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"Here is Your God:" Songs from Isaiah

This weekend was the official release of a new set of songs from my home church, Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada, CA. The album has a website where you can listen to the songs online, buy the album, or buy individual tracks. There’s

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My First Publication Ever

Cleaning out the garage to make room for some basic woodworking tools, I found what I believe is my first publication ever. That is, it’s the first time I wrote something, was paid for it, and saw it printed by a national publisher. It’s from

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Giant Chocolate Bunny: Siedell's God in the Gallery

My review of Dan Siedell‘s book God in the Gallery just came out in the latest issue of Cultural Encounters. The same issue also has a short essay by Siedell, extending and updating some of his ideas about art and religion since the 2008 publication

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What is the What: Sudan, Manute Bol and Activistic Art

Last week, Manute Bol died. The tallest and thinnest man in the NBA, he was a shot-blocker on stilts, an amusing presence, really, a trivia answer. He was also, it turns out, a very good man. Bol grew up in southern Sudan, a largely Christian

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Seeing the Resurrected Son of God

Easter is not a day, it is a season. Thus, instead of remembering our celebration of Easter a few weeks ago as we polish off the last remaining ear of the chocolate bunny or choke down that final Peep, we need to be continually living

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Yourself and the Air Around You

Charles C. Ryrie has a hundred object lessons for teaching the young. No, really, a hundred. They’re all good for making doctrinal points clear to kids, and Ryrie tells you exactly what object to show the kids in each case: a chair, a comb, a

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Found Poem: Wrong Way — Right Way

Wrong Way — Right Way Air An Invitation A Paycheck Hell Sinners All The World What Death Is Rejecting Ignoring A Stopped Watch All-Seeing “Be Ye Ready” Heaven No Savior Substitute An Anchor My Glasses Dark Glasses A Grade Book A Love Letter Mosquito Bites

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The Baptism of Christ: 8, The Holy Spirit

In one sense, portraying the Holy Spirit in baptism icons is not a problem at all: the Spirit descended in the form of a dove. The iconographer does not need to try to get behind this simple assertion of the New Testament to ask “why

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The Baptism of Christ: Part 7: The Son

Christ in icons of the baptism is identifiable just as he is in any painting or icon: his traditional bearded face, and a halo (nimbus) with a cross inscribed in it. Of course there are exceptions: the Arian baptistery in Ravenna featured a beardless Christ,

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The Baptism of Christ: 6, The Father

In this leisurely exploration of the image of the baptism of Christ, we finally turn to a description of the three persons of the Trinity. They are linked in the center of the image by the vertical beam of light, running down from the Father

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The Baptism of Christ: 5. Light

The feast of Christ’s baptism is called “the Feast of Light,” linking baptism with illumination in a tradition too ancient to trace. The apocryphal literature surrounding the New Testament is full of Jordan light imagery. The Gospel of the Ebionites reports that simultaneous with the

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The Baptism of Christ: 4. Angels and People

Angels are not mentioned in the scriptural account of the baptism, but they are almost always presented in the iconography. Perhaps they are included because the baptism is read together with the temptation in the wilderness, which followed it immediately, and after which the gospels