A Closer Look #12 Opening the Book of Faith

A Closer Look
Today I have a review of Opening the Book of Faith: Lutheran Insights for Bible Study by Diane L. Jacobson, Stanley N. Olson, and Mark Allen Powell, a book with Lutheran roots and ecumenical appeal on how to approach (and teach how to approach) reading and interpreting Scripture in a healthy way. You can also read, rate, and comment on my review at Amazon.

This is a must-have book for anyone who finds themselves doing more on-the-job training than they would like in their ministry. It’s short, it’s accessibly written, and its ideas are sound and helpful. “Opening the Book of Faith: Lutheran Insights for Bible Study” is the sort of pocket guide I wish I’d had during my first year in youth ministry – and I’m not even Lutheran!
There are excellent examples of the balance of

Read more

My Two Nights on a Hermitage Retreat.

No electricity.
No plumbing.
No clock.
All wonderful.
I spent Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning in a space called Pacem in Terris, a spiritual retreat center in central Minnesota. Its roots are in the Catholic tradition and its doors are wide open. My seminary offered students a blessed discount rate for this experience and after discussing the opportunity with my wife, I elected to go. I’m so grateful to her for saying “Yes, and…” to this one. She elected to hold down the fort at home so I could try to surprise myself and be open to God surprising me, too.
What follows is a brief reflection on my hermitage experience. It’s stream-of-consciousness style and just as much about my processing the experience as it is hoping to entice you to try such an experience. Whichever reason shows through clearest, I hope you’ll enjoy. Stick around for a gallery of photos at the bottom of the post and you can click each photo for a much larger version and then scroll through them. You can also click any of the photos in this post for larger versions.
What Got Me There.
I needed a break. I’d been in full-time classes for six months straight. My supervisor is on sabbatical so I’ve

Read more