September 22, 2018

Jeff Dunn: My Best Books of 2017

My Best Books of 2017 I know that you have been waiting patiently to know what I consider the best books I read in 2017. I know that your fingers are itching to put these titles in your Amazon shopping cart and push “Checkout” so you can receive them in two days and begin to […]

Reformation 500: Some Ways We Get the Reformation Wrong

Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings by James R. Payton, Jr. IVP Academic, 2010 * * * Originally posted on Reformation Day, 2013 Dr. James R. Payton, Jr. is a professor of history at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He grew up in an evangelical home and went to a Christian college, but […]

In the Spirit, in community, with an ear well trained

Here’s another passage today from Henri Nouwen on the subject of spiritual discernment. By dipping deeply into the well of our own lives, we can discern the movement of God’s Spirit in our lives. Careful discernment remains our lifelong task. I can see no other way for discernment than a life in the Spirit, a […]

Hearing a deeper sound

I am working on a new project about spiritual discernment and one of the books I’m reading is the third book in a trilogy by Henri Nouwen, compiled and edited from original materials found in the Henri J. M. Nouwen Archives at the University of Toronto. I thought this passage from one of the introductory […]

The “Automaticities” of Faith

In his book You Are What You Love, James K. A. Smith references the work of Timothy Wilson, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, writing: At one point Wilson wagers that only about 5 percent of what we do in a given day is the outcome of conscious, deliberate choices we make, processed by that […]

The Shape of the Jesus Story and the Jesus-Shaped Life

The Shape of the Jesus Story and the Jesus-Shaped Life Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. • 1 Corinthians 11:1 • • • Michael J. Gorman calls the narrative celebrated in the Christ-hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 “Paul’s Master Story.” Less widely recognized is the evidence that this text permeates all his letters, […]

Ordinary Time Bible Study: Philippians — Friends in the Gospel (11)

Ordinary Time Bible Study Philippians: Friends in the Gospel Study Eleven: Tom Wright on Phil. 2:12-18 • • • PHILIPPIANS 2:12-18 What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from […]

Real Virtue Is “Second Nature”

Real Virtue Is “Second Nature” In a sense, then, to become virtuous is to internalize the law (and the good to which the law points) so that you follow it more or less automatically. As Aristotle put it, when you’ve acquired a moral habit, it becomes second nature. Why do we call things “second” nature? […]

“More a matter of hungering and thirsting than of knowing and believing.”

In his book, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, James K. A. Smith says that “the first, last, and most fundamental question of Christian discipleship” is  “What do you want?”. This is the most incisive, piercing question Jesus can ask of us precisely because we are what we want. Our wants and […]

Wisdom for Ordinary Time: Eugene Peterson on Abraham, the “Friend of God”

During Ordinary Time this year, I am reading and meditating on Eugene Peterson’s book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God. It captures sermons from Peterson’s twenty-nine years as a pastor in Bel Air, Maryland. Occasionally during this season I am posting some reflections on the […]