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,…

Death By Accessory

One of the things I’ve noted elsewhere is that frequently the work of the evangelist is to awaken love. Part of the insidious destruction of human beings by sin is the corrosion of love. Sometimes belief in God and belief in Christ must begin with belief in the bare existence of goodness, beauty, and truth….

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…

When You Want An X-Ray & A Cast

One of the problems all human beings face is the reality of guilt. But believers and unbelievers are in different positions with regard to the problem. Christians admit it is a problem and offer a solution, and unbelievers at best side-step the problem and at worst try to ignore it altogether. But most unbelievers care…

Stay Awake

First Sunday in Advent: Mk. 13:24-37 Introduction What is it like to feel drowsy? To be nearly uncontrollably on the verge of falling asleep? Perhaps you have felt this way after driving for many hours or you’ve seen a small child or an elderly relative with their drooping eyelids and head repeatedly nodding in their…

Grace at Hand

Condemnation is the inexorable result of a guilty conscience. A sinner in the grip of guilt knows and feels the vast, impossible Grand Canyon between himself and the goodness of God and the goodness he was made for. In other words, condemnation underlines one reality — the reality of sinners before a just and holy…

The Long Game

Minor Prophets XVII: Zechariah 7-14 Introduction We saw last week that God was calling Israel to see the work of rebuilding the temple as a cosmic reality – that as they put God and His worship first, God would be remaking the world, scattering their enemies, and exalting His people. The rest of Zechariah is…

Come and See

So little is said to Abram in the beginning. There is no introduction to monotheistic theology, no comparative religion class, no worldview comparison chart. There is no context. There is apparently not even any relationship. There was no courtship, no period of getting to know each other, no personality tests, no compatibility worksheets or workshops….

From Dust to Light

Ash Wednesday Homily Mk. 8:27-38 We’ve said before, and it’s no trouble to be reminded, that we think of the church calendar like a devotional guide. Over the course of the Christian Year, we are reminded of the most crucial, most important parts of our life in Christ: what it means to know Jesus and…

The Parable of the Cross

The first half of the life of Jesus is a parable. It’s full of parables, but it is itself parabolic — it’s mysterious, enigmatic, and constantly pressing a question: Who is this? What does it does it mean? What does He mean? And perhaps most importantly, how will you respond, what will you do? And…