The church is into mass production rather than fine art

I am working my way again through Simon Chan’s marvelous book, Liturgical Theology. As a Pentecostal scholar who calls us back into the deep “traditions” of the Church, I have found this book to be a refreshing read over the years. Chan doesn’t pull punches. He wants us to return to Cyprian’s goal of saying oneContinue reading “The church is into mass production rather than fine art”

Book Review — Spiritual Theology

I have been working my way through Spiritual Theology by Simon Chan. IVP sent it to me as a review copy, but I’ve been lost in this marvelous work so much, I’ve lost sight of a “quick read” for a review. Simon Chan is a Pentecostal in Singapore who makes a call for the Church to returnContinue reading “Book Review — Spiritual Theology”

Learning to chew on the Word

It’s that evil word so many evangelical/fundamentalists don’t like: meditation.  Simon Chan in his book, Spiritual Theology, reflects deeply on the need for scripture meditation. We are given too quickly to analysis in our Western mindset. We see a text and think one of two things: “I need to do a word study and historical background and culturalContinue reading “Learning to chew on the Word”

Abusing prayer

Even with our technological advances, we can still be tempted with the ancient practice of magic in our prayers. Magic is trying to manipulate natural or supernatural powers to serve our purposes. The self stands at the center of the universe, not God. Modern technologists are the successors to pagan magicians. The magical attitude existsContinue reading “Abusing prayer”

The preaching of the Word

The priority needs to be given to the public reading of Scripture. We need to systematically read the Scripture in public. The story needs to be impressed into our collective memories. “If the sermon follows some form of lectio divina (in which the whole of Scripture is read over a period of time), we are more likelyContinue reading “The preaching of the Word”

Missing theology

One of the least developed areas of theology in the evangelical church is ecclesiology. We just don’t quite know what to do about this whole concept of the Church. We know about “local church”… maybe. We are so bent on “me and Jesus” and those who theologically agree with me 100 percent… the whole ideaContinue reading “Missing theology”

Christianity — Rescued “from” and born “into?”

“The Christian story is not primarily about how God in Jesus came to rescue sinners from some impending disaster. It is about God’s work of initiating us into a fellowship and making us true conversational partners with the Father and the Son through the Spirit and, hence, with each other (1 John 1:1-4). Attaining heavenContinue reading “Christianity — Rescued “from” and born “into?””

On the stronghold of busyness

“… busyness may sometimes be an excuse for laziness. As Eugene Peterson observes, busy people are too lazy to take control of things, so they fit themselves into other people’s demands. Activities can be an excuse for spiritual inertia or acedia, an unwillingness to accept God as God, that is, his absolute claims on our lives.Continue reading “On the stronghold of busyness”