Formations 02.10.2019: First Things First

We usually associate the ten commandments with Mount Sinai. They appear for the first time in Scripture in Exodus 20, following directly after the scene in last week’s lesson where God speaks from Sinai with thunder and lighting, thick clouds, a loud trumpet blast, smoke, and an earthquake.

Formations 07.29.2018: Making Morality Manageable

It often seems impossible to do anything without causing some degree of harm—either to others or to the environment generally. Should you buy a new silk shirt? Many silkworms will die in the process.

Formations 07.22.2018: Inheriting Fruits

When Israel comes into the land, they are to tell the stories of ancestors who went down to Egypt. There, their ancestors became great, and then they were enslaved. And they will remember God, who heard their cries and led them through the wilderness into a land where they would learn freedom.

Formations 07.15.2018: WWJD? HDWK?

The church of my youth subscribed to the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message statement. In discussing the role of Scripture, this brief doctrinal summary states, “The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.”

Formations 07.08.2018: Eating in Worship

When the Bible says, “Break down their altars, smash their pillars, burn their sacred poles with fire, and hew down the idols of their gods, and thus blot out their name from their places,” what do you do (v. 3)?

Connections 01.28.2018: Who Is a Prophet?

This passage makes me roll my eyes a little. The writer, speaking for God, says that the Lord will provide a new prophet like Moses who can speak to the people on God’s behalf, thus protecting them from death. For actually hearing the Lord God, it seems, can be a deadly experience (v. 16).

Formations 10.23.2016: A Festival of Giving

Earlier this month, India celebrated its week-long festival of giving, Daan Utsav. This is a new holiday, first launched in 2009. It isn’t tied to any particular cultural or religious tradition, though an anonymous group of core volunteers manages the campaign.

Formations 02.22.2015: Firefighter/Paramedics Hampered by Skewed Training Priorities

David Givot is an attorney and a former paramedic. In a recent article, he raised the question of whether the ongoing training offered to firefighter/paramedics is suitable to the nature of the job they actually perform.

Uniform 05.25.2014: Boiling It Down

I’ve been told that the entire Christian faith boils down to two instructions: “Love God, and love people.” That sounds so simple—too simple. And I’m not the first person to think that.

Uniform 05.04.2014: Testing God

In this Easter season, the last person on our minds is Santa Claus. But as I read this week’s texts and their mandates not to put “God to the test” (Deut 6:16; Mt 4:7), I am reminded of the way children bargain with Santa when they begin to suspect that he is not real.