Don’t Check Your Baggage
Why We Never Leave Our Past Behind
If we have left our life of sin to follow Christ, we are free from our past, never to be defined or constrained by it again. But we never completely leave it behind, because God says something uniquely stunning about himself through our past — our tax collecting, our fits of anger, our quiet jealousy and... Continue Reading
Football: America’s Leading False god
In today’s culture—stadiums are overflowing while churches are empty.
When fathers spend a large amount of time and large sums of money on football, equipment, tickets to the game, tailgating expenses, and spend very little energy in the body life of the church—such a testimony speaks volumes about the god the father worships. Either God is perceived as boring and irrelevant or the children... Continue Reading
Keeping the Faith in a Faithless Age
“The greatest question of our time is not communism versus individualism, not Europe versus America, not even East versus the West; it is whether men can live without God.” ~Durant
The American church faces a new situation. This new context is as current as the morning newspaper and as old as those first Christian churches in Corinth, Ephesus, Laodicea, and Rome. Eternity will record whether the American church is willing to submit only to the authority of God or whether the church will forfeit its... Continue Reading
Creeds and confessions are not simply boundary markers but they arise out of a desire to praise God.
If true Christian believing and true Christian belonging are two sides of the same coin, inextricably joined together, then praise that expresses the content of belief is the means by which such belonging is given public expression; and this brings us back to creeds and confessions as being normative guides to Christian doctrine and also,... Continue Reading
Intolerance is Not Enough
A functional ethic requires more than mere opposition to perceived abuse.
Intolerance is therefore not enough. If my only line of defense against white nationalism or racism is to hate the haters, then I have no ethic other than self-righteous pride in the fact that I am not among them, which is little more than a prejudice against the prejudiced. Moreover, if the day comes that... Continue Reading
Please Stop Saying “Christianity Isn’t a Religion, It’s a Relationship.”
The Bible uses the word ‘religion’ here to talk about pleasing God with your life. Christianity = religion. Case. Closed.
True biblical religion prays not to earn God’s approval or check off a box, but in response to God’s gracious approval in Christ. True biblical religion knows faith without works is dead (James 2:14-17) and that anything done without love is a waste of time (1 Corinthians 13). True biblical religion sees the church as... Continue Reading
Easy Lies to Believe
Naming and disarming several lies often spoken to us through social media
So what’s the answer? Quitting social media is surely an option, one which many should seriously consider. But far more than needing to leave something, we need to return to something. We need to return to the Word of God. We need to hear from God more than we need to hear from our friends.... Continue Reading
Paul, the Law, and the New Perspective
Is it just a scholastic debate? No, it is not.
The issue of the New Perspective on Paul is hardly settled even within the field of Pauline Studies. For example, Simon Gathercole has shown that Jews in Paul’s day did boast in the Law and their ability to use it. There was an anticipation that Torah/Law keeping would be vindicated in the last day (Gathercole... Continue Reading
Do You Still Think Your Salvation Is Great?
Early in your Christian life, you thought salvation was “great,” didn’t you?
Our salvation depends on God’s covenant, rooted in eternity, foreshadowed in the Mosaic liturgy, fulfilled in Christ, enduring forever. No wonder Hebrews calls it “so great a salvation” (Heb. 2:3). Before all time; prior to all worlds; when there was nothing “outside of” God Himself; when the Father, Son, and Spirit found eternal, absolute, and... Continue Reading
Hijacked by the Gospel
Paul, captured always by the vision of the original capturing vision of Jesus Christ on the Damascus road, appeals again to singular transforming power of the gospel by appealing to the way it powerfully transformed him.
Paul’s conversion was so abrupt, enlightening, and illuminating, such a surprise and such a reversal, everything he says and does thereafter is bathed in the same blinding light. Gospel wakefulness is so powerful, its effect is sustained. It forever changes the game, flips the script. Not that I have already obtained this or am... Continue Reading