Dressed for Action

Luke XLVI: Lk. 12:35-59 Introduction Over the last few weeks, the world has witnessed a particularly spectacular American presidential election and aftermath – spectacular for its multiple layers of surprise. But perhaps the greatest surprise has been the sheer distance revealed between the various factions in America, the revelation of just how deep and wide…

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…

The Sin of Cynicism

Luke XLII: Lk. 11:29-36 Introduction We live in an age of skeptics. Often this is presented as a thoughtful, intelligent position to take, but Jesus addresses the skeptics of his ministry as cynics and sloths. Jesus condemns those “who were seeking a sign” (Lk. 11:16) as evil and full of darkness. Therefore, it’s very important…

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…

Unexpected Grace

Luke XXVIII: Luke 7:18-35 Introduction This story is all about expectations. John needs reassurance that his expectations about Jesus are correct. Jesus asks the people about their expectations concerning John. And finally, Jesus explains why the expectations of the Pharisees are wrong. And the questions looming behind these expectations are about who Jesus is and…

Wisdom Is There

“Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads — she takes her stand; Beside the gates, in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals — she cries aloud” (Prov. 8:1-3). This is a wonderful assertion. The previous chapter, Proverbs 7, is…

The Happiness of Jesus

Luke XXIV: Luke 6:20-26 Introduction Setting aside some of the intriguing questions about whether this is the same sermon as the Sermon on the Mount in Mathew 5-6, we can at least acknowledge that it is a very similar one. Nevertheless, Luke has very clearly presented this sermon as delivered to the “disciples” in the…

To Meet That Glory

What is a man’s power? What is his strength? A woman’s power is her beauty, and this is not merely her appearance, but her grace, her complexity, her thoughtfulness, her goodness, her motherhood, her compassion, her industry, her submission to her husband, her home, her intelligence, her creativity, her way of life. A godly woman…

On Disagreement & the Injustice of the Internet Lynch Mob

In the wake of recent discussions surrounding the Steven Sitler situation here in Moscow, I wanted to offer several thoughts on the matter. I had the privilege of a helpful exchange on Twitter on Sunday with Boz Tchividjian, the founder of GRACE, a ministry whose self-described mission is to recognize, prevent, and respond to child…

Marriage As Wine Making

The very first miracle of Jesus is recorded in John 2. Jesus has just appeared publicly at his baptism at the Jordan River, and three days later Jesus performs his first sign. People generally recognize that first impressions are pretty important. A bad first impression can make or break relationships, business ventures, even careers. I…