What is needed for worship?
It is common for people to think that the necessary components of worship are lighting, a band, instruments, and perhaps a good voice etc., but does that create spiritual worship? Paul declared to his readers,
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1).
At the end of this verse Paul speaks of “spiritual worship”. This is a reference to the kind of worship that is reasonable, genuine and spiritual in contrast to ritualistic or man-made manipulation. What are the necessary components of this genuine God exalting spiritual worship? Continue reading
There is plenty (more than plenty) of good Christian publishing occurring in the fields of theology, apologetics, biblical studies etc. Evangelically-minded scholars from seminaries and theological colleges around the world really do pump out some good stuff. However, there is still, in my opinion, a lack of Christian scholarly writing and publishing in those fields not found in the classrooms of seminaries. I want to point to a couple exceptions, which I hope are the beginning of a growth-spurt in this area of Christian witness. Interestingly, both are Baptist.
There seems to be somewhat of a resurgence of distinctly Christian and Baptist higher education in the United States. Two schools leading the charge are Union University, in Jackson TN, and Houston Baptist University, in Texas. These universities both publish journals (which I subscribe to) which focus Christian thought. The first one is the journal Renewing Minds, from Union University.
I have just finished Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, The Black Swan. It was, ironically, given the name of the publishing company, published by Random House back in 2007. The Black Swan is about improbable, unexpected events which have a high impact. Even more importantly, Taleb wants the reader to be aware of our inability to predict these events. Indeed, we all stomp around behaving as though we just know that our home won’t catch on fire tomorrow. We also behave like we know that a plane won’t crash into the building we work in while we’re working in it. And yet we don’t know. We cannot know.
This is not a book review, but more of a Christian reflection on the ideas in the book. The kind of events Taleb has in mind are massive stock market crashes (e.g. 1929, 1987, and 2008), terrorist attacks on Australian soil, or the rise of Christianity. High impact, unpredictable, and improbable. That’s the trio of features. Continue reading