A View of the Suburbs

In the Arcade Fire’s breakthrough album, Neon Bible, they presented a dark, sustained critique of religion. In a similar fashion, their new album, The Suburbs, takes aim at the failed promises of suburban life. Both albums benefit from an avoidance of scathing, didactic claims; instead, they rely on a series of vignettes that make the point forcefully from many directions. For […]

A View of the Suburbs

  In the Arcade Fire’s breakthrough album, Neon Bible, they presented a dark, sustained critique of religion. In a similar fashion, their new album, The Suburbs, takes aim at the failed promises of suburban life. Both albums benefit from an avoidance of scathing, didactic claims; instead, they rely on a series of vignettes that make the point […]

Gospel-Shaped Worship, Part 3

Part 1, Part 2   Having seen how thoroughly theo-centric Christian worship must be (otherwise it would not be meaningfully Christian), we ought to reflect on the ways in which worship shapes the worshipper. If God is really present in worship, then those who meet him will be changed. Some churches have given up on the gospel […]

An Ethic for the 20-Something?

  Recently Robin Marantz Henig wrote an article for the New York Times Magazine entitled “What Is It about 20-Somethings?” In the article, she explains the trend of adults in their 20’s who are taking longer (or failing altogether) to reach various milestones of adulthood – along with the concern that many have about the trend.  […]

Gospel-Shaped Worship, Part 2

Part 1   For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Ps 84:10)   If there is one thing we can say without qualification about worship, it is that worship must be unflinchingly […]

Political Hopes and Co-opted Gospels

Recently two items reminded me of the importance of distinguishing the gospel from various socio-political agendas.    First, Amy Greene recently wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times entitled “Campaigning to the Choir.” She talks about the invocation of Christian belief in the Tennessee gubernatorial race. But she recalls her own upbringing in the church […]

Sentimentality and the Lies that Blind Us

  At First Things, Joe Carter has written an excellent piece entitled “Thomas Kinkade’s Cottage Fantasy.” In the article, he highlights some of the early work by Thomas Kinkade – admirable in many ways – and contrasts it with his later work that gained him so much financial success. His describes the change in Kinkade’s work as […]

Gospel-Shaped Worship, Part 1

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalm 84:10) Worship is the point of life.[1] It is the single activity that we know unites human life from its origin to its end. Life began […]

Understanding God’s Plan: A Sketch of Covenant Theology, Part 9

  In conclusion, covenant theology provides the framework for the structure of Scripture and the basic grid through which the gospel is communicated. The Bible opens with a record of God’s covenant with Israel in the Pentateuch. The historical books serve as a covenant record – preserved by the prophets (2Chr 29:29). The psalms and wisdom literature embody […]

Understanding God’s Plan: A Sketch of Covenant Theology, Part 8

Continued from Part 6 Part 7: Covenant & Individual Salvation With the eternal covenant between the Father and Son completed and a people claimed for himself, the promise of the covenant – originally through works, now through grace – comes to us: the promise of life.    The Spirit is the very source of life […]