Request an Exam Copy

Extracurricular Activities — April 26, 2014

Categories Extracurricular Activities

Anna Nussbaum Keating Wonders Why Her Son Can't Receive Communion

I am not someone who is uncomfortable saying “no” to my child. I say “no” to him a dozen times a day. In fact, other parents often look askance when I make him say “please” and “thank you” or reply with “yes, mama.” But the Eucharist isn’t something I want him not to want.

So as my son persists in asking, I can’t stop thinking about his request. The Eucharist is, according to Lumen Gentium, the “source and summit of the Christian life.” If as Jesus says in John 6:54, “He who eats my body and drinks my blood has eternal life,” what does it mean to deny it to our children? Children in the hospital cannot receive the Eucharist before going into surgery. Catholic children who may be ready but are not quite seven years of age are denied. Why are we withholding this source of grace from the youngest members of our community?

Peter Enns on Paul's Teachings on the Government and Inerrancy

What’s got me thinking about this is Romans 13:1-7. There Paul famously wrote what can be nothing other than a number of quite clear and striking affirmations and teachings about God, the government, and what that means for the rest of us plebes.

If I may summarize Paul: The governing authorities have been instituted by God and to resist these authorities is to resist God. If you conduct yourself well, you have nothing to fear. If you do what is wrong, you will feel the brunt of their authority, since they do not bear the sword in vain, do they? Of course not. The authorities are God’s servants.

It sounds to me like Paul is affirming and teaching something.

I also think there are major problems with taking Paul’s words as a binding affirmation/teaching.

Tim Challies on the Cost of Preaching

I spent a good bit of time last week pondering the nature of God’s Word and thinking specifically about Paul’s mandate to Timothy: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” That’s a passage about preaching, but it’s also a passage about just plain reading the Bible out loud. It intrigued me.

I travel a fair bit these days and often enjoy worshipping in other churches, and here is something I’ve noticed: We tend to be far more committed to the second part of that command than to the first. We love our preaching, but what about the public reading of Scripture?

Thom Rainer on What Worship Styles Attract Millenials

My son, Jess Rainer, and I recently spoke in Texas on the topic of the Millennials, America’s largest generation of nearly 79 million persons...We reminded this audience in Dallas of the birth dates of this generation, 1980 to 2000, and then proceeded to share our research. We had commissioned LifeWay Research to survey 1,200 of the older Millennials; the researchers did an outstanding job. We have thus been able to share incredible amounts of data and insights from these young adults.

You see, most Millennials don’t think in the old worship war paradigm. In that regard, “style” of worship is not their primary focus. Instead they seek worship services and music that have three major elements.

Missiologist Dave Garrison Explains Why Muslims Are Becoming the Best Evangelists

After traveling 250,000 miles through Dar al-Islam ("House of Islam") as Muslims call their world, career missiologist David Garrison came to a startling conclusion:

Muslim background believers are leading Muslims to Christ in staggering numbers, but not in the West. They are doing this primarily in Muslim-majority nations almost completely under the radar—of everyone.


Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.

If you have any comments on these stories, we welcome you to share them here. We hope you enjoy!

–The Editors of Koinonia Blog

The Costs Muslims Face for Embracing the Gospel— An Excerpt from "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" by Nabeel Qureshi
The Costs Muslims Face for Embracing the Gospel— An Excerpt from "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" by Nabeel Qureshi Western Christians often forget there is a tangible cost to embracing the gospel. Sure we might lose a friend here or th...
Your form could not be submitted. Please check errors and resubmit.

Thank you!
Sign up complete.

Subscribe to the Blog Get expert commentary on biblical languages, fresh explorations in theology, hand-picked book excerpts, author videos, and info on limited-time sales.
By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at This form is protected by reCAPTCHA.