Prayer: The Closet
We have the example of our Lord, “rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Along with Christ’s example, we also have his instruction; perhaps no clearer than that found in Matthew 6:6. “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Here is a clear directive for every Christian... Continue Reading
What Is the Mind?
The brain may be the seat of the mind, it may be the organ that the body uses to think, but there is a difference between the physical organ that does the thinking and the thinking itself.
So, we ask the question, “What is thought?” Is thought merely a biochemical, electrical impulse that can be measured in exclusively physical categories? Or is there something nonphysical or spiritual about thought that is basic to our existence as human beings? What is the mind? I remember one theologian who played a word game... Continue Reading
Sola Scriptura and the Onus Operandi
As Protestants we maintain that Scripture alone constitutes God's inspired, infallible Word.
Onus probandi means “burden of proof,” and in philosophy it communicates the idea referenced above; namely, that entities making positive claims are required to bring forth arguments and data in support of their claim. Those denying such claims aren’t required to do anything until some positive proof lies on the table. Last month, I participated... Continue Reading
Can You Have Christmas Spirit Without the Christmas Story?
The Christmas spirit is incomprehensible apart from the Christmas story.
In my estimation, Nietzsche‘s worldview makes perfect since if we do indeed live in a godless world. If there is no God, we’re left to strive, take, and conquer our neighbors. To find significance we have to look inward. But if the Christmas message is true, then by looking outside of ourselves, to the person and... Continue Reading
Life as the Enjoyment of the Covenant Communion Bond
True life is nothing less than to possess God himself as one’s inheritance (Ps. 73:26; Rom. 8:17).
The garden, according to Vos, was “not in the first instance an abode for man as such, but specifically a place of reception of man into fellowship with God in God’s own dwelling-place.” The garden was a created holy realm or kingdom that facilitated life, that is, union and communion with God. It was the place... Continue Reading
Of Ananias, Sapphira, and Private Property
The notion of private property is not a modern, capitalist, Bourgeois notion. It is a natural, creational truth.
The notion of private property is not a modern, capitalist, Bourgeois notion. It is a natural, creational truth. It is a basic part of the natural, creational pattern (Luke 17:28). This is why Peter says what he does to Ananias and Sapphira. He was not instituting private property, he was assuming it. It was a given.... Continue Reading
How The Incarnation Gives Us Hope Amidst The Chaos
In the wake of such a difficult year, one filled with so much brokenness and so much pain, the most pressing question that arises is also very simple: is there any hope?
We all experience days when the darkness seems too strong, and hope feels far away. The Incarnation reminds us that light has pierced that darkness and has become our living hope (John 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:3). There is an infinite amount of hope bound up in the Incarnation. No matter how desperate the circumstance or... Continue Reading
Christ Was Born For More Than Death
The Son of God became incarnate as a human being not only to remove our sin, but also to make us righteous.
Our salvation depends upon this double exchange. Our sin was imputed to Christ when He was nailed to the cross. As Isaiah tells us, “…the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:6b) In addition, Christ’s righteousness was imputed to us. “He made Him who knew no sin to... Continue Reading
Pastor, Don’t Get Cute this Christmas
Dear pastor–and I’m reminding myself as much as I’m reminding you–our people don’t need us to find something new.
There will be unbelievers at your Christmas Eve service. And struggling saints. And weary souls. And wayward sinners. And stragglers who have ventured into a church for the first time in a very long time. They need to hear about Jesus, about the Word made flesh, about the only begotten Son sent from the Father,... Continue Reading
On Distinguishing The Jerusalem That Is Below From That Which Is Above
To have a religious interest in Jerusalem is to miss a very important point, that the whole function of the types and shadows (of which Jerusalem was always one) was to direct believers to Christ.
Do Christians have a civil or political interest in Jerusalem? Surely but we are just as sure to disagree about what that is. Some of us think that, for historical, geo-political reasons, that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of modern the state of Israel. Others disagree. That is all well and good but... Continue Reading