Lectionary Reflection for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany

This excerpt comes from Jonah (BTCB) by Phillip Cary, commenting on Jonah 3:1-5:

So far the Lord’s words to Jonah are almost the same as before (1:2). Just in case we wondered whether Jonah’s escapades had done anything to change the Lord’s intentions, we hear the same word that got the whole story going at the beginning.

Yet there is a slight difference, a clarification perhaps. Jonah is to call to Nineveh, not just call out against her. His voice is to go to these people and get into their ears rather than rising up over them to heaven. We are getting our first hint that Jonah’s message to Nineveh is not to be all destruction, despite our first impressions.

Once again the word of the Lord sets everything in motion, but this time in the mode of obedience rather than flight. The will of Jonah is, for the first time in the book, actively conforming to the word of the Lord. At least for a little while we are seeing a new Jonah, the way we expect when one is converted to God and reborn.

But we should also know—and unless we are complete fools, we Christian readers should know this from our own experience—that the reborn self still contains much of the old Adam who was to be drowned in baptism. The story of sin and redemption does not end with rebirth.


©2010 by Francesca Aran Murphy. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

The Weekly Hit List: July 26, 2013

Life Observed

A Life Observed by Devin Brown was reviewed by David Downing for the C. S. Lewis Blog.

“A welcome recent addition to the spate of Lewis biographies is Devin Brown’s A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis (Brazos, 2013). As its title suggests, Brown does not attempt an exhaustive or definitive biography, but rather an account of Lewis’s spiritual journey. . . .

“Brown offers a concise summary of Lewis’s external life, but the focus is upon what was happening in Lewis’s mind and heart.  There is the fragile childhood faith, the death of his mother, the loss of faith in his teens and its recovery in his early thirties.

As Lewis himself does in The Pilgrim’s Regress and Surprised by Joy, Brown organizes Lewis’s spiritual pilgrimage around his experiences of ‘Joy,’ those intense and fleeting experiences of nameless longing that are both an ache and an ecstasy.”

Read the rest of the review here.


Quick Hits:

Jim Wallis, author of On God’s Side, will appear on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO tonight.

Jim Wallis is touring in the United Kingdom and Ireland August 23 through September 5. Visit Lion Hudson’s web site for information on Jim’s appearances.

Phillip Cary, author of Jonah (BTCB), wrote “Gentiles in the Hands of a Genocidal God” for Christianity Today.


Ebook Specials:

Monk Habits for Everyday People by Dennis Okholm is $3.99 (75% off) through July 27.

The Weekly Hit List: July 12, 2013

Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider was reviewed by Emmanuel Octubre for Revival Magazine.

Ronald Sider asks: ‘How do we acquire the wisdom to act in politics in a way that truly reflects Christ? How do we move from a commitment to Jesus Christ and biblical authority to concentrate political decisions that lead us to support or oppose specific laws and candidates? Is there an approach, a method, a frame work that will help us do that?’

“Ronald Sider’s Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement discusses today’s pertinent political issues such as abortion, marriage, human rights and war; his book is unique because it isn’t polemical. Instead, he responds by creating a balanced methodology rooted in biblical foundations. His systematic approach raises volume to a voice that is rarely heard when discussing these difficult topics— the voice of an impartial christian.”

Read the rest of the review here.


On God’s Side Media:

“Coordinating the Kingdom and the Common Good” by Luke Bretherton for Comment magazine

“My Weirdest Interview Ever with Jim Wallis” by Christian Piatt for Red Letter Christians

Steve Brown Etc. podcast


Quick Hits:

Jonah (BTCB) by Phillip Cary was reviewed by Rev. Brent L. White.

Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey was reviewed by Jeff Borden.


Ebook Specials:

Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do by Phillip Cary is $2.99 (80% off) through July 13.