How easy it is for Christians to sing hymns without pondering the meaning of the texts. Howell encourages us to slow down and take notice. For each week of Advent, he provides meditations on the texts of Advent hymns and Christmas carols, including some secular songs, to prepare readers for the coming of Christmas and to ponder the meaning of the incarnation.
Matt talks to the writer and Yale Divinity School faculty member about poetry in preaching, whether scripture has unique revelatory power, naming the despair of churchgoers, and the centrality of Christ.
After enduring Job's calamities, his howling laments, the speeches of his "friends," a hymn to wisdom as an entr'acte, Job's plea of innocence, an awkward interruption by Elihu, and then four chapters of the LORD speaking from the whirlwind, we finally arrive at the 42nd and last chapter of Job.
We discover that no one much agrees what it means.
Matt talks to the Judson Memorial Church pastor about her childhood in the LCMS, the unique challenges of preaching in New York, and instances when a pastoral care matter makes it straight into a sermon.
While 94 percent of Protestant pastors believe their churches are safe places to talk about marital difficulties, fewer than half of churchgoers who divorced in the past five years discussed their marriage problems with their church’s lead pastor, according to new findings by LifeWay Research. High percentages of both churchgoers who divorced (77 percent) and those in healthy marriages (79 percent) agreed in principle that their church is a safe place to talk about marital problems. When their own marriages were failing, however, just 48 percent of the divorced sought counsel from their pastor. Smaller percentages spoke to someone else, and 31 percent told no one at church about their marital problems. Half of divorced churchgoers said their church prayed for them after their separation, and 43 percent said their church supported them (Baptist News Global, October 29).