Alienation from God

We are warped and twisted in our alienation from God. The gospel tells us that Jesus Christ came to replace that alienation with reconciliation.

With the rise of psychiatry and psychology, not least in their “pop” versions, we have now become a therapeutic culture—patients who need inner healing, victims who need a better self-image. Our deepest problem is now seen to be personal alienation—whether from those around us or from ourselves. Thus, many therapists set out to deal with... Continue Reading

Christ, the Giver of the Law

The Whole Law of God was part of the sufficiency and efficaciousness of Christ’s redeeming work in the Old Testament.

The Lord Jesus Christ formed this People of the Old Testament, redeemed them from Egypt, carried them on eagles’ wings through the Wilderness, and gave them His Law as their God. As we move on to the Content, Purpose, and Praxis of the Law, having our conclusion here firmly in place, it should become plain... Continue Reading

You Don’t Need to Sit at Jesus’s Feet

As surprising as it may seem, reading your Bible with the Holy Spirit’s help is better than sitting at Jesus’s feet.

But our reason for humility is also our greatest reason for hope! Understanding the Bible doesn’t depend ultimately on your IQ, your efforts, or how long you’ve been a Christian. Understanding the Bible depends on the Spirit of God in you. Even the lowliest Christian can see more than the greatest Old Testament prophets, because by the... Continue Reading

Scorched Earth Sanctification

Christians are engaged in a bitter struggle against a brutal enemy.

The scorched-earth policy is a retaliatory retreat in which, as civilians and military personnel abandon the frontline, they take or destroy anything that could be utilized by the enemy.  In a speech delivered shortly after the invasion began, Stalin implored his countrymen, “to the enemy must not be left a single engine, a single railway... Continue Reading

How We Read the Bible Rightly and Get It Wrong

Let's show mercy to those who 'misinterpret' Jeremiah 29:11 and other favorite verses

“How will you respond? Your exegetically and theologically trained mind immediately populates a list of problems with her use of this verse: this is a horrible translation of the Bible; this verse is taken out of context; this is a word spoken to the nation of Israel in the Old Covenant and therefore can’t apply... Continue Reading

The Confession of a Grace Abuser

There have been times I’ve used my “grace card” like it was some kind of unlimited hall pass

“If you and I are at all serious about personal holiness, we’ll need to look under the hood of our hearts and try to figure out why we do what we do and then have the wisdom and courage to do something about it.  I think two of the most spiritually crippling words for followers... Continue Reading

The Aesthetics of Worship

Why do we sing in church, in our living room, at a concert, etc.?

“Is there (or should there be) a palpable difference between the aesthetics of worship and other opportunities for singing together? Does the context of a coffee house, campfire, concert hall, stadium, living room, or sanctuary change our expectations and practice of making music?”   In my last post, I set out a series of questions–including... Continue Reading

Wisdom Christology in the Gospel of John: The Prologue

"For the knowledge of God is the door by which we enter into the enjoyment of all blessings."

This saving knowledge, received by faith, is very different than being saved by mere knowledge. For Calvin (consistent with the Wisdom School), the divine Wisdom is a rich and comprehensive wisdom. The divine Wisdom is filled with every blessing, with power and vitality, and with all the holiness and righteousness for which we hunger and... Continue Reading

Worshiping a Golden Calf on Sunday Morning is Deceptively Easy

The hottest “worship war” going is the one taking place daily in the sanctuary of our own hearts.

We worship the worship experience; we tithe with expectation of return from heaven’s slot machine; we dress to impress; and we serve and lead to compensate for the inadequacies in our hearts that only Christ can fill. Every weekend, hundreds of preachers extol a therapeutic gospel from the pages of the same Bible where the... Continue Reading

The Damning Devastation of a Single Coddled Sin

Just a single sin left in your life is as dangerous as just a single rattlesnake left in your bed.

Christian, do not be ambivalent with your sin. Do not be complacent with sin in general and be doubly sure you are not ignoring a single treasured pet sin. There is great danger in any and every sin; there is great joy and freedom in every measure of holiness.   We can never be ambivalent.... Continue Reading