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A House Built

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                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Hannah Wright on Unsplash                                                                          An Exegetical Paper on 2 Samuel 3:1-6 Introduction The first four chapters of 2 Samuel prepare the way for the introduction of David as king over the whole nation of Israel, an event which takes place in chapter five. At this point, the arc of David’s life is still very much ascendant. The ascendancy of David is very much driven home by the opening verses of chapter three, which are the chiastic center of chapters one through four. However, while David’s ascendance is the keynote, there are literary hints that the foundation may have its cracks. Text: 2 Samuel 3:1-6 (ESV) There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker. 

Glory Slain

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Photo by Gioele Fazzeri on Unsplash Glory Slain An Exegetical Paper on 2 Samuel 1:17-27 Introduction In the opening chapters of 2 Samuel, we meet David in an awkward place. Having been anointed king in 1 Samuel 16, and then defeating Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and becoming a great man in King Saul’s house, the tables had turned and he spent the next several years on the run (1 Samuel 19-31). But at the end of the 1st installment of the Samuel narratives, we find out that Saul has died (1 Samuel 31:6). Suddenly relieved of the burden of being hunted, we might expect to find David rejoicing. Instead, David, upon receiving news of Saul’s death, rends his garments. The structural center of 2 Samuel 1:1-16 is David mourning. In the words of commentator Dale Ralph Davis, “[the narrator] thinks the most important item in his story is the grief and wailing of David and his men over Israel - her fallen leaders and troops.” So far from finding this to be good news is David, he has the Amalekite who

Review: A Man Called Ove by Backman

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  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman My rating: 5 of 5 stars Simply stunning. The character development, use of language, and the plot all left me wanting the book to keep going. There were a few details that annoyed me as a reader, some relational dynamics toward the end that felt out of place and forced, but ultimately they're not enough to detract from what a master class in fiction Backman puts on in A Man Called Ove. View all my reviews

Review: The 5 Masculine Instincts by Chase Replogle

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  The 5 Masculine Instincts: A Guide to Becoming a Better Man by Chase Replogle My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a really good book. Chapter four alone is worth the price of the book. I appreciated Replogle's discussion of manhood through the lens of these 5 instincts, with the understanding that the instincts simply are . The question is not whether these instincts exist in our lives, the question is: will we master them, or be mastered by them? Replogle points us - through a skillful mix of question asking, and drawing from narratives both inside and outside of Scripture - to the source of true character and manhood: Jesus, the man who died for us. As I said, the chapter on Adventure, focusing on Samson, was particularly good. The only chapter I struggled with was the Ambition chapter, as I'm not sure that shoe quite fits on Moses' foot. Lots of what Replogle says in that chapter about ambition is really helpful, I just kept getting hung up on the use of Moses which doe

Review: Deeper

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  Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners by Dane C. Ortlund My rating: 5 of 5 stars Deeper does just what the title promises, pushing you down into the heart of Christ, helping the reader to see that real change and growth in grace are possible. But not by looking to yourself or by depending upon your own white-knuckled effort. Rather, we grow in Christ and are energized to pursue holiness as we believe ever more deeply in the wonderful work of Christ which he has already accomplished, and which we receive by faith alone. "I have one thing to say. Look to Christ. You will grow in Christ as you direct your gaze to Christ. If you take your eyes off of Jesus Christ and direct your gaze to your own growth, you will prevent the very growth you desire." (pg 171) I'd love to see this book in the hands of every Christian. View all my reviews

Would that they all were!

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  Photo by Savvas Kalimeris on Unsplash Text Number 11:26-30: 26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. Introduction: Synopsis and Questions This story is set within the framework of Numbers chapter 11. After spending the entire book of Leviticus camped out at Mt. Sinah , the people of Israel are now on the move, headed (for a while) toward the promised land. However, in Numbers 11, the people have already descended i

Review: Digital Minimalism

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  Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport My rating: 5 of 5 stars Did you enjoy Deep Work , but weren't sure how to implement the ideas, because the pull of distraction still seemed constant and hard to silence? Looking for more practical advice on how to break up with your constant need for distraction? Digital Minimalism is probably for you. That's not to say you need to have read any of Newport's work before to benefit from this book. He spends the first section of the book, 80 pages or so, laying the groundwork for what he's arguing. The attention-based economy has the best minds and attention science on their side, and by unthinkingly using every new tool, toy, and app that comes along we are volunteering to give them our most precious resource - time - in exchange for what they're mainly after - money. This is not only a bad trade-off, it's also bad for our mental health and quality of life. The remainder of the book