The Gospel in Wedding Clothes

Isaiah 61 is about a great restoration, a great release, a great renewal of Israel, and through Israel, the whole world. And this renewal is pictured in wedding garments: the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness are like a bridegroom that decks himself in ornaments, like a bride adorned with jewels (Is. 61:10)….

Clothed

Morning Prayer Exhortation Is. 61:10-11, Gal. 4:4-7 Isaiah says that God’s salvation is like a garment, like a robe of righteousness, like festal wedding gowns. Clothing in the Bible represents God’s grace, His blessing for a particular purpose. The priests are the most obvious example of this. But prophets have cloaks, and kings wear royal…

The End of the Barrel We Are Demanding

Naysayers of Penal Substitutionary Atonement, like Darrin Belousek, often begin their objections to the doctrine by describing it as something like this: [God] cannot tolerate sin and so must judge sin by punishing sinners with death… [source] The trouble is that this is a rhetorical setup, skewing the question to present the doctrine as a…

Come and See

So little is said to Abram in the beginning. There is no introduction to monotheistic theology, no comparative religion class, no worldview comparison chart. There is no context. There is apparently not even any relationship. There was no courtship, no period of getting to know each other, no personality tests, no compatibility worksheets or workshops….

Our Name is Forgiven

A few other thoughts have been rattling around in my head related to my previous post on sex offenders in the church. It touches on several other topics related to counseling in these kinds of difficult situations. And it has to do with the potency of naming. We know that naming is powerful because in…

The Spirit of Forgiveness

Fourth Sunday in Easter: Jn. 21:15-25 Introduction Here, as the close to the breakfast episode, John zooms in on the restoration and forgiveness of Peter. This is not the first time John has highlighted forgiveness as proof of the resurrection (Jn. 20:23), and this comes immediately to the fore in his epistle (1 Jn. 1:5-10)….

There is Only Easter Faith

In the beginning there was nothing, and then God spoke and in that place where there was nothing, light burst forth. God’s word was true, and the world reflected that truth in utter perfection, in complete justice. And day after day, God spoke and where there was nothing, stars shone, fish filled, feathered creatures flung…

The Truth in the Jungle

Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. Only in Jesus do all things make sense. Part of this is protological: He created all things. Part of this is ontological: He upholds all things. Part of this is eschatological: All things are being brought together in Him. This means of necessity that everything…

How The Risen Jesus Overcomes Shame

Sermon for Easter Sunday 2014: Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction One of the striking elements of all the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus is the fact that women were the first witnesses. There are different details, different aspects of focus, but all four gospel accounts agree that women were the first to find the empty…

A Translation of God’s Logic

The words ‘God said’ appear ten times in the creation account. In this way the creation narrative anticipates the Ten Commandments. This makes us realize that these Ten Commandments are, as it were, an echo of the creation; they are not arbitrary inventions for the purpose of erecting barriers to human freedom but signs pointing…