Pentecost and the Marvel Universe

[This piece continues a brief series on Pentecost premised on a sermon I preached on Acts 2 at Bethany City Church. See the first installment here.] Jesus told the disciples just days before Pentecost that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1.8). There are times in the Bible,…

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The Noise of Pentecost

[Adapted from my sermon this morning at Bethany City Church on Acts 2:1–13. A couple of more posts will follow…]   The first Pentecost was loud. It was an interruption. Today, we may prefer a quiet, safe, uneventful Pentecost Sunday with God minding his manners. But on the first Pentecost, we have the Spirit of…

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Should Preaching be Entertaining?

I asked in the previous post if preaching should be entertaining. My thinking is that preaching must ultimately be, like the Christian Scriptures, engaging. That is, preaching must arrest the mind, heart, soul, and strength (to borrow from the Shema—Dt 6:4) and compel a reimagining of reality and a reanimation of our lives. In this…

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When A Sermon Mystifies more than Explains

I love preaching. It darn near kills me, but I love it. In trying to be a better preacher, I am thinking more intently and prayerfully about the practice and theology of this curious, holy, frightful, and joyful discipline. One of the temptations I have found in sermon preparation is that of providing a full…

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2012 Music Review: Twelve Favorites

Over the past several years I’ve gotten in the December habit of compiling lists of my favorite music releases.  While I was in seminary taking preaching classes, I sought out an exercise that would help me enjoy, evaluate, and communicate texts in a creative way to an audience.  Since, at the time, all I was…

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