The Mystery of the Gospel

This is a mystery that was hidden by God until it could be publicly revealed in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, in His death, burial, and resurrection.

All around Asia Minor and the ancient world at this time, there were mystery religions and mystery cults, and there were some who thought, especially from the Roman perspective, that Christianity was just another one of them. After all, it had its mystery.   The essential content of Christian preaching, Paul says, is the mystery... Continue Reading

Who Are the “Broken Wolves” in the Evangelical Community Today?

“Broken Wolves” are those “who use their own authenticity, pain, and brokenness to attract believers who are also suffering and broken.”

There are quite a few people out there who talk about the personal difficulties they’ve experienced in life, including abuse, often abuse at the hands of church people. They tend to look at certain doctrines of the faith with great suspicion or even abhorrence.   In his groundbreaking article I shared on my blog earlier this... Continue Reading

The (Other) Lord of Martin Luther’s Life

What we know—and what we can guess—about the reformer’s wife, Katharina von Bora.

The Reformation’s 500th anniversary has brought renewed attention to its most significant players, and “Katie” Luther is no exception. Hence, we have a new biography by Ruth Tucker, Katie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation: The Unconventional Life of Katharina von Bora.   How do you write a book about a woman whose life story is... Continue Reading

Judge Gives FEMA 3 Weeks to Change Policy Banning Churches From Receiving Disaster Relief

If FEMA fails to change the policy within the deadline, the judge said he would issue a ruling.

Since the devastation by Hurricane Harvey in late August, FEMA has denied houses of worship access to federal disaster aid grants due to their religious status while allowing other nonprofits and businesses to apply, but Judge Keith Ellison has given the agency until Dec. 1 to change that policy.   A Houston federal judge has... Continue Reading

Don’t Leave Your Husband for Her

A Letter to a Would-Be Adultress

A mixed-orientation marriage combines one spouse who “is” gay and the other who “is” straight. This new language for sexuality and humanity has become our post-Christian world’s reigning (and godless) logic. Gay may be how someone feels, but it can never be who someone inherently is. Because all human beings are made in God’s image, we are... Continue Reading

When Everything Is Missions

The old slogan “every member a missionary” is not really accurate.

The theme of the book is simple and provocative: we are not all missionaries and not everything is missions, and if we don’t get these definitions correct we will not be effective in carrying out the mission Christ gave to the church.   Pastors, mission committees, mission agencies, and church leaders would do well to... Continue Reading

Augustine, Happiness, and a Birthday Cake

There was, of course, a cake – a healthy delight made with spelt flour, almonds, and honey.

Characteristically for Augustine, the cake prompted a three-day discussion. The subject was happiness – one of his favorite themes – a universal instinct which is meant to lead us to true happiness in God. The treatise De Beata Vita(On the Blessed Life) was the happy result. For Augustine, happiness is enjoying God forever.   If Augustine... Continue Reading

Joyfully Lifting Malformed Hands in Worship

"How do we lift our hands to worship the God who sovereignly brings pain into our lives?"

“Please pray that our little son will someday joyfully lift his hands, formed and malformed, in heartfelt worship to the King who in love and mysterious providence saw fit to have him walk this path—even when he can’t know exactly why it had to be so.”   There are many reasons I love being a... Continue Reading

Understanding Free Will

Martin Luther struggled greatly with the relationship of God’s sovereignty to human free will and sin.

When Luther discussed this, he observed that when the Bible says that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, God did not create fresh evil in the heart of an innocent man. Luther said that God didn’t harden people by putting evil in their hearts. All that God must do to harden anyone’s heart is to... Continue Reading

Top Ten Reasons You Just Might Be a Hyper-Protestant

You might be a hyper-Protestant if….

It is not enough to affirm that justification is forensic and synthetic (a justification of the ungodly that involves the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the merits of Christ) and received by faith as the instrument that unites us to Christ who is our wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  Rather, if... Continue Reading