30 Holy Minutes

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 5 Comments

One of my friends spends 30 minutes/day in intercessory prayer. Through his example I’ve been challenged to do the same. That was two months ago. How’s it going so far? I’m inconsistent, and when I do sit down before the Lord my mind easily wanders. Yet, I’m beginning to WANT to be there… Would you care to join me on …

The Acid Test

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 1 Comment

Here’s why I think “midreach” (speaking to Christians and nonChristians at the same time—see my last three posts below) is so profound: It revives the idea that public speaking (or interactive presentation) is a true art form—carefully crafted, thoroughly prayed over. It is audience-centered. It takes account of who’s listening as the speech act is designed. It tends to avoid …

Teaching an early Creed

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 0 Comments

Apologists often point to 1 Cor 15:3-4 as an early creed that was in use among Christians shortly after the resurrection of Jesus (within 2-5 years). You may remember that the text speaks of Christ’s atoning death, his resurrection and appearances to the twelve. If the creed goes back as far as we think, it works AGAINST the argument of …

Midreach part 2

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

Here is an example of what I call “midreach” (see last week’s post for more context): The gospel writer Mark presents Jesus to his audience in a way that hardly distinguishes between believers and non-believers. Believers can find comfort in a series of healings and exorcisms in the first few chapters: Ch 1: Simon’s mother-in-law and a leper are healed. …

Midreach

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 6 Comments

“Inreach” is fairly well defined in my mind as ministry that seeks to bring believers to spiritual maturity. “Outreach” is also fixed in my thinking as ministry that extends the gospel to the surrounding community and nations. What I’m trying to figure out, however, is “midreach.” Thus far, I’ve come up with this: Midreach is both. It’s communicating Biblical ideas …

Jesus outside the box

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

These days I am writing my own commentary on the gospel of Mark. Am I finding fresh meanings in Mark? Writing something never before written? Not really. Scholars have been conducting a weighty conversation about the NT for the past 2000 years, and I’m simply joining in the fun. It would be quite dangerous to swerve outside the lines of …

Sponsoring Downward, Outward

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 14 Comments

I have a radical idea. It’s not going to apply in every situation—I realize that. But here it is: Church is not really for me. Don’t get me wrong. I am HIGHLY committed to Grace Church Roseville. What I’m saying, however, is that my job as a 50-something is not so much to receive as it is to give. Sharon …

Adaptability

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 3 Comments

In his excellent book, The Rise of Evangelicalism, historian Mark Knoll (Wheaton College) portrays the early evangelical movement of 18th century Europe and colonial America as entrepreneurial, adaptable, revivalist, experiential. . . radical. This in contrast to the “creaking mechanisms” of established state religion. Knoll observes: “By setting aside earlier religious forms, the evangelicals did not think they were setting …

Tradition or Change?

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 11 Comments

My friend R is more conservative than me. My good buddy P is more Catholic than me (right, since I’m Protestant). In lengthy discussions with both this past year, a critical issue has arisen—though from different angles: the place of tradition. Each friend in his own way is telling me that church tradition keeps us from wandering outside the boundaries …