simply, Christian

review: Upside-Down Spirituality by Chad Bird

the 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life

Earthy spirituality. Grace-drenched. Christ-focused.

If I had to sum up Chad Bird's new book, Upside-Down Spirituality, those would be the words that first came to mind. This book is a candid critique of how many contemporary, American Christians define success--a critique that turns these ideas of success on their heads in . . .

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April 13, 2019

reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

How are New Year's resolutions going? After 90 days, are they already broken and forgotten? Probably so. How about your Lenten resolutions? We're just a month into Lent, so there may be a better chance these are still fresh on your mind...but if you're like me, you've already stopped and re-started them a few times already.

. . .

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Posted in: lentreflections

April 07, 2019

reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

The feeding of the five thousand is one of the most well-known miracles of Jesus' earthly ministry. It is one of the very few things mentioned in all four Gospels (hint, hint...that means it's a very big deal). It is one of the stories we learn as young children in Sunday School. It is one of those aspects of the Bible that even most . . .

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Posted in: lentreflections

March 31, 2019

Grace, Kindness, and God's Word Translation

a reappraisal in light of Philip Melanchthon

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Recently I wrote on the topic of justification and the choice of the translators of God's Word Translation to translate the Greek word dikaioo as 'approval' instead of the traditional 'justify.' As mentioned there, years ago when I first did an in-depth review of the translation I was put off by choice of . . .

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Posted in: theology

March 28, 2019

reflection for the Third Sunday in Lent

"I Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit [and] born of the Virgin Mary." We confessed that truth two Sundays ago as part of the Apostles' Creed. As soon as the birth of Jesus happened in history over 2,000 years ago, the Devil and his demons have been on the attack. Satan tried . . .

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Posted in: lentreflections

March 25, 2019

unprofitable, dangerous, vain, and doubting...

thoughts on prayer, social media, and the news cycle

Today's prayer of the day in the prayer book For All the Saints comes from Samuel Johnson, an 18th century Anglican. I find it especially fitting for Lent, in general, and the perpetual chatter of today's news and social media, in particular:

O Lord, my Maker and Protector...while it shall please Thee to continue me in . . .

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March 18, 2019

reflection for the Second Sunday in Lent

Let me start today by listing a few folks to get you thinking about Lent--Hulk Hogan, The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Jesse Ventura, Ric Flair, and "The Hustler" Rip Rogers. No doubt you've heard of all these guys who were all professional wrestlers. OK, maybe you haven't heard of the last one, but he's a . . .

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Posted in: lentreflections

March 17, 2019