Bruce Waltke’s nearly 500-page commentary on Micah (Eerdmans, 2007) is the best treatment of Micah I know of. It might even be the best commentary on any prophet, and ranks right up there with R.T. France’s Mark commentary. Waltke’s Micah, however, is even more technical and examines just about every textual issue you could imagine. It was indispensable to me when I wrote a seminary exegesis paper on that blessed prophet. I don’t preach Micah without consulting it.
Accordance Bible Software has just released the volume, and even though I own the print edition, I made sure to get it into my Accordance library a.s.a.p. Check it out here (Accordance) and here (publisher’s page). The price is far lower than the value of the book.
Head over to appealtochristians.com to see “Appeal to Christians Regarding President-Elect Donald Trump.” I’m honored to be joined by more than 30 Christian faith leaders who have signed the letter. The appeal culminates in this five-point commitment and call to action:
1. We will pray for President-elect Trump, elected officials, our nation, our churches, and each other.
2. Rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the prophets, we will tell the truth about the world around us, and we will speak up for those who have been marginalized and taken advantage of.
3. We will actively resist the temptation to overlook or normalize values, speech, and behavior that are in conflict with what Scripture calls us to.
4. In the name of Jesus, we call President-elect Trump to repentance for dishonoring the image of God in others.
5. We will fix our eyes on Jesus and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, redouble our efforts to honor the image of God in all people and to love all our neighbors as ourselves.
Read the whole thing here, add your name if you are so inclined (you’ll see a link), and share freely.
I’ve really been enjoying the Monday Morning Preacher podcast from PreachingToday.com.
- The length is perfect (I listen while I do the dishes)
- The focus on a single concept (introductions, ladder of abstraction, finding your voice) makes it memorable and easy to apply
- The specificity of the content (e.g., come down the ladder of abstraction every 3-4 minutes) means that without a ton of effort I can put the stuff to use right away the next Sunday
- I also enjoy hearing real, live preachers with the analysis after a sermon clip
Check out the Monday Morning Preacher podcast here.
Yesterday Sojourners online published my article, “Resist Injustice, Reshape the World.”
In it I reflect on the challenges a Trump presidency presents and say:
Being honest about reality is a primary role Christians can play in society.
The prophetic task of all believers is not just to react to reality rightly named, but to reframe it in the light of a grander vision of the future.
Read the whole thing here.
Are you ready?
John the Baptist arrives on the scene today, the second Sunday of Advent. Here’s how Luke describes it:
The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Through the Incarnation of Jesus, God exalts the humbled, humbles the exalted, brings light into darkness, and reverses the fortunes of the rich and poor alike, of those who are ahead and those who feel left behind. What a wonderful promise that we would see the salvation of God in this way!
Even as God himself lowers mountains and straightens crooked paths and makes rough ways smooth, we can look inward to our own hearts and ask, “What crooked ways are here? What mountains have I tried to build so I can climb them and exalt myself above others? Where are my own rough ways?”
Are we ready?
Three years ago this week the world lost a prophet, Nelson Mandela. He died at the age of 95.
As I was watching a PBS special about him, just hours after his death, there was a friend of Mandela’s telling about a recent visit he’d made with his young son to see Mandela.
I don’t remember the guy’s name–it was a political dignitary, as I recall. He said when he and his son came in to see the aging Mandela, Mandela said, “Oh, it is so nice that a young boy would still come and see an old man who has nothing new to say.”
Prophets know they have to be repetitive.
Prophets know they aren’t necessarily saying something new, but the visions of hope that they’ve been casting have still not come about, and so they say the same thing.
They cast the same good, hope-filled vision: over and over, until it gets through our sometimes thick heads that this vision might actually become a reality.