How to Bless America (when you don’t want to)

On the occasion of our nation’s 238th birthday, let me add a few cents to the general mayhem. First off, I think I understand the general millennial cringe when it comes to Bible-belt patriotism. I grew up with George Bush Sr. doing his thing, and even though we were always generally in favor of pro-life…

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….

Where Jesus Promises to Be

Baptism is entry to the people of God. When an individual is baptized, he or she formally joins the Church, the Body of Christ. But when parents bring their little ones to be baptized, this can be somewhat scary. The obligations to bring up children to love and serve Jesus are daunting. How can we…

Barbed-Wire Love: What to do with Sex Offenders

A number of recent posts have been circulating regarding pedophiles and sex offenders in the Church, specifically claiming that because of the extreme clinical nature of this sin/crime, known child sex offenders ought not be ever allowed to attend worship services where children are present. A few thoughts: 1. First, as a Bible believing Christian,…

Real Grace: The Difference between Trust and Forgiveness

One of the Christian duties I have found myself explaining more and more frequently is the difference between forgiveness and trust. The two are related, but they are not identical, and serious confusions creep into situations when they are thought of as being roughly the same thing. There might be a car mechanic in my…

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…

God Wants Your Heart

Sixth Sunday in Epiphany Lessons: Dt. 30:15-20, 1 Cor. 3:1-9, Mt. 5:1-37 Introduction As we noted last week, the commandments of God have always been meant to offer God’s people life with Him. And those who looked to God in faith tasted some of that fellowship (e.g. Moses, David, etc.). But the law simultaneously displayed…

Salt, Light, and Law

Fifth Sunday in Epiphany Is. 58:1-12, 1 Cor. 2:1-16, Mt. 5:13-20 Introduction As we continue to celebrate the season of Epiphany, we are studying what it looks like for the light of Jesus to shine in and through our lives. As we noted last week, this light is God’s wisdom, His righteousness, which is the…

Open Your Mouth Wide: The Beatitudes

Fourth Sunday in Epiphany: Mic. 6:1-8, 1 Cor. 18-31, Mt. 5:1-12 Introduction The theme that ties our lessons together is the surprising wisdom of God. God loves to work through unlikely people and situations because it highlights His grace and inspires our praise. Another name for this is God’s blessing. But the real challenge is learning…

A Light to the Nations

Life in our New Building I Is. 42:1-9, Acts 10:34-43, Mt. 3:13-17 Introduction Epiphany means “sudden burst of light,” and since the earliest days of the Christian Church, God’s people have continued celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world, especially the beginning of His ministry and how it revealed the Light of God for…