Six Woes for Leaders

Luke XLIII: 11-37-54 Introduction Theodore Dalrymple points out in Life at the Bottom that leaders have a tendency to construct theories that do not actually match reality. Frequently, commitment to a particular vision or ideology works as a filter that strains out inconvenient facts that would call our vision into question. The “rightness” of a…

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…

The Secular American Sweater: A Homily

Where is justice? Why can’t we get justice? These sentiments are common. The FBI declines to press charges against Hillary Clinton. Police officers shoot a man to death for selling CDs. Three thousand little babies are pulled out of their mothers’ wombs every day and thrown into the garbage. Women and children are neglected, abused,…

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,…

When Silence is Love

Greyfriars Hall Spring 2016 Preaching Retreat Sermon Text: Acts 8:26-40 Introduction The problem of exegesis and the meaning of language goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden where the serpent asked the woman: Did God really say? And ever since, men have asked why God doesn’t speak more clearly. If there is…

A Tale of Two Storms

Luke XXXI: Lk. 8:22-39 Introduction Luke has presented the advent of Jesus as the arrival of God’s Word. People respond to that word in various ways, but fundamentally they either believe and obey and are set free or they don’t and they aren’t (e.g. Mary, Zechariah, the shepherds, Pharisees, the centurion, the sinful woman). Despite…

Hearing the Word & Bearing Fruit

Lk. XXX: Lk. 8:1-21 Introduction This section of Luke is all about hearing the Word of God and bearing fruit. During the forty days following the resurrection, Jesus taught His disciples preparing them for their mission so it’s fitting for us to consider what it means to listen to Christ. The Text: Since the beginning…

The Power of God’s Pleasure

Is. 49:1-7, 1 Cor. 1:18-31 Isaiah says that the Lord chose a servant from the womb to be a glorious weapon, His sword, His arrow. This servant would be Israel in whom He would be glorified. Israel had wandered away from God. Judah had been scattered. But the plan was for a new Israel to…

Rejoicing in the Dust

Third Sunday of Advent: Is. 12:1-6, Phil. 4:4-7 Introduction I said last week that we aren’t particularly good at being serious because we’re concerned about being thought of as grumpy or difficult. There’s a similar dynamic with joy. Depending on who you are, you might gravitate toward a certain censoriousness and resent all the smiles….

Jesus the Fisherman

Luke XIX: Lk. 5:1-11 Introduction Today Luke introduces us to another important aspect of the ministry of Jesus: the friendship and hospitality of God. But Jesus does not merely come to meet us and welcome us, He comes to interrupt us, to catch us, to commandeer us. The Hospitality & Friendship of God The incarnation…