Reading Matthew: Make disciples

Beginnings and endings of books can help us grasp and remember what the books mean. Recently I finished reading through Exodus and left some thoughts on what that book means in light of its ending. I have also just finished reading through the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew begins with a genealogy that grounds the meaningContinue reading “Reading Matthew: Make disciples”

Reading Exodus: Holiness means obedience

‎When you’re reading a text, some parts carry more weight than others. Even if every word matters, some words shape how you understand other words. If we’re reading well, and trusting the text, we could say that every word affects how you understand every other word. But in practice some words—some parts of the text—affectContinue reading “Reading Exodus: Holiness means obedience”

Claiming innocence (Psalm 69)

Really, Psalmist? Again? More tears, more moaning, more self-pity? More in number than the hairs of your head? So you have counted them? Either the hairs or the enemies? Good lord, if you had a violin in addition to that harp somebody in your own house would have to shoot you. Are you sure aboutContinue reading “Claiming innocence (Psalm 69)”

All day long (Romans 10:21)

“ALL DAY LONG I HAVE HELD OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.” —Romans 10:21, citing Isaiah 65:2 How to feel about the recalcitrant? (Here is just another lesson in the long course in imitatio Dei that is the Christian life.) They just don’t get it. Are they incapable of understanding? Do theyContinue reading “All day long (Romans 10:21)”

The choice we make (Psalm 1)

Psalm 1 is about two kinds of people: wicked and righteous. The point is not polarization (setting up an Us versus a Them, two fixed and opposed groups) but moral choice: the whole point is that we can, we inevitably do, decide which type to be, and we are being urged to be one wayContinue reading “The choice we make (Psalm 1)”

Living between divine love and human iniquity (Psalm 36)

Abiding in God’s love does not make us pious dopes who think (or pretend) that everything is always wonderful. It enables us to see evil clearly, call it what it is, and understand that in the end it is powerless before the power of Love.

Psalm 119:17–24 (Gimel)

What is my relationship with Scripture? How do I experience it? How do I describe it? What is it to me? In certain stages of my formation there were voices that emphasized words like “inerrancy.” In truth, though, despite my formation in evangelical circles, these were never the voices of my own teachers. To beContinue reading “Psalm 119:17–24 (Gimel)”

You thought that I was one just like yourself (Psalm 50)

Psalm 50 opens with an announcement of coming of God to call the people of the covenant to account. On the day of judgment God shines forth and “does not keep silent” but speaks forth. The reader of this psalm should remember the nonsilence of the heavenly Judge with some trepidation on arrival at verseContinue reading “You thought that I was one just like yourself (Psalm 50)”