Lectionary Reflection for Trinity Sunday

This excerpt comes from Psalms for All Seasons, commenting on Psalm 29:

Psalm 29 is a meditation on the splendor of God’s voice as it speaks through creation and elicits the response of God’s people gathered for worship.

The final verses offer an assurance that God sits enthroned as King forever and will strengthen and bless the congregation of the faithful, emphasizing that the one who strengthens and blesses is none other than the one whose power is seen in creation.

 

A prayer for reflection:

Lord God Almighty,
by the power of your Spirit we can sing “Glory!” with the angels
and praise you with all of creation.
Holy God, receive the worship of those for whom you sent your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

©2012 Faith Alive Christian Resources. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Brian Walsh Interviews Bruce Cockburn – Parts 5 & 6

Last month Brazos author Brian Walsh interviewed Bruce Cockburn at the 2012 Festival of Faith & Writingg at Calvin College.

Brian is the author of Kicking at the Darkness: Bruce Cockburn and the Christian Imagination.

We have been posting the videos of the interview here on the blog.

Check out Part One, Part Two, and Parts Three & Four.

Here are parts 5 and 6:

The Weekly Hit List: May 25, 2012

Publishers Weekly interviewed Gary L. Colledge, author of God and Charles Dickens.

“Charles Dickens, the iconic 19th-century English author who penned such classics as A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, filled his works with Christian references in a bid to encourage authentic devotion to Jesus Christ. But scholars and critics have ignored or downplayed this aspect of Dickens to such a degree that readers now commonly miss it. 

“That interpretation of Dickens’ legacy has driven Gary L. Colledge, an Ohio pastor and Moody Bible Institute instructor, to write God and Charles Dickens: Recovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author (Brazos Press, June).

“The book popularizes insights gleaned from Colledge’s graduate work on Dickens at St. Andrew’s University. Writing in accessible prose, Colledge quotes extensively from Dickens’ fiction and a bit from his journalism in order ‘to let him speak so that we might hear Dickens the Christian.’”

Read more at “Charles Dickens, Christian Writer: PW Talks With Gary Colledge.”

 

Quick Hits

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf was reviewed on A. T. Ross’s blog.

Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen was reviewed on Keith Clark’s Exploring Apprenticeship blog.

Lectionary Reflection for the Day of Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Psalms for All Seasons, commenting on Psalm 104:

Psalm 104, a psalm of praise, focuses on God’s creative work. Complementing descriptions of creation in Gen. 1 and Job 38-39, this text stresses God’s ongoing involvement with creation.

It is especially noteworthy for its luminous description of God “wrapped in light as with a garment” (v. 2), for stressing God’s ongoing involvement with creation as one who “grows grass for cattle” (v. 14) and “brings forth wine to gladden the human heart” (v. 15), for renewing creation by the breath of the spirit (v. 30), and for taking delight in all of creation (v. 31).

Like Ps. 103, it begins and ends by calling the self to praise.

 

A prayer for reflection:

God who spoke creation into being,
astonishing the angels with galaxies and sunsets,
all your creatures proclaim your majestic power and playful wisdom.
Send forth your renewing Spirit, that we might discover your purpose for us
and live for your glory and delight. Amen.

 

©2012 Faith Alive Christian Resources. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Brian Walsh Interviews Bruce Cockburn – Parts 3 & 4

Last month Brazos author Brian Walsh interviewed Bruce Cockburn at the 2012 Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin College.

Brian is the author of Kicking at the Darkness: Bruce Cockburn and the Christian Imagination.

We have been posting the videos of the interview here on the blog.

Check out Part One and Part Two of the interview.

Here are parts 3 and 4:

 

Summer Reading Giveaway

Summer is here!

To celebrate we are giving away a Brazos book package to one lucky winner.

The book package includes:

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf
Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen
The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns
God and Charles Dickens by Gary Colledge
Living Into Focus by Arthur Boers

You can enter on Facebook, Twitter, or on our blog page.

*If you have a Twitter account, you can earn extra entries for the giveaway for each person that enters through a tweet on your account. Check it out here.

The giveaway runs until May 31st. The winner will be accounced on The Brazos Blog June 1st.

Between the Lines: A Conversation with Gary Colledge – Part 5

We recently got the chance to talk with Gary L. Colledge about his new Brazos book God and Charles Dickens: Recovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author.

Gary teaches at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, and is the author of Dickens, Christianity, and “The Life of Our Lord”.

In Part 1, we asked Gary about the type of book he intended God and Charles Dickens to be.

In Part 2, Gary responded to the lack of attention given to Charles Dickens’s Christian faith.

In Part 3, we asked Gary where in Dickens’s writing his Christian worldview is most clear.

