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I’m just about done with Scot McKnight’s Book Praying with the Church.  I read most of it while in Thailand last week but wasn’t able to quite finish it.  I’ve known for too long that my prayer life needed to go deeper, and have struggled to find the discipline to do so in the privacy of my own devotional time.  Not that I don’t pray, but my prayers haven’t been fervent, nor bathed in Scripture.  

McKnight takes one through 4 different prayer books that can be used to pray with the church around the world.  As he’s explained different methods from the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican and a more modern take from Phyllis Tickle, I’ve been challenged to rethink how I pray.  

Today was my first official day of morning prayers using the Book of Common Prayer.  It’s hard to get used to and is VERY different for me, as I’ve never prayed like this before but I loved it.  I love the emphasis on reciting and praying Scripture together.  I love that  when I pray during the morning and evening dedicated times of prayer I know that I’m joining with the Church to dedicate ourselves to God, to confess, and to give thanks to Him.  

I have more to say about what I’ve learned from the book and I’ll do that another day.  For now, let me leave with a portion of this morning’s collect for Grace:

 

O Lord, our heavenly Father,
      almighty and everlasting God,
      who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day;
      defend us in the same with thy mighty power;
      and grant that this day we fall into no sin,
      neither run into any kind of danger,
      but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance,
      to do always that is righteous in thy sight;
      through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 

  Amen.
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I’m not sure this would have been my first choice but I also can’t argue with it. Seems pretty accurate. Thanks to marko for passing on the quiz.


You’re The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you’re re-enacting Christian theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust in zoo animals.


Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Scot McKnight’s little book on the Atonement has been a slow but good read.  Slow, because there is a lot to think about and consider.  As with most McKnight writings, he manages to explain what he’s thinking from an academic perspective while keeping it interesting and understandable enough for normal people.   McKnight explains that most people see the atonement in light of a variety of metaphors the church uses to describe it today.  It’s his contention that instead of limiting ourselves to one of the metaphors like sacrificial (offering), legal (justification), or interpersonal (reconciliation), or even commercial (redemption)  and military (ransom) that we need to consider all these images when thinking about how the atonement works today.