July 13, 2020

A Letter from Gilead

By Chaplain Mike My dearest children, This weekend I had the profound pleasure to visit with the Rev. John Ames, a Congregational minister from Gilead, Iowa. He came to my attention and told me his stories through Marilynne Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gilead. Hearing him speak and weave his tales was a revelation, I […]

Catechism: A Final Word (for now)

By Chaplain Mike A number of years ago, after having read some books by J.I. Packer, including the classic Knowing God, I picked up a small book he had written called, Growing in Christ. It claimed to be a guide to Christian basics, and it focused on the Apostles’ Creed, the Sacraments, the Lord’s Prayer, […]

Some Light Housecleaning

As I am stuck inside my ranch (ok, suburban ranch-style house) here in Tulsa waiting for the snow to melt, I thought it might be a good time to try to catch up on some light housecleaning. I have a number of books piled up that need to be reviewed. I’ll touch on a few […]

The Evangelical Myth of “Transformation”

By Chaplain Mike Go Galli, go! Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today, is one of my favorite authors, and one of the most realistic and theologically grounded commenters writing about the church and Christian life today. Back in 2008, Michael Spencer reviewed his book on worship, Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and […]

Vocation: A Hopeful Sign

By Chaplain Mike Scot, this sounds great. Too often in things I’ve read, “missional” is just another word for “church programs,” only this time they take place outside the church walls rather than within them. This, on the other hand, sounds more like the Lutheran doctrine of “vocation,” which I have come to think is […]

Why Jesus? (4, conclusion)

By Chaplain Mike I have found Will Willimon’s fine book, Why Jesus?, to be a perfect companion for my Epiphany meditations on Christ’s earthly ministry. Today, we’ll do one final post. Here are a few more of his vivid, memorable descriptions of our Savior. On Jesus the Magician: Maybe what we call “natural” is a […]

Why Jesus? (3)

By Chaplain Mike As we discussed last week, we are in the time following Epiphany. These are days to contemplate the earthly ministry of Jesus. Jesus said to Thomas and the other disciples (before the Cross): “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) If you want to know what God is […]

Why Jesus? (2)

By Chaplain Mike Will Willimon’s excellent book, Why Jesus?, is an extended meditation on the person and work of Jesus Christ as revealed to us in the Gospels. Taken together, allowed to speak with their delightful peculiarities, these earliest witnesses to Jesus give us a trustworthy, irreplaceable rendition of him, the most interesting person in […]

Why Jesus? (1)

By Chaplain Mike I’m eagerly diving into a new book by one of America’s great preachers, William Willimon. It’s called Why Jesus? I can’t wait to share with you my reflections as I read. For this morning, here his opening words, which contain enough for a full day’s contemplation: Why Jesus? Because he is the […]

A Favorite Children’s Advent/Christmas Book

By Chaplain Mike My entry for a recommended Christmas book is one we read for our children when they were young. It was written by one of my favorite authors, a woman renowned in children’s literature: Madeleine L’Engle. Her award-winning book, A Wrinkle in Time, is a classic that still captures my imagination. L’Engle’s Christmas […]