James K. A. Smith on the importance of the dinner table

I'm reading through James K. A. Smith's excellent new book, You Are What You Love. I highly recommend this book. Here are some of Smith's thoughts on the formative power of families eating dinner together: For example: never underestimate the formative power of the family supper table. This vanishing liturgy is a powerful site of formation. Most of the time it will be hard to keep the cathedral in view, especially when dinner is the primary occasion for sibling bickering. Yet even then, members of your little tribe are learning to love their neighbor. And your children are learning something about the faithful promises of a covenant-keeping Lord in the simple routine of that daily promise of dinner together (132). Smith continues: The table at home is an echo of the Lord’s Table; the communion of the saints is given microcosmic expression in the simple discipline of daily dinner together. There is an ongoing dance...

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Do You Really Believe This? On Santa Claus, Jesus, and the Unbelievable

It is during this season, the glorious Christmas season, that my wife watches her favorite channel the most. Unfortunately for me, that channel is not one of the ESPN family of networks, but the Hallmark Channel. I’m generally a fan of Hallmark’s usually wholesome television programming, stuff you can actually watch with your nine-year-old in the room, so please don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say. Here it is: The endless string of Christmas rom-coms I’m forced to watch with my wife makes me want to channel William Wallace in Braveheart, rip off my shirt, and yell, ”Freedom!” Maybe it’s the very simple plot lines (wealthy developer wants to tear down a small town’s sacred institution to build condos–oh, the horror–until a scrappy heroine saves the day with a pitched local campaign and then falls in love with the formerly evil developer), the overwrought sentimentalism, or the poor acting. Or maybe it’s...

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The Way Home featuring Ray Ortlund

What do good fathers give to their children and why is marriage a picture of the gospel? Ray Ortlund joins us to talk about his childhood, what he learned from his father's example, and why he has, recently, been speaking out on racial justice. Ray Ortlund is a the Senior Pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tenn. He is a council member with the Gospel Coalition, and the author of several books, including his latest, Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel. He blogs regularly here and speaks at conferences around the country. [powerpress] Show Notes Twitter: @rayortlund Website: ortlund.net Book: Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel ...

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The Way Home featuring Nancy Guthrie

What do you say to a grieving friend? Nancy Guthrie, Bible study teacher and author, shares from her own seasons of grief to help others both find comfort and to comfort. Nancy and her husband, David, have a twenty-something son, Matt, and have had two children, a daughter, Hope, and a son, Gabriel, who were born with a rare genetic disorder called Zellweger Syndrome and each lived six months. She is a Bible teacher, host of Help Me Teach the Bible, and author of several books, including her latest, What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts).  You will be richly blessed by this conversation with Nancy as she opens up about grief, grace, and the gospel. [powerpress] Show Notes Twitter: @saysNancyGuth3 Website: nancyguthrie.com Book: What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) Bible Studies The Gospel Coalition podcasts and articles ...

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