Epictetus: Soul-Wrenching Work

I often talk about church as a car repair shop rather than a Sunday trip through a car wash. While the latter may feel nice and give your exterior a little extra shine for a few days, it does not address the ‘engine’ inside that makes us go. At MainStreet we desire to open the…

Wisdom’s Allure

Just read a great article by Ellen Davis called “Surprised by Wisdom.” Here’s a taste: Anyone attuned to both the [biblical] text and contemporary culture might pause as early as the second line of the book [of Proverbs], where the purpose of “the proverbs of Solomon” is stated thus: “For knowing wisdom and discipline {musar)…”…

David Johnson: 38 Years of Divine Electricity

The bleachers squeaked like crazy. It smelled like a locker room. It got hot and stuffy on Saturday nights in the summer. We were packed in like sardines as upbeat guitars and the 90s choruses of “Trading My Sorrows” and “Shout to the Lord” echoed throughout the Robbinsdale High School gymnasium. As the last song…

Five Cultural Narratives

“Do not be conformed to the culture around you…” –Romans 12:2 In a recent sermon, we explored the way Paul’s poem in Colossians 1:15-20 served, in part at least, to subvert and reshape the imaginations of the believers in Colossae who were immersed in the cultural narrative(s) and values of the Roman Empire, i.e., the Pax Romana. …

QUOTABLES: View From The Pulpit

Eugene Peterson captures the thought of preachers as they look out on the congregation each Sunday: “Every Sunday I look across this congregation and wonder, prayerfully, what is going on. I know most of you pretty well. But there is a lot I don’t know. I am here every week with the conviction that this…

QUOTABLES: Bonhoeffer on Preaching

“When a preacher opens the Bible and interprets the Word of God, a mystery takes place, a miracle: the grace of God, who comes down from heaven into our midst and speaks to us, knocks on our door, asks questions, warns us, puts pressure on us, alarms us, and makes us joyful again and free…

Me & Billy G – Evangelistic & Ecumenical

One of the highlights of my ministry in my hometown is also one of the most painful experiences. In the summer of 2012, the City of Mound celebrated its 100th birthday during our annual City Days festival in July. A group of pastors I met with regularly began to coordinate with city leaders to organize…

LIFE VERSES 5: Jeremiah 20:9

In this series I’m sharing some Bible verses that have been pivotal in my personal faith formation and life journey. For each time I speak….the word of the LORD has resulted In reproach and derision all day long. But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in…