The Magic of God

Talking with a friend the other day who grew up in Iran, he told me that as a young boy he would walk into the home of an Armenian friend (Christians), and he immediately knew there was something different, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on, something good. Every car mechanic, he says, in…

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…

Our Allegiance to His Allegiance

We began our worship this morning proclaiming the public nature of the gospel. This gospel, the good news that Jesus is King having destroyed the power of sin and death by His death and resurrection and having ascended to the right hand of the Father – this gospel is public. And that means that this…

The Dark Wine of the Spirit

The human heart inclines to all kinds of evil, and the flesh is a slippery beast. And as the Church has broadly acknowledged over the centuries, pride is the root of this inclination, the wriggling super-chameleon beneath all our schemes and sin. Pride can shove and take a fall. Pride can strike and be struck….

On Persuasion

Persuasion is a funny thing. Perhaps at turns like a chess match, like a roller coaster, like falling in love. Becoming convinced of something that you formerly didn’t believe consists frequently of many different elements: a sharp chisel sometimes cracking granite, shaving edges. At other times it’s like trudging home in the falling snow, white…

Like Showers of Rain or Bad Habits & How to Start Over

One of the things we have trouble with is seeing how certain actions are actually training for other actions. This is another application of “practice makes perfect.” The usual application is the fact that if you practice running certain distances, when you get to race day, you will have (hopefully) trained well for the 5K…

A Word About a Few of My Fathers

So Pastor Tim Bayly has been at the blog lately going hammer and tong after what he sees as the creeping lutheran excesses of my friends Jim Jordan, Peter Leithart, Jeff Meyers, etc. Now first off, I happen to like Tim. We’ve met maybe once or twice, though I doubt he knows who I am,…

All Things New

In Revelation 21, Jesus says “Behold, I make all things new.” And this comes on the tail end of John seeing a new heavens and a new earth and a new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. It looks like Jesus is making all things new, and then He confirms our suspicions. This is a…

Wait for the Joy

The thing I want to point out this morning is from the lesson in Acts. Notice the story arc and some of the details: the story begins in lamentation and scattering, progresses to preaching the word and preaching Christ, culminating in great joy in the city and great amazement from even among the greatest men…

The Sovereignty of Joy

Introduction We are “Reformed” Christians which means that we understand our place on the family tree of Christendom as a branch descended from the Protestant Reformation and specifically, an English strand of the Reformation represented by the Westminster Confession of Faith. One of the most central, distinguishing features of the Reformed faith is our celebration…