Greetings From the Editor
December 1, 2016 – 12:01 am | No Comment

by Jin Hee Han

For the winter issue of 2016, we present a collection of articles and book reviews focused upon the theme of “BREATHING.” This year we were presented with a series of challenges, but the Lord provided for us exactly what we needed to continue this important ministry. Help from the Lord came through like the precious supply of breath in ways that we could recognize right away as God’s gracious intervention.

Our authors highlight God’s mysterious and wondrous work we encounter in the Bible, the life of the church, and the world in modern days. As the Johannine Jesus points out, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (John 3:8). Commentators immediately add that the Greek word for the “wind” is pneuma, and that it also means “spirit” (as in the Holy Spirit). The Spirit of the living God takes us where we may not have anticipated, but the upshot of the journey is always the manifestation of God’s goodness.

Read the full story »

Biblical Reflections, Featured, Theological Reflections »

The Challenges of a Life of Faith
December 1, 2016 – 12:12 am | No Comment

Some time ago, I ran into a friend of a friend who thought he would ask me a question that showed his interest in the Bible. He said, “What is the book of Job about?” I knew he worked in a grocery store nearby and was on his lunch break, so I probably only had a minute or so to give him an answer, not an easy thing to do, as I am used to talking extensively for hours on the topic. I said, “Well, it poses two questions to us as human beings. When we know we cannot know everything and that we will soon die, what do we do?” This is still in my opinion, a straightforward yet very simple summary, which I have remembered ever since. It’s usually a painful experience to realize that we are limited beings forced to make some tough decisions in order to adapt to this very sobering realization. In the end however, we must face life as it is, and change.

Read the full story »

Take A Moment, Breathe
December 1, 2016 – 12:11 am | Comments Off on Take A Moment, Breathe
Take A Moment, Breathe

by Nancy Fields

For a while, I struggled to find grace in the words, “They will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother.” However, as I listen to the politics of the day, I am convinced of the wisdom of those words. My challenge has been to put the words of rhetoric, debate, and argument in their rightful places!

Panting and Thirsting: Longing for God in the Bible
December 1, 2016 – 12:10 am | No Comment
Panting and Thirsting: Longing for God in the Bible

by Peter Lau

As we read the psalms, we find the motif of panting or thirsting, which is part of a larger theme of longing for God. This article will first explore the motif of panting and thirsting in five psalms, and then trace the theme of longing through to the New Testament.

Rethinking Breathing
December 1, 2016 – 12:09 am | No Comment
Rethinking Breathing

by Rebeca Radillo

The theme of this article is “Breathing.” Its purpose is to expand our thinking to allow us to better understand the complexity of the human life by seeking in the biopsychosocial/spiritual/religious model new perspectives related to the intricacy of human life. Its goal is to expand our vision to the point that we realize that nothing in our daily life, even when it is as simplistic and routine as “breathing,” can be taken for granted.

The Paradox of Breathing
December 1, 2016 – 12:08 am | No Comment
The Paradox of Breathing

by William J. Sappenfield

Breathing readily illustrates the nature of paradox in our relationship with God. Breathing is the climax of God’s creation of humans in Genesis 2 and it is Jesus’ means of commissioning his disciples in John 20. But God slipped a paradox into creation to give us a reminder of how our relationship with God is maintained.

I Can’t Breathe!
December 1, 2016 – 12:07 am | No Comment
I Can’t Breathe!

by Harold Dean Trulear

In a real sense, if we answer the question “How do we preach to them,” we run the risk of developing a formulaic response itself devoid of the Divine Breath. The answer lies not in a formula, but in an encounter with that Breath itself. Our encounter with that Breath as preachers gives freer passageway for the Breath to enter the places in congregants’ souls deprived of spiritual oxygen.

