Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shavuot and Acts 2

I accidentally prepared for the wrong reading when working on the last video for the New Testament Experience. I figured I'd do a brain dump here and share the wealth.

Pentecost (literally the fiftieth day) is the beginning of the Jewish festival of Shavuot. This is the religious festival that was all about celebrating God giving the law (torah) to the people of Israel (which coincidentally happened fifty days after the Exodus).

If you remember your flannelgraph correctly, you may remember seeing a fire at the top of the mountain. This passage (along with Ezekiel 1-2) is one of the theophanies (visible manifestation of God) that the Jewish people read during the feast of Shavuot. The other main reading for this Festival comes from the book of Ruth. That is interesting because the book of Ruth foreshadows the incorporation of the Gentiles into the people of God as she is not a Jew but a Moabite (who are forbidden in Deuteronomy 23:3 to be part of the Jewish people... they are to be totally separate).

What a beautiful setting for the giving of the Holy Spirit! The festival celebrates the moment when all the people saw a fire on top of the mountain and received the Law that was to help them cover their sin and live in right relation to God once again. Now, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the fire is no longer on the mountain, but separates and rests on them individually. It fills them and they cannot help but cry out! The law that is being celebrated in Shavuot is being fulfilled before their very eyes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Binding, Losing, and the Presence of Jesus

Did you realize that "wherever two or three are gathered" is talking about far more than what happens in prayer?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Baptism of Jesus (Jewish/Cultural Background)

This is the first of several videos that will explore background information related to the readings for the New Testament Experience series that the Newsong service at my church is doing.  This is about Jesus Baptism found in Matthew 3.  So much information it was hard to decide!  Please email me questions: and subscribe to email updates at the right side!

A New Face for an Old Blog

I have been blogging on some version of unpretending for several years.  As my horizons have expanded, I have begun to contribute in many places.  I have decided to move to be a blog that contains most of all the content I create.  Unpretending (currently  soon to have a proper url) is going to have a very specific focus.

Over the last couple of months I have had several conversations with people (especially college students) who want some sort of place to receive deep conversation and teaching about scripture and the Christian faith.  Since we do not do a whole lot at our church for college ministry, I am hoping that this can be a place for our college students as well as other interested students and adults can recieve that sort of information on a semi-regular basis.  My commitment for this blog from hence forth will be to the following:
  1. Honest, academic information - Meaning you will not find a lot about the latest Christian inspirational book.  I will do the research required to provide depth rather than re-re-digested content.
  2. Short - I will not write dissertations here.  I am going to get to the point and leave out as much as possible so that it is easily digestable... think two-three double spaced pages.
  3. Questions - I am not here to provide answers.  I am much more interested in questions and difficult ideas that make us wrestle with God.
  4. Little Application - I will have some sort of bringing it back into the real world time, but will focus most of my energy on the content itself.
We start with background information for a study our church is doing where people are trying to read through the Bible in 9 weeks.