I Agree with Jonathan Merritt

I’m rather surprised to hear myself say it, but I agree with Jonathan Merritt. Ok, but before anyone gets the wrong impression, let me explain what I agree with. Jonathan Merritt wrote an article for the Atlantic suggesting that the Southern Baptist Convention is going soft on gender in their latest Bible translation, and he…

The Great Fixed Chasm

Luke LII: Lk. 16:19-31 Introduction This is the third story in row that Jesus has told about a rich man. Remember that the context of all three is the grumbling of the Pharisees and scribes, that Jesus receives sinners and eats with them (Lk. 15:2). The point is to make us care about what God…

Repent or Perish

Luke XLVII: Luke 13:1-17 Introduction Jesus gives three teachings in this portion of the gospel, all centered around the glorious call to repentance. Repentance & Calamities Jesus has just finished charging his followers to read the signs of the times and warned them about petty disputes (Lk. 12:54-59). It’s at “that very time” when some…

Mary Magdalene and You: Resurrection Day 2017

Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction It’s no accident that the very first eyewitness of the resurrection was Mary Magdalene. Her testimony has been remembered and celebrated since the earliest days of the Christian faith and remains a wonderful encouragement to us. Who Was Mary Magdalene? Tradition has suggested that Mary Magdalene may have been the unnamed sinful…

Peter Pan & Palm Sunday

Mt. 21:1-16 Introduction “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” cried the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that first triumphal entry (Mt. 21:9). “Hosanna to the son of David!” cheered the children as Jesus drove out those who were buying and selling in the temple and healed the blind…

An Armory for Modern Christians #12

The Inescapability of Slavery Introduction We are coming up on one of America’s feast days: Tax Day. Some of you don’t celebrate it at all, as Uncle Sam requires you to give your “fair share,” but for many Americans they begin planning vacations, acquiring new cars or boats, and the like as they see the…

New York vs. Mount Zion

The Book of Revelation is a behind the scenes look at what happens in worship. The Bible teaches that all true worship happens in heaven. We have been raised into the heavenly places in Christ Jesus by the Spirit, and when we gather together, when we say Lift up your hearts/we lift them up to…

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…

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…

My Country: What’s Left of Thee?

I mean it as an honest question. What’s left? Of course, only God knows. The Creator, the Sustainer, the Lord our Governor, He knows what remains, how many sands are still up in the hourglass of our story. And if we have learned anything at all it is that nations rise and fall, civilizations are…