Saturday, March 30, 2013

The last shall be first. Really!

So, when Jesus said to the chief priests and elders, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you" (Matt 21:31), he wasn't kidding!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another generous review, ...

this one from Disciples of Christ pastor, Dan Mayes, as in "Thoughts from the Peculiar Faith and Life of ...", through the searching of which there is always something new to discover!

UPDATE: Like this!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wow. Talk about gracious book reviews.

When the history of gracious book reviews is written, this one by David Ackerman will surely rise to the top.

UPDATE: And meanwhile, be sure to follow the links here to his website, Beyond the Lectionary.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thanks to Greg Bolt for the review of When Heaven Stands Open

You can read his review here, and his other reviews and insights into Christian faith, life, ministry, worship, ... and everything else under the sun ... at

God bless you, Greg!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Still a lot of unanswered questions ...

and those who could answer them are nowhere to be seen; in fact, they are being muzzled. For instance, where — and who — are those who survived the attack on Benghazi? And where is Admiral Gaouette? Perhaps if the fourth estate is incapable of asking the questions, maybe, just maybe, the first estate should! [FYI: That means you, preachers!]

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beyond the Lectionary

Readers of Year D: A Quadrennial Supplement ... will have seen in the Acknowledgements that, in the course of bringing the project to print, I came to learn of others who have been led to undertake similar proposals,  that were (from what I can tell) entirely independent of one another (see pp. x-xii). The inescapable conclusion I draw from this is that such an expansion at this juncture is clearly of the Spirit:
it is important for the church to recognize that the Spirit has been at work in a variety of ways, over a long period of time, among people of diverse denominations and theological perspectives, seeding such expansive work on a number of fronts. I also wish to strongly affirm the work that the Spirit does in the prayerful quiet of the pastor’s study as a corrective to the way we (especially we Presbyterians) often assume everything must be done: by committee. — Year D, p. xi.
Then, the other day, I had the most gracious letter from a UCC pastor, David Ackerman, who has a similar expansive proposal, Beyond the Lectionary, coming out this spring on Circle Books. 

David is even starting to post some resources to go with it at his new blog, and (not surprisingly) many of these resources will be inspired from the same texts (esp. where the Psalms, NT, and Gospels are concerned) that are found in Year D. Although one can surely expect some variation in the arrangement of the reading schedule, one will see similarities as well: e.g., "the narrow gate" occurs in the Sundays after Epiphany, et al. 

David was even kind enough to mention me here. Head on over and check out what this brother has done.

Friday, March 15, 2013

On being neither fastidious nor exclusive toward Scripture

So I was scanning through an old denominational (Presbyterian) publication on family devotions written by the son of Princeton Professor Archibald Alexander, when in the chapter on Scripture reading my eyes ran across this little gem:
"When it is asked, how much of the Scripture is to be read in Family-Worship, we reply, the whole Bible. Not that any Judaic superstition should be allowed to creep in, as though we were bound to refuse all selection, or to persevere through whole chapters of proper names and genealogies. Still, in general terms, we would say, the whole Bible. And we prefer a leaning to the side of those who make no omissions, rather than to the fastidiousness which would exclude large portions of the record."
— James Waddell Alexander, Thoughts on Family Worship (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1847; pp. 205-6).
Granted, he is discussing daily family devotions, but as far as his statement of the comprehensive principle is concerned, I couldn't have said it better myself. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

When Heaven Stands Open (print edition)

The print edition of When Heaven Stands Open—LERW, Year B, is now available at Amazon. The cover image has to catch up to it yet, but the link is live.

Meanwhile, the Kindle edition is available here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

When Heaven Stands Open

Announcing the release of When Heaven Stands Open: Liturgical Elements for Reformed Worship (Year B), the first in a series of four lectionary-based worship resources. Available now from Cascade Books and in e-book from Amazon. [NB: Print version coming soon to Amazon and other distributors. Watch for updates and for more volumes to come.]

With many thanks to Gary Neal Hansen, Beth McCaw, and Chip Hardwick for their gracious endorsements.

UPDATE: The print edition is available at Amazon here.