p.m. Spiritual Formation, Theology

Marc Vandenbroucke sits on the couch in his apartment. The television is flickering; two quarter pounders with cheese, a pile of fries, and a giant coke are on the coffee table, ready for gulping. The food passes by his mouth indistinguishably as a flow of salt, potatoes, meat, and sugar. Oh, the comfort of it after a hard day.

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Thinking in Circles about the Bible

By Kenneth Way Nov. 23, 2011 9:30 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Old Testament

One of the best books I have read in the last couple of years is Thinking in Circles (Yale, 2007) by Mary Douglas.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in hermeneutics, literary approaches to the Bible, or the cultural background of the Bible.  It is a non-technical read that is filled with fresh and provocative insights, and since it is only about 150 pages, one could read it in just one or two sittings. 

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Lessons on Leadership, Pt. 5: Abusing Biblical Power

By Ben Shin Nov. 17, 2011 1:36 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament

Leading people is never an easy task. It takes great skill and character to lead people effectively. It also takes time, effort, and patience to work with people and to lead them well. All of this is part of building a relationship. Unfortunately, many leaders take “shortcuts” in trying to work with people especially in the church. These leaders are not so concerned about the well-being of the common good but may be more bent towards controlling the people with biblical power sources such as the Bible. This entry will explore and potentially warn against these misuses and will respond with appropriate biblical refutations.

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'54 Chrysler

By Mick Boersma Nov. 16, 2011 2:41 p.m. Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

It was a dark and stormy night.  No, really.  Cruising down a dark two-lane country road, this sixteen year-old wasn’t paying attention.  And then it happened – the crunch of metal followed by that surreal quiet when an accident victim checks to see if all his parts are still attached.  Happily, I escaped without a bruise.  The family car, however, a 1954 Chrysler New Yorker, was out of commission.

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Worthy of Celebration?

By Dave Keehn Nov. 16, 2011 7:54 a.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership

The holidays are quickly being thrust upon us.  The day after Halloween, my local shopping malls had already erected Christmas decorations.  Thanksgiving has been pushed aside for the shopping holiday, Black Friday.  All of this has left me pondering all the other things we celebrate.

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A short story: Reluctant Inquiry

By John McKinley Nov. 15, 2011 12:25 p.m. Apologetics, Evangelism, Theology

Marc Vandenbrouke set down the book he was reading on the café table. In one hand was the cigarette that beckoned to him with smoldering nicotine. That was his life disintegrating into acrid smoke. Marc had been reading about the revered Buddha, Siddhartha, but the monk had taught him nothing about the meaning of his own life. He had also turned to Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. These had all failed him. They told him he was a nothing, a parasite in an otherwise lovely ecosystem. Marc couldn’t even explain to himself why he, a human being, was significantly different from the chair or his cigarette. His thoughts were futile, his feelings were nonsense, and his choices, as his teachers had told him, were merely illusions based in chemical reactions taking place within the fat tissues of his skull. Was knowledge truly impossible? Did no one have a way to explain existence? Ah, well, here’s a phone call to relieve him from the brief sojourn into morbidity, despair and the meaninglessness of his life.

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Zeus vs. Madonna

By Rob Price Nov. 11, 2011 7:49 p.m. Theology

Last week our son, Elijah (7) was given a drawing assignment: copy Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna of the Pomegranate (c. 1487).  Operative word here: ‘copy’.  Elijah, however, understood ‘interpret’.  And so the heavenly shafts of light illumining Mary’s head were transmogrified into something rather less spiritual. 

So, taking a cue from Sanders’s Avant-Garde category

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