Our guest preaching blogger this week is
2008-06-22 by CJ Teets

Gary Charles, pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in downtown, Atlanta.  This 150 year old congregation has a long history of active social witness in the heart of the city.  Gary is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA.  He has served four Presbyterian congregations over the past thirty years and has authored numerous articles for Theology Today, The Christian Century, the Journal for Preachers, and other publications.  He is the author of "The Bold Alternative:  Staying in Church in the 20th Century" and the co-author of "Preaching Mark in Two Voices" with Brian Blount, President, Union-PSCE.  Currently, he is one of two pastors serving on the editorial board of the new lectionary commentary, "Feasting on the Word," with general editors, Barbara Brown Taylor and David Bartlett.  Gary is married to Jennell, a nursing professor, and has two grown children, Erin and Joshua.




Fred Craddock Interview
2008-06-20 by CJ Teets

Go to Homepage, Share It, and Interview with Fred Craddock.Thanks to Peter Wallace and Day1 for making this available.

Garrison Keillor interview coming soon. 





Common Theme
2008-06-19 by rick brand

While I agree with Preston that the Matthew text eventually speaks about Jesus taking care of his disciples and remembering them, Jesus will testify for them. Jesus is promising them that they will not have a good life. Jesus says they will be treated as he has been treated, that his coming divides people, and there have to be sacrifices and crucifixions of wants. "To lose our lives for him" At least in the lectionary text I read. Maybe I have a different Matthew than Dr. Harper.



The Evil One Controls the Physical World
2008-06-16 by Preston Harper

Prominent in the June 22 lectionary is the idea that God takes care of those that love Him, including making their physical lives better and punishing their enemies. This idea was especially important to the Jews in Old Testament times, because they didn’t believe in an afterlife in which God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked. The ultimate expressions of a blissful present are Psalm 1, which posits that God guarantees success to the enterprises of good people and Psalm 23, which posits that God protects their lives. With the presuppositions expressed here David writes Psalm 69 and 86 with confidence God will protect him against his enemies. Jerimiah in chapter 23 reflects similar beliefs but includes a call for immediate revenge.

What was true in David’s kingdom was not and is not true in Jesus’. God did not protect his life beyond age thirty-three, most of his apostles, or countless devotees afterwards (cf. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, the Holocaust and Bonhoffer) from untimely and/or cruel physical deaths. Youngsters today could probably spend every waking hour of their remaining lives listening to sermons and reading books and tracts on why bad things happen to good people. Having taught at a Christian University for so many years, I have a plethora of stories to tell regarding the lives of Christians abused or cut down in their primes. Here are a few: four young African students are killed in a car crash before they can return home and share the Gospel, a child (seven years old) is raped by her father, a teenager (eighteen years old) is raped by her date, a single professional (thirty-five years old) is raped by a passerby while walking in her neighborhood, a widowed professional (seventy years old) is raped in her bed by an intruder, an exemplary all-conference fullback (twenty-one years old) inexplicitly drops dead in practice, a doctor (thirty-eight years old) dies of a medication error, a pharmacist (fifty years old) dies in a plane crash, a radio technician (twenty-one years old) is sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit (he has served nine years so far). These examples appear to support John’s statement in I John 5:21: “[T]he whole world is under the control of the evil one.” That Christians live in a hostile world does not preclude the possibility that God can intervene on our behalf. While on earth Jesus healed illnesses (blindness, paralysis, leprosy, etc.), prevented death (the Centurion’s servant) and raised the dead (Lazarus). That he, himself, suffered physical abuse and premeditated murder (after asking for God’s deliverance at Gethsemane), should make us realize that the Old Testament ideal of a God who protects the bodies of those who love him and punishes their enemies is passé.

When Jesus begins his ministry, the Jews many years after the glory days of David, living in captivity, are hoping for a messiah that will restore those glory days in the form of a magnificent new earthly kingdom. Jesus does not fulfill their hopes. He tells his disciples in Matthew 10:28 that their real concern must be for their souls, not their bodies, and throughout his ministry he attempts to make them see that the earth is a lost cause. In Matthew “My kingdom is not of this world.” While Christians may take comfort in the idea that God can protect our bodies, we must face the fact that He may elect not to. A post 33 C.E. Psalm 151 would have to celebrate a Christian’s indwelling of God’s Spirit and acknowledge that even though we may not enjoy material success, freedom from illness, injury, or untimely death (pathological, accidental or premeditated), we take comfort in knowing Jesus will keep our souls secure. He says in John 6:40, “Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

It is difficult in America with our eighteenth-century concept of happiness promoted by Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and others, who were not Christians and who established a physical environment based on Roman law that promotes physical wellbeing, to embrace the idea that an all-loving, all-powerful God does not always heal, protect, and enrich the lives of us who love Him. And He does not always punish our enemies. In our democracy doctors, teachers, politicians, soldiers, policemen, the courts, and others, including ourselves, have the above responsibilities and functions, and Satan is a pervasive influence. Jesus, who is described as “a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering” (Ish 53:3), promises to protect his disciples’ souls, not our bodies and our personal fortunes.





Our guest preaching blogger this week is
2008-06-16 by David Howell

Preston Harper, professor at Abilene Christian University, where he has taught since earning a PhD at Texas Christian University. Prior to that he served three years in the U. S. Army and taught in a public high school. He likes to write books and articles, mentor prisoners at a state prison near Abilene, swim, play golf, garden, restore old vehicles, and travel. He and his wife, Marsha, have three children and five grandchildren.



[First Page] [Prev] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 [Next] [Last Page]

Login - (This login is for administrators and bloggers. Usernames and passwords for GoodPreacher subscribers will not work here.)