Take a Break from Looking Around and Look Up

lookupIt’s so easy to get discouraged. Spend too much time looking around at the world or at yourself and eventually…well, it’s a pretty bleak picture! This morning I found myself discouraged at the world and my place in it: how can all this evil that I see around me and inside me be dealt with? Where do we even start? Our culture is bitterly divided, both inside and outside the church. And even the most devout of believers still experience a division within themselves between the old and the new man, as Paul puts it. We’re in a life and death struggle!

How do we cope? How do we deal with the realities of this world?

It’s precisely when we are most discouraged or down or confused that, instead of looking anywhere else, we need to look up.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
-Colossians 3:1-2 (ESV)

Look not to the world or yourself but to Christ, seated at God’s right hand! He is our only hope, our only power, our only righteousness. There is none like him and none beside him!

Look up. Set your mind on things above. Look to Christ. I don’t know if anyone else needs this reminder, but I sure did today.

Are We Really Just Like Those Who Embraced the Gentiles?


Dr. J.R.D. Kirk says he has finally “come out” as fully accepting and affirming of non-celibate, gay and lesbian Christians within the community of the Church. Which, he himself seems to note, should really come as a surprise to no one after reading his recent posts or his scholarly work on the subject.

As it turns out, his arguments for this decision are fairly unsurprising as well.

To his credit, Kirk says that none of the verses in the Old or New Testaments go his way on this issue. They’re all fairly against same-sex erotic activity in a general way, not merely with reference to specific practices like idolatry or pederasty. So, he had to find another paradigm for making theological decisions that takes us beyond, or even formally contrary to Scripture. He did that in the paradigm of the inclusion of the Gentiles.

In inviting in the Gentiles to…

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“We all long for Eden” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolle Lege

“Certainly there was an Eden on this very unhappy earth. We all long for it, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most humane, is still soaked with the sense of ‘exile’.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Ed. Humphrey Carpenter (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), 110. Tolkien penned these words in a letter to his son, Christopher Tolkien, on January 30, 1945.

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Logos Free Book – Mikeal C. Parsons, Acts (Paideia)

Free Logos resources!

Reading Acts

TParsonshe Logos Bible Software “Free book of the Month” is Mikeal C. Parsons Acts commentary in the Paideia series from Baker. Mikeal Parsons is a top Acts scholar and the Paideia series pays close attention to the cultural and educational context from which it emerges. Parsons see Acts as a charter document explaining and legitimating Christian identity for a general audience of early Christians living in the ancient Mediterranean world

In addition to the free book, Logos is offering Charles Talbert’s Ephesians and Colossians volume in the Paideia series for only $1.99. I have always enjoyed reading Talbert’s work (especially his Reading Acts, which I still maintain I did not know about when I named this blog…)  As always, Logos is running a giveaway for the month, this time for the whole twelve volumes of the Paideia series. Head over to Logos and enter the contest as many times as you possibly…

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