Archives For Advent

The Campus Resources from InterVaristy Press: 2013-2014 Academic Year Edition. Do not miss the IVP discount for Emerging Scholars :) If you may be interested in helping with book reviews, please contact me.

What books are on your Christmas lists, not only your own wish list, but also ones you desire to give to others and/or suggest for a book discussion in the coming year? I am very interested in learning what Emerging Scholars desire to read, review, discuss, gift, possibly even teach (e.g., campus ministry, local congregation, even classroom). Please share . . . Note: No need for the book(s) to be “Christian”.

But yes, if you are looking for a suggestion (or two, three, four . . .), the Emerging Scholars Network does have a lot to offer . . .

Pontormo, Jacopo da, 1494-1556. Birth of John the Baptist, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=49459 [retrieved December 14, 2013]. Original source: http://www.yorckproject.de.

In our first installment, we took a look at the shepherds. Last time we considered the Magi. Now it is time to learn from the story of Zechariah.

Zechariah has been in the shadow of his famous son – John the Baptist. John certainly is an important character. But Zechariah was a man who had waited a long time, and so we can benefit from his story as we wait.

First note that Zechariah was “getting on in years.” And he and his wife Elizabeth were childless. In our culture, childlessness has a definite sting. Many modern day parents long for a child to be given to them. But in Zechariah’s day the burden was even greater – especially for the women. To be childless was a curse, possibly for having committed some grievous sin. The text, however doesn’t leave this as an option, for they both were “righteous before God” (1:6).

Are you suffering some kind of affliction? Are thing especially hard for you? It is possible that it is because you have done something that causes the heartache, but it is not necessarily the case. It might be just the randomness of life; or it could be that God has something for you in the midst of it. Continue Reading…

Babies and Bethlehem

David —  December 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

Chapman, Mike. In the beginning…, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55815 [retrieved December 13, 2013]. Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36229644@N06/4663154243.

Few things arouse human emotion as strongly as babies do. They are one of the few remaining cultural icons of innocence, operating with the simplest and purest of human feelings. They cry when upset, they sleep when content, and their waking activities revolve around eating, pooping, and discovering that they have arms and legs. A baby’s desires are not complex.

And yet, as any parent knows, this does not mean that caring for them is an equally simple task. In fact, the inverse is true; the more primitive and helpless a baby is, the more complex his or her surrounding world must become in order to support life. At this point in residency, I have watched over patients of all ages and types, and few patients in the hospital are as fragile as those in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. A single additional day of maturity, a few extra grams of weight, even the presence or absence of light can mean the difference between life, death, and permanent disability. Thousands of dollars are easily spent on the titration of medications or nutritional formula by milligrams and milliliters.

Why? Some of these extreme measures are driven by a sense of hope and potential. It reminded me of career advice from a former obstetric attending: Continue Reading…