New York vs. Mount Zion

The Book of Revelation is a behind the scenes look at what happens in worship. The Bible teaches that all true worship happens in heaven. We have been raised into the heavenly places in Christ Jesus by the Spirit, and when we gather together, when we say Lift up your hearts/we lift them up to…

Against Anatomical Soup or a Few Thoughts on the End of Protestantism

Peter Leithart, my friend and mentor, has a new book out currently making a splash in the theological world: The End of Protestantism. As the author of other titles like Against Christianity, it comes as no surprise that Peter would aim to provoke discussion with another provocative title. If I’m ever a bit rambunctious in…

Covetousness & Idolatry

Several times in the NT, Paul associates covetousness with idolatry. In 1 Corinthians, the sin of covetousness is listed right next to idolatry twice in two verses (1 Cor. 5:10-11). But it is explicitly tied together elsewhere: “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is…

Jesus and Our Demons

Luke XLI: Lk. 11:14-28 [Audio here] Introduction Perhaps C.S. Lewis put it best when he said that people tend toward two opposite dangers when it comes to demons: unbelief on the one hand and unhealthy obsession on the other. Lewis said he thought the devils were equally pleased with both errors and “hail a materialist…

The Challenge of Christian Community

Luke XXXVIII: Lk. 10:25-42 Introduction Christian community is hard. It’s hard because of sin. It’s hard because of different personalities and gifts. It’s hard because the stakes are high. Christian community aims to be and claims to be a sharing in the fellowship of God Himself (1 Jn. 1:3). So the choices we make in…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #5: Sin, Slavery, and the Gospel

Gen. 4:1-16, Rom. 7:1-6, Mk. 15:16-39 Introduction As we continue to lay a biblical foundation for carrying out the mission of Jesus in this world, the world around us continues to give us reason to ask the question: How should we carry out this mission? What are we to think and believe? And what are…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #4: Children, Treasure, and Productivity

Ps. 127, Eph. 4:25-32, Mt. 25:14-30 Introduction So far in this series, we have established that Christian mission flows from the assumption of God’s abundance. We ground our faith in that abundance by prioritizing the use of our time and resources in accordance with God’s word, specifically through obedience in Sabbath keeping and tithing. Last…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #3: The Politics of Sex

Ps. 19:1-14, Rev. 21:1-8, John 4:5-26 Introduction One periodic objection leveled at Christians when it comes to the topics of sex and marriage is that we are unnecessarily politicizing private preferences. The implication is that the Christian impulse to care about the way our culture speaks about and enacts our sexuality is like turning food…

Loving Brothers in Error

One of the realities that Christians face with some regularity and difficulty is the challenge of loving brothers in error. All three of those words are important: loving. brothers. error. Given the harsh world around us full of violence and terror and murder, the Church is called to be a massively different kind of place….

Far Better

Ascension Day 2016 Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” (Jn. 16:7) The ascension of Jesus is one of the harder things to understand as Christians. From our perspective, it seems like Jesus leaving made everything a…