First Glance: Mark 11:20-33

They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked, “And who gave you authority to do this?” (Mark 11:27-28) The day after cleansing the temple, Jesus…

Review: A Taste of Torah

           Keren Hannah Pryor. A Taste of Torah: A Devotional Study Through the Five Books of Moses. Center for Judaic-Christan Studies, 2008. Since before the time of Jesus, it has been the practice of observant Jews to read the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, every year. This practice…

First Glance: Mark 11:1-19

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no…

Review: Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

Jerry L. Walls, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: A Protestant View of the Cosmic Drama. Brazos Press, 2015. Interest in heaven, hell, and the afterlife have seen a dramatic increase in recent years. Myriads of books, movies, and articles have been published reporting both sensational experiences and profound skepticism. Yet what this resurgence has often lacked…

First Glance: Ruth 4

“I will redeem it,” he said. Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you will also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.” At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it, because it might endanger…

Beauty in Lines

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     your works are wonderful,     I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14) When I first noticed them I was mortified. What in the world was happening to my skin? It used to be so nice and smooth. Why were these crevices appearing? Did I do something wrong?…

Review – Population: 485

Michael Perry. Population: 485 – Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time. Harper Perennial, 2007. A little over a year and a half ago, my wife and I moved from a medium sized city to a small town in rural Iowa. Even before we stepped foot in the state, I received an email inviting…