Grasping For Power And Silencing The Message (Acts 4:1-22)

Acts 4:1-22

This story is the beginning of the pattern of disciples being arrested for teaching/preaching in the name of Jesus. But just what were Peter and John preaching? The priests, temple guard and Sadducees were “greatly disturbed” because Peter and John were “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” According to Peter and John, this event that Jews had been waiting for, that they thought would happen at the end of time, had already begun to happen with Jesus. The rescue-by-God that was supposed to happen sometime in the future was now beginning to take place!

This is Good News, right? Any Jew should be excited that the day had finally come when God would come with power to rescue his people and set things straight, right? Well, not any Jew. Those in power don’t want their world disrupted, do they? Those in power are happy with the world as it is. Those in power don’t need God to come rescue people and set things straight. They are already doing just fine, thank you very much.

As N.T. Wright puts it in his commentary on this section, Continue reading

Rich Mullins On Happiness

Rich Mullins passed away 15 years ago today.  Here’s a favorite quote from him:

“We do not find happiness by being assertive.  We don’t find happiness by running over people because we see what we want and they are in the way of that happiness so we either abandon them or smash them.  The Scriptures don’t teach us to be assertive.  The Scriptures teach us–and this is remarkable–the Scriptures teach us to be submissive.  This is not a popular idea.”

The Lost Boy and the Lonely Astronaut: A Joint Review of Andrew Peterson and Andrew Osenga’s Newest Albums

I have been listening to Andrew Osenga’s Leonard, the Lonely Astronaut since April, when the pre-release was available.  I have not been able to stop listening since.  Osenga, a former member of “The Normals” and “Caedmon’s Call”, really shines on this concept album.  The character Leonard and his soon-to-be ex-wife are in the midst of getting a divorce when she suddenly dies.  As a result, he decides to take part in a solo-journey into space.  Because of the relativity of time, when Leonard returns to Earth, everyone he knows will be dead, and he will be able to start life over.  The album chronicles the loss and emotional journey traveled by Leonard during these events.

As I’ve been listening to Leonard, the Lonely Astronaut these past months, I’ve also been looking forward to Andrew Peterson’s Light for the Lost Boy.  While Light for the Lost Boy is not about one character in the same way that Leonard… is, there is an image that keeps popping up in some of the songs: a boy lost in the woods.  The Boy takes center stage in the song “The Ballad of Jody Baxter”, although he makes appearances throughout the album.

The more I listened to both these albums, the more I came to realize that, in a sense, they are telling a similar story. Continue reading