Christmas Establishment

Fourth Sunday in Advent: Rom. 16:25-27 Introduction Every religion, every worldview is concerned to provide human beings with the solution to their finitude, the solution to their limits. Frequently, the problems we face seem to amount to our being finite: if we had limitless access to space and time, we would know who to marry,…

Christmas Peace & Wisdom

Third Sunday in Advent: 1 Thess. 5:12-24 Introduction In some ways, this final section of Thessalonians is like the short hand exhortations of a coach to his team in the huddle before they sprint back onto the field. These are short summary commands that outline the way Christians are to be a ready people, prepared…

Martin Luther is My Homeboy or Why I’m not Attracted to Papist Schlock

Let me direct your attention to a nice bit of Roman Catholic propaganda here. An acquaintance on Twitter links it approvingly, and based on the comments below the article it had its intended effect among… Roman Catholics. And maybe it was just meant to be a mushy Hallmark card moment for RC’s, but for whatever…

Where’s Your Avant-Garde?

I doubt it’s possible to be human without leaning into the world, leaning into the future. To be made in God’s image, the God of creation, the God of the future, is to have this disposition naturally occurring in human nature. Though because of sin and death, it frequently occurs bent and distorted, often leaning…

Sons of the Light

Second Sunday in Advent: 1 Thess. 5:1-11 Introduction Have you ever stumbled through a dark house at night? Ever tried to change a flat tire in the dark? Then you understand the importance of light, the necessity of light. You need light to see. You need light to find your way. Frequently, when hardships come,…

Stay Awake

First Sunday in Advent: Mk. 13:24-37 Introduction What is it like to feel drowsy? To be nearly uncontrollably on the verge of falling asleep? Perhaps you have felt this way after driving for many hours or you’ve seen a small child or an elderly relative with their drooping eyelids and head repeatedly nodding in their…

Prepare Him Room

As Christians, we insist that because of Jesus all is grace. Holidays, perhaps like no other time, press us, inquiring whether it really is all grace. Holidays are gifts. They are feasts. They are mini-Sabbaths. They mean grace, rest, relief, laughter. But there’s something about grace piled up, grace over flowing, kindness unleashed that tempts…

Grace at Hand

Condemnation is the inexorable result of a guilty conscience. A sinner in the grip of guilt knows and feels the vast, impossible Grand Canyon between himself and the goodness of God and the goodness he was made for. In other words, condemnation underlines one reality — the reality of sinners before a just and holy…

Frozen & The Great Spring to Come

Saw Frozen last night with the family, and it struck me that the climax of the movie is actually a fairly good picture of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus — not perfect, but pretty good. If you haven’t seen the movie, and don’t want to spoil it, you’d probably want to stop reading this post…

God Invades Flesh

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Is. 7:10-16, Rom. 1:1-7, Mt. 1:18-25 Introduction Christmas means that God invades the ordinary. God invades our unlikeliness. God invades the details. What did Salmon think, marrying the recently converted harlot from Jericho? What did Boaz think, marrying the Moabite widow? Ask A Sign When Isaiah instructs Ahaz to ask for…