An Armory for Modern Christians #10

The Glorious Strength of Fatherhood Introduction The Bible teaches that the glory of men is their strength (Prov. 20:29), and this glory is specifically given to every man to carry out their calling of fatherhood. This is not because every last man marries or begets biological children, rather this is because every man is created…

An Armory for Modern Christians #9

The Beautiful Power of Motherhood Introduction The Bible teaches that every woman is created for motherhood, and this is not because every woman marries and bears biological children. Rather, there is something intrinsic about being made female in the image of God that gifts a woman with the beautiful power of motherhood that is deeper…

Ash Wednesday 2017

  One of the striking elements of our Ash Wednesday service is the recitation of the curses of the covenant found in Deuteronomy 27. This was included in Thomas Cranmer’s original Ash Wednesday service, and Martin Bucer – John Calvin’s mentor – said it was a “particularly wholesome ceremony” and went so far as to…

Nations to the Light: Thoughts on Muslim Immigration

Reading Benard Lewis’s book What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East at the moment, and finishing up the book of Isaiah and got to thinking… Lewis outlines the gradual realization of Muslims that Western Christendom had somehow lapped them in cultural, industrial, political, and military might over the course…

The Obedience of Faith

Advent IV: Is. 7:10-16, Rom. 1:1-7, Mt. 1:18-25 Introduction What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made? How do you make decisions in general? Who do you trust to provide the right kind of information? What sorts of things do you fear? Our readings today focus on significant choices, comparing the obedience of faith and the…

Farming in the Wilderness

Advent III: Is. 35:1-10, Js. 5:7-11, Mt. 11:2-11 Introduction What are you waiting for? What do you long for? Advent is an annual reminder that Christians are a waiting people, and this in turn reminds us that there is a profound blessing to be found in learning to wait on the Lord. Two Prophets Isaiah…

A Signal for All Nations: The Politics of Advent

Second Sunday in Advent Is. 11:1-10, Rom. 15:4-13, Mt. 3:1-12 Introduction The gospel of Advent, which is to say the gospel of Jesus, is irreducibly political: it aims at nothing less than the greatest common good and harmony of all men. The question is not whether people will have a Lord, the question is only…

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,…