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….

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…

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…

Helen Green R.I.P.

Graveside Service Homily “Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe…” (Jn. 11:14-15) Every death is a period at the end of a sentence. And because we are human, and we communicate with one another using words, it…

Foundations for Mercy & Mission #6: Beauty Will Save the World

Ps. 90:1-17, 1 Jn. 2:15-17, 5:1-5, Jn. 15:12-17 Introduction The task of Christian mercy and mission is not complete without an eschatology: Where are we going? What are we aiming for? We are after unending goodness and beauty, and we are convinced that all goodness and beauty comes from God. Against the World, For the…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #3: The Politics of Sex

Ps. 19:1-14, Rev. 21:1-8, John 4:5-26 Introduction One periodic objection leveled at Christians when it comes to the topics of sex and marriage is that we are unnecessarily politicizing private preferences. The implication is that the Christian impulse to care about the way our culture speaks about and enacts our sexuality is like turning food…

Babel Moment

So presumably, you’ve had a chance to see this video from the Family Policy Institute of Washington, but if not have a look above. Or refresh yourself. This video is at turns funny, sad, and alarming. But it’s a wonderful case study in basic reasoning and logic skills. And this is the alarming part: not…

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…

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”…

Resurrection Leadership

Easter Sunday 2016: Acts 10:34-43, 1 Cor. 15:1-11, Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction Christian leadership is not Christian unless it is driven by the centrality of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But everything hinges on what that event means. If the resurrection of Jesus is an inspiring spiritual story, then Christian leadership primarily leads people…