In Part 4, Gary discussed what Dickens’s example might offer to contemporary writers attempting to integrate their faith into their writing.

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2012 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. Why do you think that he has continued to be so widely read after all this time? What does the Christian voice behind his writing have to say to the Church today?

Back in college, years ago, I sat under Dr. Allen McKenzie, an English professor who regularly reminded us that good literature is “eternally contemporary.” I think Dickens’s work is an example of good literature that is eternally contemporary. Dickens had extraordinary powers of observation and understood the frailties and the majesty of the human condition. And he recognized that the problems and solutions, the joys and the sorrows, the hopes and the fears of the nineteenth century were really rooted in our common humanity. Add this discernment and power of observation to his ability to craft a story and wield language, and we can see why Dickens appeals to readers today: his work continues to speak to the human condition with keen insight and wisdom.

It should not surprise us, then, when Dickens brings this same awareness and acuity to his observations concerning the Church. A working subtitle for God and Charles Dickens was “What Dickens Has to Say to the Church,” so in all but two chapters I’ve included sections on what Dickens might have to say to the Church. Nonetheless, I suppose I could sum up Dickens’s word to the Church under three heads:

1. Let the Word of God speak, and stay out of its way.

Dickens wrote an essay called “Two Views of a Cheap Theatre” in which he offers some advice to preachers. And he basically tells them to quit telling their own stories and giving their own opinions. Just read God’s words and let those words speak. And in almost everything else that Dickens writes about the clergy and the professional ministers of the Church, he says much the same thing.

2. Think carefully about what the Church is to be and do.

Dickens felt the Church in his day had gotten caught up its own ecclesial concerns and its doctrinal minutiae. And in doing so it lost sight of its mission: to be a community of disciples who recognize the needs of the broken and hurting world around them and seek to meet those needs. These disciples were men and women who took Jesus and his teaching seriously, who gave themselves away in service and spent their lives on others.

3. Let Jesus be Jesus on his terms, not yours.

At the risk of sounding redundant, I think Dickens’s most penetrating observation in this regard is his word to Cerjat that I quoted above: “The Church that is to have its part in the coming time must be a more Christian one, with less arbitrary pretensions and a stronger hold upon the mantle of our Saviour, as He walked and talked upon this earth.”

Dickens would tell us that we’ve created Jesus in our own image and that until we make that right, the Church will be headed in the wrong direction.

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For more information on Gary Colledge’s book, God and Charles Dickens, click here.

The Weekly Hit List: May 18, 2012

The Huffington Post featured a video interview with Miroslav Volf (author of A Public Faith). The video can be viewed here.

 

“In this electoral year tensions are particularly high. Polarities are strong. Many people think that the future of our country, indeed the future of what America is all about, is at stake. When both the stakes and the tensions are high, civility suffers. Desperate to win, we demean and dehumanize our opponents. … Honoring everyone contains the promise of possibility.”
Miroslav Volf

 

Quick Hits

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was reviewed on Forbes.com

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was reviewed on Andy Morgan’s blog.

Psalms for All Seasons was reviewed on Ben Myers’ Faith and Theology  blog.

 

Luke Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to Jeff Borden, Mark Lentz, Anna Manelle P. Manuel, Christopher Layton,  and Doug Iverson. They have each won a copy of David Lyle Jeffrey’s Luke (the latest volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary series) on The Brazos Blog.

Keep checking back for our next giveaway.

Lectionary Reflection for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

This excerpt comes from Psalms for All Seasons, commenting on Psalm 1:

Psalm 1 describes and contrasts two pathways: righteousness and wickedness. Such imagery recurs throughout the psalms and other parts of the Bible (e.g., Jer. 17:5-8).

Like Pss. 19 and 119, it celebrates the significance of God’s law as a source of wisdom and blessing. Early church theologian Jerome called this “the main entrance to the mansion of the Psalter.”

Much of what follows in the Psalter either expresses or appeals to its message.

 

A prayer for reflection:

Lord our God, giver of blessing and judgment, your Son Jesus lived the only true life.
Because of him, we can know you, love you, and delight in you.
Keep us watered by your grace and rooted in your Spirit
so that our ears will hear your voice and our feet will follow your path,
giving glory to you alone. Amen.

 

©2012 Faith Alive Christian Resources. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Brian Walsh Interviews Bruce Cockburn – Part 2

Last month Brazos author Brian Walsh interviewed Bruce Cockburn at the 2012 Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin College.

Brian is the author of Kicking at the Darkness: Bruce Cockburn and the Christian Imagination.

We posted the first part of that interview a couple of weeks ago.

To check it out, click here.

This is part 2 of the interview: