New Here?
     
Posts tagged "Holy Spirit"

The Devil’s Whore

The Devil’s Whore

This post comes to us from our friend Laurel Marr.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!

(The Church’s One Foundation, v. 3)

Can the right amount of faith remove the suffering and sickness that interferes with our daily lives and our ability to faithfully serve our neighbor?  Francis MacNutt, a pioneer and a well-respected expert in the revival of the “ministry of healing,” suggests in his book Healing that by exercising faith, we can work…

Read More > > >

This Post Can’t Teach You Theology: Learning with Luther

This Post Can’t Teach You Theology: Learning with Luther

Some years ago I had a simple plan for my life. Step 1: head to grad school to learn a bit of theology. Step 2: acquire degrees. Step 3: teach for a living. Forgive my youthful naivete regarding the academic job market. My plan failed, but not for that reason. Neither was I derailed by the process of earning degrees; I proved an able student, did earn one degree, and may yet grab another. But that didn’t matter very much. No, I failed at Step 1, because I presumed it possible to learn something of God by devoting myself to that project, as if I were studying…

Read More > > >

Hopelessly Devoted: John Chapter Sixteen Verses Seven through Fifteen

Hopelessly Devoted: John Chapter Sixteen Verses Seven through Fifteen

We hope it was a fantastic Labor Day off yesterday. Here’s this morning’s devotion, from Simeon Zahl. 

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment…” (John 16:7-15, NRSV)

In this chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus is explaining to the disciples why it is better for him to go away than to stay. We can all relate to…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Secular Apocalypse, Holy Spirit Hits SEGA, Melville’s Bible, More A-Rod, Increasing Positivity, and Insights from The Canyons

Another Week Ends: Secular Apocalypse, Holy Spirit Hits SEGA, Melville’s Bible, More A-Rod, Increasing Positivity, and Insights from The Canyons

1. First off, an excellent essay on Apocalypticism over at The Chronicle looks at the psychology behind end-times expectations and fascinations. There’s something endearing about a professed “secularist” having both a real understanding of Christianity and a penchant for pointing out how secular humanists fall prey to the same end-of-history temptations as Christians do (read: William Miller, Family Radio):

I find it harder to mock false prophets, because of the very real fear (of death, nothingness, irrelevance) to which their prophecies speak, and because I’m not at all convinced that secular culture is above their form of self-flattery. We’re living through…

Read More > > >

A New Pentecost, or Maybe Just a Rhetorical Revival, According to Peanuts

A New Pentecost, or Maybe Just a Rhetorical Revival, According to Peanuts

We have written several pieces on Charles Schulz’s Peanuts here before, and in particular on Robert L. Short’s prophetic interpretation in his The Gospel According to Peanuts (1965) here, here, and here. Both Peanuts in general and Short’s book in particular have played meaningful roles in my life ever since my conversion to Christian faith. In fact, I recently reread Short’s very important (and Mockingbird-esque) first chapter, “The Church and the Arts.” I found that he gives us—as Thornton Wilder called it—some “new persuasive words  for defaced or degraded ones” about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit’s work in the arts and…

Read More > > >

Killer-Maker Spirit: From Steven Paulson’s Lutheran Theology

Killer-Maker Spirit: From Steven Paulson’s Lutheran Theology

From Steven Paulson’s mighty recent work on the Lutheran tradition, Chapter 9, “Freedom from Death” looks into the Lutheran doctrine of Spiritus Exstinctor et Creator–the simultaneous killing and reviving power of the Holy Spirit.

How does Christ free us from death? The same way he was freed–by the Holy Spirit. When and enemy ensnares us, that enemy must be put to death in order for us to be freed, and so the Holy Spirit must kill death. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Of course, the death of death sounds mythical or excruciatingly obscure, especially to…

Read More > > >

Simul Iustus et Schizophrenic: A Quick One from Clinical Theology

Simul Iustus et Schizophrenic: A Quick One from Clinical Theology

Dr. Frank Lake was that rarest of beasts: a clinical psychologist, a pastoral counselor, and a learned theologian. Not surprisingly, we consider him a hero. In his landmark Clinical Theology, a textbook for pastoral counselors and theologically serious therapists, he relates classic Protestant anthropology and Christology to the process of psychoanalysis, using real-world case studies (and the Bible) as his foundation. The following is a characteristically profound quote on the simultaneity of human weakness and divine strength, viewed through a clinical lens:

The nature of the help God gives through His Church is to make what cannot be removed, creatively bearable. Paul’s thorn of weakness in the flesh remained. Resting in the power of God,…

Read More > > >

Jupiter, Failed Stars and the Spiritual Condition

Jupiter, Failed Stars and the Spiritual Condition

We’re excited to present a little piece of interstellar theology from someone who actually knows something about it, Michael Belote of the excellent Reboot Christianity blog:

Earlier today, my wife mentioned hearing that Jupiter was a “failed” star. She asked me, perhaps unwisely, to elaborate. It’s actually a pretty interesting point, one which I think has a spiritual dimension that I will go into shortly. But you may have to sit through a little bit of science before I draw the spiritual connection.

So the existing theory about how stars form is as follows: in certain parts of the universe there are…

Read More > > >

When You Encounter the Spirit (You May Not Like It)

When You Encounter the Spirit (You May Not Like It)

I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of Simeon Zahl’s Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt: The Holy Spirit Between Wittenberg and Azusa Street. He has some truly trenchant things to say about the work of the Holy Spirit and its relationship to preaching. For Simeon, the Holy Spirit can encounter us directly as “negative” experience in convicting us of our sinful nature and need for grace. This outlook changes the task of preaching, shifting the emphasis away from conviction of sin and towards giving people a framework to…

Read More > > >

God Phasing-out the Holy Spirit

This one was too good to pass up…

Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Soul

Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Soul

A moderately interesting look at 4-hour phenomenon Tim Ferriss in the NY Times. One gets the sense that although there’s clearly some energy here – it’s hard not to respect someone who goes to such lengths – all the optimization and efficiency talk is actually code for self-justification (and a very inflated anthropology). It sounds as though Ferris has simply replaced his own identity-driven obsession with business with a similar one with self – which strikes this blogger as different versions of the same thing. Plus, does anyone else think that the urgency/anxiety about time is a tad contradictory? Meaning,…

Read More > > >

"I Did It All For The Glory Of [Me]"

"I Did It All For The Glory Of [Me]"

In recent years, nearly every personal newspaper, magazine, or internet piece has been written written by someone “who is working on a memoir,” “has just completed a memoir,” or “is thinking about writing a memoir.” While some of these pieces are very good, most are unmemorable, becoming indistinguishable from previous entries within moments after reading. Why so many memoirs?

Neil Genzlinger’s recent NY Times Book Review The Problem with Memoirs laments the market saturation. While reviewing four memoirs (none of which I’ve read), he offers guidelines for deciding whether a memoir should be published:

Sure, the resulting list [of tens of thousands…

Read More > > >