The Levite Club

Every few years it seems I hear about a friend or acquaintance in a Reformed church deciding to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism. I have written on this topic previously a number of times with gusto and don’t need to skin this cat again to make one simple point once more. Reformed Protestants…

Luke V: When God Shows Up

Luke 1:39-45 Introduction Luke has introduced his gospel with two unexpected birth announcements. Here, those two stories literally meet and the moment is strikingly human and yet, Luke is indicating that something dramatically unique is also happening. As an aside, it is likely that Luke is drawing all of these early accounts directly from Mary…

Luke IV: True Myth & Humble Servants

Easter VI: Luke 1:26-38 Introduction The virgin conception of Jesus is one of the most famous elements of the gospel story, and here, Luke subtly illustrates why. The gospel is all about how God is rescuing the world and bringing to birth a new creation through ordinary people. New Creation With most miracles the supernatural…

The God Who Answers

Easter V: Lk. 1:5-25 [Note: the audio for this sermon can be found here.] Introduction Luke writes so that Theophilus and others like him would have certainty of the things he has been taught. The first episode in his gospel is the story of an uncertain old man. He has lived a long, faithful life…

The Barren Gives Birth

Easter III: Lk. 1:5-7 Introduction We saw last week that Luke wrote this account in order to show how the gospel of Jesus makes sense. This “sense” is not based on pure human reason, but is like the good sense of a great story, full of mystery and tension culminating in deep, surprising joy and…

You Are This Story

What is resurrection life like? “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise…

Luke I: Christian Certainty

Easter II: Luke 1:1-4 [Note: the audio for this sermon is available here.] Introduction Today we begin the gospel of Luke, and we begin by considering who Luke was, how he came to write his gospel account, and the purpose for his writing. Who Was Luke? Luke is the author of two books of the…

Why Does the Resurrection of Jesus Give People Joy?

Easter Sunday 2015 [Note: The audio for this sermon is available here.] Introduction Before His death, Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving briefly and they would be sorrowful, but then He would return and they would receive a joy that no one would ever be able to take from them (Jn. 16:2-24). And…

The Hope of Christian Joy: Palm Sunday 2015

Introduction What is joy? The Bible teaches and human experience frequently confirms that joy is more than a present experience of delight but is always also an anticipation of even better things to come. In other words, Christian joy flows directly out of Christian hope (Rom. 5:2). However, in the face of tragedy and hardships,…

How God’s Peace Makes War

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says that Christianity is a “fighting religion.” Of course Christians are right to put a great deal of emphasis on the peace of God. When the angels appeared to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem they proclaim peace on earth. And Paul says that when men and women cast all of their…