A Bucket List or a Longing for Eternity?

I do not know exactly what life in the new heavens and new earth will be like, but I believe that the new creation will be better than this current creation, not worse. It will be more, not less.

I think this dull vision of heaven makes us all, even Christians, think that we need to suck all the joy and excitement we can out of this life before we “kick the bucket.” Well, I have a different perspective: I have no plans to kick the bucket. I intend to pass from life into... Continue Reading

Are Differences in the Gospels Evidence of an “Imperfect” Bible?

A response to the series by Peter Enns’ entitled, “Aha moments: biblical scholars tell their stories.”

The problem with entering seminary students (such as myself years ago) is not that they’re faced with an imperfect Bible but that their expectations at the outset are often inadequately informed. Just because the Bible involves translation and testimonies doesn’t make it imperfect! The Bible is “imperfect” only when measured by the unwarranted expectation that... Continue Reading

You Are Not Forgotten

The church has its own POWs—those who are missing or imprisoned by life in a fallen world, those who spend long periods of time captive to illnesses both mental and physical.

The church is great in a crisis. We are great with sudden heart attacks, emergency surgeries, car wrecks, funerals. We are great with flowers and meals and child care for people’s moments of chaos and desperation. This is good. But we are not always so great with the messy, unsolvable, lengthy trials of those who... Continue Reading

The Church and Violence Against Women

Male violence against women is a real problem in our culture, one the church must address.

An abusive man is not an over-enthusiastic complementarian. He is not a complementarian at all. He is rejecting male headship because he rejecting his role as provider and protector. As the culture grows more violent, more consumerist, more sexualized and more misogynistic, the answer is not a church more attenuated to the ambient culture, whether... Continue Reading

On Nude Celebrities, Virtual Voyeurs, and Willing Victims

As Christians, we must refuse to participate in further victimizing those who are victims of sin.

The young man who looks at pornography is enjoying someone else’s victimization. Whether the woman on the screen was raped into porn or whether she is a fully-willing participant, she is a victim of evil, controlling forces. And the young man who looks at her on the screen is joyfully participating in her victimization. He... Continue Reading

Having Boldness To Enter The Holiest

It is Christ's mediation that allows God’s people to draw near to Him in worship

“With the advent of Jesus Christ, the symbolic worship of the tabernacle has given way to the reality: we draw near to God through the rent flesh and shed blood of the Messiah. His resurrection is God’s justification of His mediatorial work (see Acts 17:31). Any approach to God apart from Christ, therefore, is rebellion... Continue Reading

The Opposite Of Name It, Claim It

I can't help but think how different a Christian benediction is from the "name it, claim it" mentality

“Our “positive confession” is what God says, not what we creatively speak. And the good news of the gospel is not that we can demand what we want from God and he is then required to give it. No, it is that despite our wretched, sinful condition and rebellion against God, he has lavishly given us Christ and all... Continue Reading

Does God Hate Your Minister and Your Church?

In Jeremiah’s day, God was furious with those ministering in his name

“May our churches be places where God’s Word is supremely taught, and God’s blessings and curses are faithfully presented. May our ministers be servants who are advancing in sanctification; may ministerial hypocrisy not be present. May all God’s people be proactively pastored; no one should be left alone or forgotten. Through the gracious power of God’s Holy Spirit, may... Continue Reading

Pursuing Reconciliation

Whenever you shake up something as homogenous as one-race churches, things are bound to get messy

“Over the last year, our big, white church has been striving to more fully reflect the diversity of Columbus, Ohio and the Kingdom of God. In the first few years, we perpetuated the racial segregation that exists in so many churches across America. Then in just four short years, we became a church of 1,000... Continue Reading

9 Things You Should Know About Intimate Partner Violence

The issue of intimate partner violence has been in the news recently after the National Football League suspended Ray Rice for hitting his finacee

“The term “intimate partner violence” (IPV) describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur across age, ethnic, gender, and economic lines, among persons with disabilities, among both heterosexual and same-sex couples, and does not require sexual intimacy. IPV affects more than 12 million... Continue Reading