The Provoking Mercy of God

Minor Prophets IX: Jonah Introduction Jonah is the most famous minor prophet. Jonah ministered during the same era as Hosea and Joel, during the days of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:25) – probably early 8th century B.C. 50-70 years before the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. In…

Scandalous Grace

One of the greatest scandals of the gospel is the free grace of forgiveness. But we say this, and I do not think we often let it sink in. The scandal of free grace is God’s love of sinners, God’s love of His enemies, His love of the worst kinds of evil people. We like…

God Provides the Lion and the Lamb

In Revelation 5, John weeps because there is no one worthy to open the scroll and loose its seals. But one of the elders calms him and says, “Do not weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals”…

The End of the Barrel We Are Demanding

Naysayers of Penal Substitutionary Atonement, like Darrin Belousek, often begin their objections to the doctrine by describing it as something like this: [God] cannot tolerate sin and so must judge sin by punishing sinners with death… [source] The trouble is that this is a rhetorical setup, skewing the question to present the doctrine as a…

A Love Story

Minor Prophets III: Hosea 1-3 Introduction While many scholars do not believe that Hosea is the first minor prophet chronologically, this underlines the intentionality of putting it first as an introduction to the Book of the Twelve. The theme of the first three chapters of Hosea is the determined love of God for His people,…

Discipline that Saves

Men’s Breakfast Study: Proverbs 3:11-12 Introduction In the first speech (Prov. 3:1-10), the father extols the virtues and value of remembering and obeying the law of God given by the parents. Here, however, the father warns the son that this wisdom and obedience does not come automatically, but it comes God’s fatherly correction and instruction….

Our Name is Forgiven

A few other thoughts have been rattling around in my head related to my previous post on sex offenders in the church. It touches on several other topics related to counseling in these kinds of difficult situations. And it has to do with the potency of naming. We know that naming is powerful because in…

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,…

The Spirit of Forgiveness

Fourth Sunday in Easter: Jn. 21:15-25 Introduction Here, as the close to the breakfast episode, John zooms in on the restoration and forgiveness of Peter. This is not the first time John has highlighted forgiveness as proof of the resurrection (Jn. 20:23), and this comes immediately to the fore in his epistle (1 Jn. 1:5-10)….

A Toast for Mother’s Day

A toast I gave at the TRC Easter Festival last night: This is Easter Season, a celebration first and foremost of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But it’s entirely fitting that our culture’s celebration of Mother’s Day falls during this Easter Season. It’s fitting to honor mothers who picture for us the gift…