The Manna and the Stone

A Theological and Practical Journal of Bible Presbyterians

Month: October 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Kevin Arnold & Covenant Identity

C’mon, who doesn’t like The Wonder Years? Many viewers enjoy the nostalgic feeling of the show. We love that it’s set in early-1960s suburbia and is replete with witty, retrospective commentary. We can easily identify with so many of the characters. Preeminently, we love and identify with Kevin. His character is very believable (warts and all). What’s more, we have the gruff and detached father, the sweet mother, the hippie older sister, the dumb and domineering older brother, the cute girl across the street, and (most importantly for this post) the best friend, Paul. Continue reading

Conversations – 10/28/16

Sorry for the tardiness and brevity today – bad, crazy week at work. I’ll just jump right into it.  Continue reading

Who is the Church Service for?

I hope you’ll excuse the terrible grammar of the title. “For whom is the church service?” just reads as unbearably pretentious, which, amusingly, speaks somewhat to the point of this article. Also, the scripture passage I want to talk about briefly might not be the one you would expect on the topic, but I hope you’ll bear with me. Continue reading

Totally Trendy: The New Morality

Don't poke out an eye on her shoulder pads!

Movin’ and shakin’ in ’87!

Trendiness exposed by time is at base not much more than abject silliness. This truth is obviously (and amusingly) illustrated by clothing fashions. To get a chuckle out of about anyone, show them a few choice fashion pics from any given era. If the current fuzzy boots, deplorably ubiquitous yoga pants, and flat-billed baseball caps (with stickers!) are not enough for you, maybe try the late 80s. Shoulder pads and ratty bangs were “totally radical” then, but were rapidly “dead as disco” by the time Seattle poured forth something reeking of teen spirit in ’91. People anxious to keep up with the latest often waste copious resources and energy often ending up looking very silly. Continue reading

Conversations 10/21/16

I think last week was purging my system for a lot of this election stuff. I promise, no more political ranting in this column until after this gigantic, festering pit of an election has wrapped up.

On more a blog admin angle, I would really like to encourage more layfolk to submit material. Most of the stuff we’ve published so far is from various ministers and elders around the denomination, and while I’m thrilled to have so many voices from church leadership speaking, I’d really like to hear from the church at large. The site does have publishing guidelines, but Continue reading

A Prayer of Praise

(Inspired by Psalm 100)

A joyous, glorious, rapturous cry make unto the Lord Most High,

A shout of adoration do all the nations make.

Come, serve, and worship the Lord with gladness,

With a sacred joy,

With a heart of mirth,

With a soul of praise.

God alone is Lord; know this.

He can create and destroy,

Craft and disrupt,

Cover and displace.

His sovereign power formed man from a clod of mud and

Breathed life into him.

We are like His ignorant sheep

Needing care,

Needing constant tending,

Needing to be found when lost.

Our feeble frames He knows and sustains.

What could we possibly say or do or will

to even bring the honor due to His name?

Gates thronged with cries of joy,

With songs of thanksgiving,

With utterances of praises.

All tongues articulate a language framed to glorify Him and

Fill the courts with eternal praise

For the LORD is good.

His grace and mercy is vast beyond the measure of time and

His truth is firm beyond the

Line of human seed.

Singing in Worship and Christian Unity

With a view to encouraging us to more faithful and hearty worship in song, this post will focus primarily on a single verse, Colossians 3:16. This verse is found in the midst of a larger section of Pauline “put offs” and “put ons.” The put ons are positive applications to Continue reading

Conversations – 10/14/16

This political season has been nasty, unpleasant, and absurdly ungodly. Nevertheless, as things are coming to a head, I thought that it would be a profitable exercise to collect a number of articles which I believe deal with the topic from a distinctly Christian perspective. Additionally, I’ll give you the short take of my own position on this mess. Continue reading

Review – The Briefing

Part of what I hope this blog will be is a resource to help the people in our congregations know where they can find good, biblical content to read, listen to, etc…. I realize that my Friday column, Conversations, essentially serves this purpose, but I wanted to spend a bit more time on Continue reading

The Problem with Nutshells

Most everyone is familiar with the figure of speech “in a nutshell.” I suppose the phrase, which usually refers to someone’s explanation of a concept in a short and simple way, was coined as a colorful way to describe something so short that if written down it could be contained in, yes, a nutshell. I’ve never learned Continue reading

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