The full title, “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” appears only in 2 Peter, once per chapter (1:11; 2:20: 3:18), each time in a theologically rich setting.

The three chapters probably have a chiastic feature, where the middle element received the emphasis:

A  Call to Christian Growth (chap. 1)
X  Warning Against False teachers (chap. 2)
A’  Call to End-time Ethics (chap. 3) Continue reading

Several people have asked us if we are OK after the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Chile during the night.

We’re on opposite ends of the continent from the earthquake, something like the distance between California and St. Louis.

The earthquake was between Concepcion and Santiago, in the lower left of the map above; we live east of Sao Paulo, in the upper right.

We felt nothing, though we might have slept through some tremors.

It appears that only some who live in high buildings felt it here in SJCampos, according to one news report. Seems the tremors were moderate in the capital about 65-70 miles to the west of us.

We pray for the victims and families of the deceased in the aftermath of the earthquake. We’re seeking news of the churches there as well as channels for aid to share with the brotherhood.

Just down the street from Ronald Reagan’s alma mater, the Eureka IL congregation decided recently to join our ministry efforts.

We had visited them back last fall when spending two months fund-raising and were graciously received.

We’re grateful for the support they will be providing. The congregation has been added to the list of supporting churches.

As mentioned before, our major personal support will be ending in June, when we’ll lose 80% of our present level of funds.

Though we still have a long way to go to make up that difference, we’re grateful churches and individuals are contributing, and grateful still for congregations like Eureka’s help.

A few of my thoughts under rain and breeze. Picture above, taken in my front yard, yesterday.

* The world is in a flower: the burst of life, the beauty of symmetry, the joy of color, the fading into death, the seed of new beginnings.

* I feel like I’m approaching an insight, but instead of landing, I’m in a circular holding pattern.

* He threw words on paper like mama threw bacon in the pan, but the result wasn’t nearly so delicious.

*Started raining again a few minutes ago, a straight-down steady rain, no-nonsense, the way rain was meant to be, satiating the earth, a call to growth, a boost for life. Continue reading

The main points of our reading tonight from Luke 5:1-11.

  1. Obey the command of Christ even when you don’t understand and don’t see the reason why (5-6).
  2. Confess your sinfulness in the presence of God and at the feet of Jesus (8-10a).
  3. Find your calling in the purpose of Christ: to catch people for God (10b).
  4. Adhere to the mark of discipleship: leave all and follow Christ (11).

And still, in the face of God in Christ, people go on their merry way and try to find their own way out of their problems.

* This afternoon we fled to the mall (one of my least favorite places) for some relief from the heat. Took in a movie and a snack. This morning my office landlord said they were fleeing to the coast tomorrow, where he owns a beach house. We can’t even take a midday or afternoon shower to cool off — the water is heated by the sun, and it’s hot! Continue reading

It’s a common view that the ark saved Noah and his family from the water. The flood is seen as the threat to their safety, since it destroys the human population of that period.

That view is reflected in what must be the worst rendering of the New Living Translation, which I otherwise appreciate: “Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood” (1 Peter 3:20). The original text says nothing about drowning! Continue reading

kenneth-starrFirst, it was a Nashville newspaper, with its slanted article featuring one digressive church, touting that churches of Christ are shedding their isolationist position. “Isolationism” is always bad. It’s a cousin of intolerance.

Then, Abilene Christian University announced its new president, Phil Schubert, who had promised to continue the university’s direction toward a general evangelical position, when he stated,

“We need to strike an appropriate balance between a quest for academic excellence and an unwavering commitment to the spiritual development of our students; between the need to honor our own Church of Christ heritage while embracing the growing influence from broader Christian circles; and between the need to ensure a firm grasp on our values and traditions while promoting a culture which encourages new ideas and an innovative spirit.”

Then, just days thereafter, Ken Starr, who started among us but left us long ago, promises to become a Southern Baptist on (or was it before?) becoming president of that denomination’s largest center of learning, Baylor University. The Baptists are fractured, and though there are many among them qualified for the position, the power brokers decided on his star power (no pun intended) for potential fundraising ability as much as anything. “… Baylor regents chairman Dary Stone took the attention given Starr in stride, saying he will raise the university’s national profile.”

Faithful brethren sometimes feel embarrassed or ashamed when the world and the media point to people in our midst, like these, who deny the Lord who bought them, or when ministries or schools abandon biblical teaching to merge into the religious world at large, looking to establish themselves as a legitimate entity. Continue reading

Jesus as Lord and SaviorIt’s a new “page” on Facebook. You can become a “fan.” It explores in the New Testament this truth:

“Jesus is both Lord and Savior. If we want him to save, we must be willing to obey.”

The latest note explored the meaning of Ephesians 5:24: “The church submits to Christ.”

Come join the bracing exploration of this essential theme. The page is here.