Sermon Outline, First Sunday of Lent

INTRODUCTION As the history of Israel begins to wind to a close, history begins to repeat itself. After the reign of Solomon, the united kingdom divided in two, Jeroboam established a separate kingdom, Rehoboam planned an attack but refrained because of a prophet, and Shishak of Egypt plundered the . . . . Continue Reading »


Jehoash, pounding on the ground only three times, lacks the zeal to see the Lord’s wars through to their conclusion. He’s content with three victories over Aram, and is not willing to pound them until they are pulverized. He’s willing to leave the balance of power comparatively . . . . Continue Reading »

Sapiential hermeneutics

Elisha’s anger toward Jehoash seems unfair (2 Kings 13). He tells him to shoot arrows, and then pound them on the ground. How was Jehoash to know that pounding on the ground symbolized victory over Aram? Well, for one thing, Elisha told him that the arrow is the arrow of victory over Aram. . . . . Continue Reading »

Double Joash

Joash of Judah is called “Jehoash” throughout much of his reign, but his name returns to Joash at the end of the account (12:19). Jehoash contains the name of Yahweh, and means “fire of Yah,” the fire of Yah’s wrath but also Yah’s fire of cleansing. Jehoash of . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

2 Kings 13:23: But Yahweh was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now. As we say in the sermon this morning, this is a striking, an amazing statement of . . . . Continue Reading »


The church calendar is essentially a calendar of feast days, preceded by days of preparation for feasting. Advent is a time of preparation for the feast of Christmas, when we celebrate the Father’s gift of His Son; Lent is a time of preparation for the feast of Easter, when we celebrate the . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodern mathesis, 2

Kumar argues that postmodernism is characterized by a contempt for the past, and by an embrace of the “depthless present.” The result is an obsession with space: “The plane of the timeless present is the spatial. If things do not get their significance from their place in history, . . . . Continue Reading »

Reflexive modernization

Ulrich Beck suggests that the contemporary world is less post-modern than radicalized modernity, a modernity that has become self-conscious and self-reflexive. He writes: “Just as modernization dissolved the structure of feudal society in the nineteenth century and produced the industrial . . . . Continue Reading »


Though not altogether obvious in English, the names Jehoahaz and Ahaziah are variations of the same name (cf. 2 Kings 13). Jeho = iah, both references to Yahweh’s name, and the verb “ahaz” is common to both. “Ahaz” means “to seize, to lay hold,” and the . . . . Continue Reading »


Many Christians observe the last few Sundays before Lent as “pre-Lenten” Sundays. This might look slightly daft: After all, Lent is itself a period of preparation for Easter, and if we need a time of preparation for the time of preparation, perhaps we also need a pre-pre-Lent to prepare . . . . Continue Reading »