Getting Ready for the King

Advent means “coming” or “arrival,” and it is the beginning of the Christian calendar. Historically, Advent begins by celebrating the fact that Jesus will one day come to judge the living and the dead. This is why we sing O Come O Come Emmanuel. We are not in the first instance reenacting what it was…

The Reason for God & a 6ft Patch of Mt. Everest

Nearly done with Tim Keller’s book The Reason for God, having started it several times over the last several years and finally plowed through. The thing I find really helpful about the book is its street level, conversational style. It is clear that God has blessed Keller with the ability to listen to people, to understand…

Monday Twitter Sermon: Hate & Love

Yesterday I let myself go on a short tweeting spree. The follow is my Monday Twitter Sermon, or an essay in tweets. There were a few questions following on the first tweet (which was the only to post on FB), and perhaps the following thoughts fill out or answer any questions you might have had:…

Beautiful Kingdom

Luke XLV: Lk. 12:13-34 Introduction Sin is not merely immoral. Sin is always a choice to embrace futility. But Jesus has come to interrupt this futility, and restore true, full, beautiful life in His Kingdom. Beware of Covetousness A man asks Jesus to decide a dispute over an inheritance, but He asks, “who made me…

Covetousness & Idolatry

Several times in the NT, Paul associates covetousness with idolatry. In 1 Corinthians, the sin of covetousness is listed right next to idolatry twice in two verses (1 Cor. 5:10-11). But it is explicitly tied together elsewhere: “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is…

Sophisticated Fire

Jer. 7:30-34, Gal. 5:16-23 Jeremiah describes the wickedness of Judah as beginning in the sanctuary. When people turn from listening carefully to what God says to do, they necessarily begin to substitute their own ideas, their own inventions and innovations. And this inevitably results in imitating unbelief and idolatry. It seems like an extreme, unthinkable…

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…

Foundations for Mercy & Mission #6: Beauty Will Save the World

Ps. 90:1-17, 1 Jn. 2:15-17, 5:1-5, Jn. 15:12-17 Introduction The task of Christian mercy and mission is not complete without an eschatology: Where are we going? What are we aiming for? We are after unending goodness and beauty, and we are convinced that all goodness and beauty comes from God. Against the World, For the…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #5: Sin, Slavery, and the Gospel

Gen. 4:1-16, Rom. 7:1-6, Mk. 15:16-39 Introduction As we continue to lay a biblical foundation for carrying out the mission of Jesus in this world, the world around us continues to give us reason to ask the question: How should we carry out this mission? What are we to think and believe? And what are…

Justice & Leadership in Black & White America

So we established that secular relativism is an ideology based fundamentally on injustice. If you believe there is no transcendent standard that binds all men, you have banished justice from your worldview. Or you have redefined “justice” as some kind of emotional, physical, or tribal manipulation. And this is only to perpetuate injustice. How do…