Open Your Mouth Wide: The Beatitudes

Fourth Sunday in Epiphany: Mic. 6:1-8, 1 Cor. 18-31, Mt. 5:1-12 Introduction The theme that ties our lessons together is the surprising wisdom of God. God loves to work through unlikely people and situations because it highlights His grace and inspires our praise. Another name for this is God’s blessing. But the real challenge is learning…

Come & See

Life in our New Building II Is. 49:1-7, 1 Cor. 1:1-9, Jn. 1:29-42 Introduction Epiphany celebrates the fact that God is our Father who redeems us from sin, Satan, and death through His Son Jesus, and does so in order to train and equip us for His mission of bringing many more sons into the…

The Bomb Shelter of Self-Deception

Self-deception is terrifyingly easy. Sin is the great deceiver: “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me” (Rom. 7:11). The reason people sin is because they are deceived. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, people believe lies. But in order to believe the big lies, we have to…

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…

Duck Dynasty, Smuggies, and Christmas

I’ve tried manfully not to post anything on the Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty shindig. Not because I don’t have my opinions or thoughts but just cause I figured I’d just listen in to all the friendly chatter from the back porch. Besides it’s all snowy and white out here. But some of you drove me to…

Smile as You Eat

As you know, this table has been a topic of intense debate. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches tend to believe that something magical happens to the bread and wine in such a way as to justify bowing down to the bread and wine and praying to it because Jesus is believed to be…

Bainton on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Reformation

Just finished Roland Bainton’s classic work The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century. Bainton’s is an evenhanded treatment of the complexities of the Reformation scene, allowing for the messiness of sin and politics while reading the principle players sympathetically. There were a number of fun little gems, but just one this morning. In his chapter on…

Karl Marx & Justification by Faith

Just had a fun time being interviewed by Classical Conversations radio yesterday. We talked about the Christian concept of work, the world as a treasure hunt, and how the Fall inhibits our labor. You can listen to the whole interview here. One of the questions I was asked, I thought I would elaborate on a…

Justice Drake Sumpter

Dear Friends, We’ve been so blessed by your kind words and prayers and help during this time. Thanks so much to all of you. This morning we met our son, Justice Drake Sumpter. He had ten fingers and ten tiny fat toes (like his big brothers). And he’s safely home with Jesus. A little about…

What This Meal Sounds Like

The most ideal way to learn a new language is through immersion. This is because language is not merely a mental phenomenon. Language is always incarnate. The meaning of words is bound up with inflection, facial expression, context, history. Words are short hand for actions, for rituals, for events, for feelings. In other words, all…