Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible

IMG_1546.JPGWe are most grateful to pastor and saints at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Johnson City, TN. The 2014 Bible Conference was:

“Psalms—The Prayer Book of the Bible.”

The sermons can be heard here:

Advent Readings and Lightings: Pastoral Preparations for the Coming Season


I wanted to give an aid for congregations and pastors, particularly those in free church backgrounds, who want to move away from the commercialization of the season to focus on the Incarnation. That is a hard sell to be sure. But the way to do it is through the church calendar. By acknowledging the festivity […]

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Worldview and a Philosophy of Teaching

Photograph, circa 1920; American classroom, unknown.

I was recently asked to provide some reflections on worldview and a philosophy of teaching. I share those here as a way of helping others to think through articulating their own committments. Worldview I seek to integrate a Christian worldview into everything I write (or say or do) in a way that is, at once, […]

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The Establishment of the Chaplain Corps in the American Military

Washington's Signature

GENERAL ORDER New York, July 9th, l776 General George Washington, Commanding   “The Honorable Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a Chaplain to each Regiment, with the pay of Thirty-Three Dollars and one third dollars pr month – The Colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are directed to procure Chaplains accordingly; persons of […]

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Thoughts on Logos 6

A Stack of old books

There are a number of very good Bible reference programs available to the public. Logos 6, which has just been released, may have just surpassed them all. Innovative design, tradition-specific reference libraries (e.g., Anglican, Reformed, Pentecostal), and a robust engine “under the hood” converge to bring about this remarkable product. But no single feature of […]

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A Courageous Leadership: My Meeting with Gov. Douglas Wilder


I had the opportunity to hear and then meet personally with the Honorable Douglas Wilder, the nation’s first black governor. I told the governor that his message and his life transcended political parties and spoke uncommon sense, desperately needed hope, and a clarion call to parents to instill the values that government cannot. A message […]

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Majoring in Mentoring: A Student Asks


  Recently, a student asked me to serve as a mentor. In preparing for our time together he asked me some questions. I thought the questions provided a good opportunity to reflect. Perhaps it might even be helpful to someone else. Here are the questions and my responses. Who initiated the mentoring relationship-the Mentor or […]

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On Masticating the Text: A Much Needed Reform in Evangelical Preaching

Bernard of Clairvaux

I believe that we face a malady of malnourished ministers. The problem is that too many of us preachers fail to chew our food properly. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) may help at this point.[1] Bernard, that twelfth-century preacher and theologian, was a mystic and reformer of his day whom John Calvin pointed to as a […]

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Bach’s Fugue, Bonhoeffer’s Fragments, and the Prelude to Living: A Reformation Sunday Devotion


Before Thy Throne I Now Appear It was 1750. There is a story, thought to be apocryphal by some, yet confirmed by others,[1] that as the great Johann Sebastian Bach[2] lay dying he dictated the music of his final great work, a chorale prelude, to his sons. Bach’s second son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, even […]

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The Wounded Parson: Pastoral Self-Knowledge and Self-Care through Vocational Renewal in the Gospel

1930s Old Family Photo

There is an Anglican bishop who concludes his interviews with candidates for Holy Orders by asking himself, “Is this a whole person seeking to express his wholeness through the ministry, or is this a person trying to find his wholeness in the ministry?”[1] Good question. As pastors, the unconscious agendas of a painful family-of-origin experience become […]

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