Formations 08.20.2017: Return Blessing for Evil

I have my parents’ bibles from when they were children, and they are more or less what you would expect—King James, leather bound, once gilded, and marked with standard features of childhood bibles. A blue sticker in the front flap of my mother’s bible shows Jesus’ name written in green block letters and arranged as a fish.

Asking Good Questions in Bible Study

Asking good questions communicates at least two things to learners. First, it says they are valued, that each person has valuable contributions to the group. Second, asking good questions says that the leader wants to hear what the learners think.

Uniform 11.29.2015: Teaching God’s Word

When Paul’s missionary partners Timothy and Silas arrived in Corinth, they found him “occupied with the word” (v. 5; NRSV supplies “proclaiming,” which is not in the Greek text). What was he doing with the word with which he was occupied?

Formations 11.08.2015: “My Feet Are a Big Fabric”

The Universal Translator is a staple of the Star Trek science fiction franchise. It is a device that instantly translates speech from one language to another, allowing Captain Kirk and his crew to communicate easily.

Formations 11.01.2015: Fragile Things

Think about strong, permanent things. What are they made of? How big are they? I think of stone structures that stand for centuries. When we want to build something that lasts forever, we consider materials even stronger than stone and wood.

You Are Where You Are

In last month’s Kaleidoscope post, I listed several presuppositions for approaching our study of the Bible as if we are looking through a kaleidoscope. This month I’d like to think about the first presupposition: each one of us stands in a unique place.

Kaleidoscope

Most of us probably had at least one kaleidoscope during our childhood and so we know what one looks like and what it does. It’s a tube with a lens at one end through which someone looks, telescope-style.

Context and Community

It was the summer of 1976; I had just finished my freshman year at Mercer University. I was serving as the Associate Pastor for a small Baptist church way out in the Georgia countryside.

A Bunch of Stories

“I don’t read that article by Ronnie McBrayer,” I heard a critic say not long ago; a critic who did not know I was within earshot. “He thinks the Bible is just a bunch of stories.”

Of Scripts and Improvisation

If you have ever watched a Christopher Guest-directed film you know what a treat the experience is. Waiting for Guffman is about a small-town community theater troupe the members of which think that a Broadway producer is going to attend their production.

Get Out of the House!

Last week we had a fire in our home. Our aged heat pump flashed out, blowing smoke throughout the house, tripping alarms and setting off smoke detectors. Thankfully, it turned out to be more of a minor inconvenience than a major disaster.

Songs of Innocence: Using Popular Music to Engage and Inform Youth Sunday School

On Tuesday, as almost an afterthought to its announcement of a new iPhone, the Irish rock band U2 dropped a surprise new album, Songs of Innocence. What is quite remarkable for a band with this sustained level of popularity is the fact that three-quarters of the band members are professed Christians.

What the Bible Means to Me – Daniel Vestal

I grew up with an almost reverential respect for the Bible, not really knowing why. One didn’t put another book on top of a Bible, and one never destroyed a Bible. It was the “Holy Bible.”