Book Review: Paul and the Gift by John M.G. Barclay
December 1, 2016 – 12:06 am | No Comment
Book Review: Paul and the Gift by John M.G. Barclay

Reviewed by Efrain Agosto

This involved study of Paul and “grace-as-gift” invites the reader to approach the topic carefully and over a rich, rewarding period of study, reflection and analysis. Barclay leaves no stone unturned. The working preacher, in particular, might find this study one she or he will return to often, whether to review key theologians in church history and biblical studies and their take on Pauline theology, or to explore, again and again, the careful exegesis of passages in Galatians and Romans, Paul and the Gift will be the “gift that keeps on giving.”

Book Review: Come and See: Presbyterian Congregations Celebrating Weekly Communion by Ronald P. Byars
December 1, 2016 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Book Review: Come and See: Presbyterian Congregations Celebrating Weekly Communion by Ronald P. Byars

by Neal D. Presa

Ronald Byars gives us in this present volume a treasure and an invitation. It’s a treasure because as a pastor-professor-theologian, Byars is adept at describing the theology and history of the Lord’s Table, specifically, and sacramental theology, more generally. Even as he belongs to the Presbyterian tribe, he and his writing are ecumenical through and through. He presents actual case studies of pastoral leaders and their congregational communities in living into and living out frequent Eucharistic celebration.

Book Review: Preaching the Presence of God: A Homiletic from an Asian American Perspective by Eunjoo Mary Kim
December 1, 2016 – 12:04 am | No Comment
Book Review: Preaching the Presence of God: A Homiletic from an Asian American Perspective by Eunjoo Mary Kim

by Neal D. Presa

The pioneering publication of “Preaching the Presence of God” by Korean American homiletics scholar and Iliff School of Theology professor, Eunjoo Mary Kim began a necessary conversation and important consideration of Asian/Asian American preaching, churches, scholarship, and pastoral leadership on the American Christian ecclesial landscape. Churches and the academy are playing catch-up with Asian/Asian American immigration trending as the fastest growing demographic community in the United States. It highlights to the majority culture the distinctive character of a segment of Asian/Asian American cultures and traditions, and the contribution that Asian/Asian American ethos and pathos bring to the table and to the pulpit.

Three Book Reviews about Preaching and Teaching on Climate Change
December 1, 2016 – 12:03 am | No Comment
Three Book Reviews about Preaching and Teaching on Climate Change

by Keith Russell

One of the challenges facing the church today is the topic of climate change. There has been a variety of new works published on the issue that relate to teaching and preaching. I want to offer three recent works which can be of help to those of those who are called to teach and preach.

Quotations from Scripture and Other Writings Related to Breathing
December 1, 2016 – 12:02 am | No Comment
Quotations from Scripture and Other Writings Related to Breathing

selected by Darla Turlington

Here are quotations from the Bible and from secular writings that pastors and others may find useful in sermons, essays, or other venues.

Greetings From the Editor
December 1, 2016 – 12:01 am | No Comment
Greetings From the Editor

by Jin Hee Han

For the winter issue of 2016, we present a collection of articles and book reviews focused upon the theme of “BREATHING.” This year we were presented with a series of challenges, but the Lord provided for us exactly what we needed to continue this important ministry. Help from the Lord came through like the precious supply of breath in ways that we could recognize right away as God’s gracious intervention.

Our authors highlight God’s mysterious and wondrous work we encounter in the Bible, the life of the church, and the world in modern days. As the Johannine Jesus points out, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (John 3:8). Commentators immediately add that the Greek word for the “wind” is pneuma, and that it also means “spirit” (as in the Holy Spirit). The Spirit of the living God takes us where we may not have anticipated, but the upshot of the journey is always the manifestation of God’s goodness.

Where is God’s Dwelling Place?
August 2, 2016 – 12:11 pm | No Comment
Where is God’s Dwelling Place?

by Moses Biney

This is not a simple question. It is profound as it is perennial. Theologically, it points to the nature of God—God’s transcendence, immanence and omnipresence. It raises questions such as, “Is God present in all places at all times?” “How do we know this?”