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Passion Play

At his ascension, Jesus told the eleven disciples that they would receive the Spirit to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. But for some time after Jesus’s ascension, and even after Pentecost, they stayed in Jerusalem.They were finally forced . . . . Continue Reading »

Themes for Surviving “Ordinary Time”

I’m fortunate to hear good preaching on a regular basis. But even the best Catholic preaching these days leans far more toward moral exhortation than biblical exposition. This strikes me as a missed opportunity. For if one of the tasks of preaching today is to help the people of the Church . . . . Continue Reading »

The Sweet Torture of Sunday Morning

On Easter Sunday afternoon, the Reverend Gardner Calvin Taylor, age ninety-six, slipped away from this world to a better one, for “a taller town than Rome and an older place than Eden,” as he was wont to refer to heaven. His passing marks the end of an era in the history of the American pulpit. Often called the “dean of black preachers,” in reality Taylor transcended racial, social, and denominational categories. At his death, tributes poured in from all across the spectrum—from President Obama to conservative Southern Baptists. What made Gardner Taylor so great? Continue Reading »

Spurgeon at Year's End

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a cigar-smoking Baptist pastor in Victorian London whose influence, even in his own lifetime, extended far beyond the bounds of his own nation and denomination. Known as “the boy wonder of the fens” for his notable preaching in the villages of Cambridgeshire, Spurgeon took London by storm when he was only nineteen years of age. Continue Reading »

Free Digital Church Year Calendar

Did you know that there is a free digital calendar for the Christian Church Year, along with the secular calendar, available here? There are a variety of formats: Microsoft Outlook, Entourage, iCal and Google Calendar. Courtesy of Concordia Publishing House. It includes every Sunday in the Church . . . . Continue Reading »

Advice for Aspiring Preachers

My son, John, has expressed an interest in becoming a pastor and the other day, after he heard me preach, he asked, “Dad, do you get nervous and scared when you have to preach?” It was an interesting question. I thought for a moment and said, “No, John, honestly, I don’t get . . . . Continue Reading »

What happened to the old sins?

Really — where did they go?It used to be wrong to gamble.  It violated the Christian work ethic.It used to be that a church would not accept gambling winnings as an offering.  I wonder how many wink at it today.Heavy alcohol consumption is not blogged about.  I wonder if it is . . . . Continue Reading »

Non-Preacher Preaching Here . . .

When you are a Christian academic with a doctorate, many people assume that you are a seminarian and thus ask you to preach.  During the past couple of years, I have been called upon to do it a few times and have always accepted because it just seems like the thing one should do.Today, I had . . . . Continue Reading »

An Evangelical Without the Gospel?

The circus that is Haggard (Ted, not Merle) launched a new act this week —- he’s starting a new church at his home in Colorado.  Just three years since the former megachurch pastor scandalized himself with a male prostitute, he is now ready to “to do something in [their] house . . . . Continue Reading »

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