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…

No Secrets: No Fear

Luke XLIV: Lk. 12:1-12 Introduction Leaven is the principle of growth. Jesus says here to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Lk. 12:1). Hypocrisy is the way of the City of Man, but the Kingdom of God is built on the power and truth of the Spirit. No secrets: no fear….

Sin, Trauma, & God’s Grace for Parenting

[These are my notes from my talk for the 2016 TRC Parenting Conference] Introduction When I was sixteen years old, the summer before my senior year in high school, I worked during the days for my high school grounds keeper doing manual labor from 7am to 3pm. Then, most days, I drove 45 minutes south…

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…

Facing the Future like a Christian

1 Sam. 2:1-10, Heb. 11:32-12:2, Jn. 14:1-17 Introduction Fall is a busy time of new beginnings: new school years, new seasons of life, new living situations. Add to this the regular (but significant) transitions of new marriages, welcoming new children into your home, sending children off to college, or various goodbyes, and then of course…

I Saw Satan Fall

Luke XXXVII: Lk. 10:1-24 Introduction One of the most important lessons of the Bible is that things are not always what they seem. Here, we have the relatively unassuming record of Jesus sending out the seventy to proclaim peace, heal the sick, and announce the arrival of the kingdom of God, but in this event,…

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…

Bitterness & Pride

Hebrews says, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Heb. 12:15). Bitterness is a root, which means it lives under the surface. You can look at a flower bed and only see dirt…

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…

How To Not Miss Jesus (At Christmas)

Fourth Sunday in Advent: Mic. 5:2-5a, Heb. 10:5-10, Mt 2:1-12 Introduction How could the chief priests and scribes know that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem and still reject Jesus? How could Herod so dramatically misunderstand the mission of Jesus? We commonly describe the answer as sin and pride, but what is it…