Matthew & Luke: A Tale of Two Christmases

In most nativity sets, we blend the various Christmas stories together in one big, happy créche–shepherds, angels, wise men, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, manger, and the rest. And rightly so. Each character adds a different flavor to the rich celebration of the coming of the Christ Child. Even the extras that crowd the scene likeContinue reading “Matthew & Luke: A Tale of Two Christmases”

Where to Turn in a World of Competing Narratives

I was reading Psalm 73 this morning, and Asaph reminded me of Reason #372 why it is so important to be in church on Sunday mornings. He begins his Psalm bewildered by the conflict of what he believes to be true in his heart and what seems to be true in the culture: Truly GodContinue reading “Where to Turn in a World of Competing Narratives”

A Baptist Catechism for Kids

When I was growing up, there was this infomercial for a countertop appliance called the Showtime Rotisserie. I can remember the salesman showing the product’s many practical uses, and after putting a whole turkey or chicken or a salmon or a pineapple or whatever inside, he and the audience would repeat the catchphrase together: “Now…setContinue reading “A Baptist Catechism for Kids”

Biblical Narrative Is Ambiguous (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

This might make your toes curl up inside your shoes, but the narratives of the Bible are ambiguous. Just to be clear, I am not saying that the Bible is false, untrue, misleading, or culturally confined. But its stories are ambiguous. Perhaps you remember being introduced to literary tools in your high school English class–simile,Continue reading “Biblical Narrative Is Ambiguous (and Why That’s a Good Thing)”

2.7 — John G. Paton and Steeled Conviction & Courage

In the mid 1850s, a call went out to the ministers of the Scottish Reformed Presbyterian Church for a new missionary to be sent to a chain of islands off the coast of Australia. John Inglis pleaded for another to be sent to help him, claiming that on his island alone “3,500 savages [had thrown]Continue reading “2.7 — John G. Paton and Steeled Conviction & Courage”

John G. Paton and the Death of a Young Boy

One of the great things about studying missionaries from the past is the treasury of public domain books to be had free online either at Archive.org or Google Books written by those very missionaries. Recently while reading John G. Paton’s autobiography, I was struck by an account from his years as an inner city missionaryContinue reading “John G. Paton and the Death of a Young Boy”

What If I Miss the Rapture?

So, I did a bad thing this past week. I googled “what if I miss the rapture?” For those who are not familiar with what I’m talking about, “the rapture” is a central piece of a dispensational reading of Revelation. The idea goes that when Jesus returns, he will come back secretly first and takeContinue reading “What If I Miss the Rapture?”