I am excited to see Jonathan Leeman’s, Word-Centered Church (Moody Publishers), in print as a repacking of a very good earlier work, Reverberation. Leeman especially does a great job of helping the church member understand how God uses the preached word to conform our lives into the image of Christ. His work is a good place to start in order to see a case for enjoying Scripture daily as a joyous love exchange between the believer and our Lord. (“Is that in the book?” Yes, if you read it prayerfully and with discernment.)
I also am excited to see O Palmer Robertson’s, The Christ of Wisdom. Reading Robertson’s understanding of the literary structure of the Psalter and individual psalms was so rich that I am eager to see how he complements that study as he goes through the rest of the major books of biblical poetry.
This week I have enjoyed greatly the events of the US debut of the Africa Study Bible (ASB). The ASB is the first study Bible written by Africans for Africans. The study notes, artwork, articles, stories, African proverbs, and illustrations within the ASB offer a means of contextualizing the truth of Scripture in African ideas and for African concerns.
The ASB was a major undertaking, involving over 350 biblical and theological scholars from the more than 50 countries on the continent of Africa. The ASB includes a large section of notes given to a narrative timeline of God’s work in Africa.
The representative contributing scholars who came to Moody Bible Institute spoke of the joy of having the ASB as a tool for discipleship. While rejoicing with them, I also am grateful for the ASB’s ability to increase our sensitivity to the concerns of our sisters and brothers in African nations, and to raise our cultural awareness toward non-Western issues the biblical text addresses. For example, an “African Touch Point” on Ex. 22:18 teaches that “witches” should not be equated with “foreigners, widows, and orphans–the vulnerable in society.”
I encourage you to get your own copy of the African Study Bible and utilize its notes in your personal study. Pray for the ASB project to have great reach around the world. Also, an ASB 30-day devotional is available. Below is an example of the devotional reading from Day 1.
Africa, a Cradle of Christianity: a Devotion on Africa’s Legacy
From an Africa Study Bible Article titled “Christianity’s African Roots”:
(Below I have reblogged Pastor McKissic’s excellent post because of its importance to SBC life, and to greater kingdom work around the world. It is difficult to see how some, like Dr. Jack Graham, cannot understand that the ability for the SBC to gain a hearing in the culture — even at the level of the personal proclamation of the Gospel by local church members –is effected by the perception that some SBC churches’ criticism of Russell Moore and withholding of funding to the ERLC is a move that demonstrates power politics is more important than moral reasoning–moral reasoning that does not align itself with a GOP platform. It would be wonderful for predominantly white, mega-church congregations within the SBC to speak with boldness equal to Graham’s and even greater courage in support of the direction of the ERLC under Russell Moore, and thus for Moore himself. McKissic’s voice should be part of a grand movement of voices within and without the SBC that continues to work to separate the Gospel from American political positions. At this time in history, it would be a shame for the SBC to witness a diminishing of SBC support by its ethnic minority congregations and less successful outreach to an increasingly ethnically diverse culture because it takes a vocal stand against Russell Moore–a Christian champion of righteousness on racial justice, fair immigration policy, and just treatment of people of all faiths. The opposition to Moore is using a standard of accountability seemingly that was not used when former ERLC President Richard Land made greatly insensitive comments about Treyvon Martin and followed the comments with a non-apologetic apology. I guess the opposition thinks Jesus is smiling down from glory and saying, “Way to go! Way to use your financial power to force Moore to stop criticizing Donald Trump and those who have attempted to morally justify support of President Trump.” [Clap, clap, clap.])
THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION’S DECISION TO INVESTIGATE RUSSELL MOORE HAS HUGE IMPLICATIONS FOR BLACK SBC CHURCHES
By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.
The Prestonwood Baptist Church of Plano, TX, (a Dallas suburb) led by Dr. Jack Graham, a former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, has determined to escrow funds totaling $1 million, that were previously designated for the Cooperative Program—the premier funding mechanism of the Southern Baptist Convention’s agencies— because of positions and policies taken by Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Other predominantly White Southern Baptist Churches are also threatening to withhold Cooperative Program funds surrounding public positions taken by Russell Moore and the ERLC.
Consequently, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has decided to investigate and explore the depths of why some churches aren’t giving and the best way to address the whole matter. They want…
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The Gospel Coalition kindly posted my article, “4 Suggestions for Post-Election Listening.”
In this morning’s NYT:
A new study confirms that black men and women are treated differently in the hands of law enforcement. They are more likely to be touched, handcuffed, pushed to the ground or pepper-sprayed by a police officer, even after accounting for how, where and when they encounter the police.
But when it comes to the most lethal form of force — police shootings — the study finds no racial bias.
Read the whole article here.
By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept –Psalm 137:1 What does it look like to reach the breaking point of orthodoxy? What does it look like to arrive at the place where the de…
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE SBC REGARDING THE CONFEDERATE FLAG
From “Hearty Support” 1863 to “Discontinue the Display” 2016
BY WM. DWIGHT MCKISSIC, SR.
At the near beginning of the 21st Century, The Southern Baptist Convention recently made the decision to address a heretofore unaddressed aspect of her history, and that is the SBC’s historic identity and complicity with the Confederacy. A vote was taken to ask Christians to discontinue the public use of the Confederate Flag (CF), in order to show solidarity with other Christians, including African Americans.
Perhaps this was one of the most heart wrenching and gut checking decisions ever made by the SBC. Why? Because the SBC and the Confederacy were connected at the hip historically, emotionally, psychologically, philosophically, geographically, politically, and even genetically. This connection is deep, intertwined, and multi-layered. Many in the SBC literally have the blood of Confederate Soldiers running through their veins. That made…
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I loved Purple Rain.
I married a girl who had a purple raincoat and a pre-Purple Rain, oversized poster of Prince in a purple trench coat (and occasionally she has been known to sing and dance in public when one of Prince’s songs plays in a store or mall).
I am not among the faithful fans of Prince; I simply am one who recognized the same musical brilliance everyone else recognized in him.
I am working on a small piece to honor Christ while talking about Prince. However, I wish to be respectful, so I will wait until we are past the artist’s funeral.
Many condolences to Prince’s family. May the Lord Jesus pour out his mercy upon you.
This week, as I leave Chicago’s Union Station and walk past the Willis Tower heading toward my CTA train station, I have thought of the chaos I immediately would experience if a terror attack came to the former Sears Tower while I am within its vicinity. I’m not sure I can place myself in the shoes of those who ran from the falling World Trade Center’s twin towers, or who lost loved ones in the attacks. However, my heart and prayer today is with you who were most affected by that infamous day in 2001. May the the God of all comfort be with you through the mercy that is Jesus Christ himself. May he work justice on your behalf with mercy. May he mercifully reveal himself as the most beautiful Savior and most terrifying Judge. May he disclose to you, in mercy and love, the message of the fall of the tower of Slioam and the parable of the Vinedresser and fig tree — Lk. 13:1-9: “Unless you repent…” — so that you might know his peace. May the death of Christ for our sins and his resurrection from the dead be your hope as you look to him alone to see your tears, heal your heart, overcome your pain, and provide the joy of his mercy.