Of the many benefits that come from partaking in Communion, there’s at least one that’s been suggested that I hadn’t reflected on. In the book Feasting With Christ, Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley have compiled a collection of meditations on the Lord’s Supper. One of these is from John Flavel, who says,
“Have such a thought as this, when thy heart is yielding to temptation. How can I do this, and crucify the Son of God afresh! Hath He not suffered enough already on earth; shall I yet make him groan as it were for me in heaven! Look, as David poured the water brought from the well of Bethlehem, on the ground, though he was athirst, for he said, it is the blood of the men. That is, they eminently hazarded their lives to fetch it; much more should a Christian pour out upon the ground, yea, despise and trample under foot, the greatest profit or pleasure of sin; saying, Nay, I will have nothing to do with it, I will on no terms touch it, for it is the blood of Christ: it cost blood, infinite, precious blood to expiate it.”
Flavel argues that when a Christian with love for Christ reflects on Christ’s death for sin, that love will deter him when tempted to sin—and the Lord’s Supper is a (the?) prime means that God has given us for such remembering and reflecting.
Flavel’s allusion, from 2 Samuel 23, to David’s love for his Mighty Men is powerful. David refused to drink the water he most desired, because it was bought at the risk of the lives of his men. To me, this is one of the most moving stories in the Bible. The thought of his desire bringing harm to the ones he loved compelled him to pour that desire on the ground. May it be the same with us.
This week I’m offering Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear Our Sermons, by Matthew D. Kim. Here are the catalog description and table of contents:
To preach effectively in today’s world, preachers need cultural intelligence. They must build bridges between listeners who come from various denominations, ethnicities, genders, locations, religious backgrounds, and more. Experienced preacher and teacher Matthew Kim provides a step-by-step template for cross-cultural hermeneutics and homiletics, equipping preachers to reach their varied listeners in the church and beyond. Each chapter includes questions for individual thought or group discussion. The book also includes helpful diagrams and images, a sample sermon, and appendixes for exegeting listeners and for exploring cultural differences.
Part 1: Cultural Intelligence in Theory
1. Preaching and Cultural Intelligence
2. The Homiletical Template
3. Hermeneutics and Cultural Intelligence
4. Exegeting the Preacher
Part 2: Cultural Intelligence in Practice
5. Preaching and Denominations
6. Preaching and Ethnicities
7. Preaching and Genders
8. Preaching and Locations
9. Preaching and Religions
Appendix 1: The Homiletical Template
Appendix 2: Worksheet for Understanding Culture
Appendix 3: Sample Sermon
Leave your name in the comments section no later than Friday, April 20th. I’ll draw the winner’s name that day. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry. Entries are limited to U.S. residents.
Congratulations to Jennifer Kracht on winning last week’s book giveaway (I got sick over the weekend, so was a little late on the drawing). Jennifer won a copy of Roman but Not Catholic by Kenneth J. Collins and Jerry L. Walls.
Thanks to all who participated!
This week I’m offering Roman but Not Catholic: What Remains at Stake 500 Years after the Reformation, by Kenneth J. Collins and Jerry L. Walls. Here are the catalog description and table of contents:
This book offers a clearly written, informative, and fair critique of Roman Catholicism in defense of the catholic faith. Two leading evangelical thinkers in church history and philosophy summarize the major points of contention between Protestants and Catholics, honestly acknowledging real differences while conveying mutual respect and charity. The authors address key historical, theological, and philosophical issues as they consider what remains at stake five hundred years after the Reformation. They also present a hopeful way forward for future ecumenical relations, showing how Protestants and Catholics can participate in a common witness to the world.
1. What We Have in Common
2. Tradition and the Traditions
3. Scripture: No Greater Authority?
4. Rome or Nothing?
5. Revelation, Biblical Authority, and Creed: How to Affirm Catholic Faith without Affirming the Claims of Rome
6. The Church, Part I: Excavating Rome’s Exclusive Ecclesial Claims
7. The Church, Part II: Are Other Traditions Ecumenically Understood?
8. “You Are Your Own Pope”: The Tu Quoque Objection
9. Sacraments: Baptismal Unity and Separated Suppers
10. Priesthood: From Presbyter to Priest, from Table to Altar
11. The Papacy: Shaking the Foundations
12. Machiavellian Machinations and More: The Later History of the Papacy
13. Papal (Im)Probabilities
14. Protestants in the Crosshairs: Popular Roman Catholic Apologetics
15. Mary: Why She Matters
16. Mary Again: From Dogmatic Definition to Co-Redeemer?
17. Justification Roman Style
18. Justification: The Joint Declaration and Its Aftermath
19. Regeneration, Assurance, and Conversion: A Minor Chord in Roman Catholic Theology?
20. The Deeply Divided Church of Rome: The World’s Largest Pluralist Christian Denomination?
Conclusion: A Come to Jesus Moment
Leave your name in the comments section no later than Friday, April 13th. I’ll draw the winner’s name that day. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry. Entries are limited to U.S. residents.
Congratulations to Víctor R. Martínez on winning this week’s book giveaway. Víctor won a copy of Introducing Practical Theology, by Pete Ward.
Thanks to all who participated!
This week I’m offering Introducing Practical Theology: Mission, Ministry, and the Life of the Church, by Pete Ward. Here are the catalog description and table of contents:
This introduction to the field of practical theology reclaims a theological vision for the life and work of the church. Pete Ward dispels the myth that practical theology is a distraction from the “real” tasks of ministry or from serious academic theological work. He argues that practical theology is part of the everyday life of the church and that its location in congregational life provides an orientation and a methodology based on how practitioners pray, witness, act, and live out their faith. Ward challenges the distinction between applied theology and practical theology, thereby reintegrating a doctrinal orientation to the discipline. He argues that there are a variety of possible approaches to practical theology, helping readers evaluate the approach that is most appropriate to their ministerial context and theological tradition. This reliable, accessible resource will work well for those in training or in ministry.
1. Practical Theology as the Ordinary Life of the Church
2. Practical Theology as Faith Seeking Understanding
3. The Gospel and Practical Theology
4. Practical Theology and Lived Theology
5. Practical Theology as a Conversation about Practice and Theology
6. Theological Reflection
7. Practical Theology and Theological Disciplines
8. Practical Theology as a Conversation about Culture
9. Beginning Small-Scale Empirical Research
10. Producing Practical Theology
Leave your name in the comments section no later than Friday, April 6th. I’ll draw the winner’s name that day. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry. Entries are limited to U.S. residents.
Congratulations to Emily Van Houten on winning this week’s book giveaway. Emily won a copy of Christian Women in the Patristic World by Lynn H. Cohick and Amy Brown Hughes.
Thanks to all who participated!