Monday, December 3, 2012

Launching Jesus out of Catapults

I had a deep theological question to wrestle with this evening as I played on the floor with my daughter. As we were playing with all of her Little People from her nativity set, one-by-one launching them out of a Fisher Price castle catapult, we were faced with a dilemma. Should Jesus, too, be launched from the castle wall?

Well, fortunately the direction of our play changed courses and we didn't ultimately have to make a decision. In a humorous and probably trivial way, it did make me think about the tension that's always present when speaking of our Lord -- He is both the holy, Almighty, creator and a personal redeemer who is closer than a brother and who welcomes all to him as they are. He is both infinitely far away and intimately close.

In my last update I mentioned that I would like to start reading and completing more books. Well, since then I've completed one other book. About a month ago I finished Preaching the Story that Shapes Us by Dan Boone. I found it very practical and full of good theology upon which a practice of preparing and preaching a sermon can be based. I would definitely recommend it and will likely use it as a text book if I ever find myself preaching a homiletics course.

The first book of my twenty-book goal for this year was Abraham: The Tests of Faith by H. Ray Dunning. This was a short read that I basically finished in one afternoon. It provided great insight into the Genesis account of Abraham, developed and furthered my understanding of a holy life, and was a generally encouraging book to read. While Dunning's most popular works are scholarly, deep and profound, this book was extremely accessible.

Since I finished the book by Boone, though, life has taken a turn for the crazy. I am excited about the fact that Conversations on Holiness, a book that I've written with a great and diverse group of Nazarene pastors and leaders will be released June 1, 2013 by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City. I'm in the midst of several (and behind on some) deadlines for the pre-publication phase of this book, which has hindered some other reading. I will hopefully be able to get back on track soon!

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