Foundations of Mercy & Mission #2: Time & Resources

Dt. 5:12-15, Gal. 2:16-20, Mt. 6:19-34 Introduction The mission of Jesus is to baptize the nations and teach them everything He commanded. This is how you distinguish between God providing in what seems like scarcity and folly. If God commands it, then He promises to provide for it. Justification is God’s gracious gift of setting…

Why We Baptize Our Children

At the end of Peter’s Pentecost sermon when the people were cut to the heart by the gospel and asked what they should do, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit….

The Twelves

Luke XXXIII: Lk. 9:1-17 Introduction The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of the Risen King of Israel. In this Kingdom, God fills empty hands with plenty to share; He makes the weak His means of power. The New Twelve Notice that Luke has organized this section with a high concentration of “twelves” (8:42, 8:43,…

Liturgical Patriarchy

If I were to write an article about the dangers of patriarchy, my blog hits would spike the way peoples’ hair stands on end in the cartoons when they get electrocuted. Start talking about the husband being the head of his wife or the wife’s sacred duty of submission to her own husband, and everybody…

A Little Bit of the Sea

“Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned” (LK. 8:33) In the old baptismal liturgies, there was often an exorcism; a person being baptized would renounce Satan and all his works. The idea was that when someone was…

A Plea & A Sketch of an Argument on Icons

There are many reasons people find themselves attracted to Eastern Orthodoxy, but one of them is the presence and veneration of icons. Entering a sanctuary full of religious art can seem visually stunning and feel refreshingly spiritual compared to kitschy banners or television screens or hospital-blank walls. For the westerner, icons suggest a certain “eastern”…

Bultmann, Cyril, and a bit more on Sola Scriptura

Robert Arakaki has responded here to my Reformation21 article An Apostolic Case for Sola Scriptura. I’m grateful for his interaction and some of the other questions I’ve received. Here are a few thoughts in reply. Arakaki rightly points out that if the apostolic commission included a written testimony, there should be evidence in the New…

Sola Scriptura & Truth with a Beard

One caricature of Sola Scriptura often sketches the Protestant doctrine as problematic on the grounds that since many people read the Bible and come away with different interpretations, it is necessarily (even if unintentionally) an individualistic doctrine. When it comes down to it, Protestants submit to themselves and their personal interpretations and not to Christ…

6 Thoughts on Marriage & Remarriage in Babel

So one of the most challenging places the Church is called upon to exercise wisdom and judgment is in the matter of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. The stakes really are high here, and bone-headed laxity on the one hand or severe legalisms on the other do no one any favors and can only add to…

Forgiven Kingdom

Luke XXIX: Lk. 7:36-50 Introduction Last time we were in Luke, we saw how Jesus challenged people’s expectations. John questioned Jesus, the Pharisees and lawyers rejected Him, while the tax collectors and sinners justified Him. These same themes continue in the following episode as Jesus continues eating and drinking with sinners. A Dinner After Jesus…