The Barren Gives Birth

Easter III: Lk. 1:5-7 Introduction We saw last week that Luke wrote this account in order to show how the gospel of Jesus makes sense. This “sense” is not based on pure human reason, but is like the good sense of a great story, full of mystery and tension culminating in deep, surprising joy and…

You Are This Story

What is resurrection life like? “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise…

Does the Trinity Make Sense?

Questions Skeptics Ask #1 I just picked up Guy P. Harrison’s book 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian. He writes as a committed unbeliever in order to help Christians “grasp why so many people think Christianity doesn’t make sense” (10). From time to time, I’d like to take chapters or sections of his book and…

Women Teaching Men: Part 1

First off, let me refer you over to a conversation on the femina blog from a few weeks ago which began with Nancy Wilson’s explanation for why she doesn’t normally speak at Bible conferences to co-ed audiences. She followed up with two additional posts (here and here) further elaborating her views, and Bekah Merkle followed up…

Luke I: Christian Certainty

Easter II: Luke 1:1-4 [Note: the audio for this sermon is available here.] Introduction Today we begin the gospel of Luke, and we begin by considering who Luke was, how he came to write his gospel account, and the purpose for his writing. Who Was Luke? Luke is the author of two books of the…

Summonsed to Worship

As we gather for worship, hear the words of Psalm 100: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the…

Death By Accessory

One of the things I’ve noted elsewhere is that frequently the work of the evangelist is to awaken love. Part of the insidious destruction of human beings by sin is the corrosion of love. Sometimes belief in God and belief in Christ must begin with belief in the bare existence of goodness, beauty, and truth….

Humility is Strong. Pride is Brittle.

Pride is all about me. Pride is all about protecting myself, protecting my reputation. This means that pride is an attempt to hold myself, defend myself from every potential threat. And pride does this generally in two ways: either it blusters or in whines. And the two are frequently related. The bluster front is loud…

Joy & Disagreements

It’s striking that Paul addresses two women by name in Philippians 4 and implores them to be of the same mind, and then almost immediately commands them and all the Philippians to rejoice: rejoice always. We don’t know anything about their disagreement, but we know their names and we know that part of Paul’s immediate…

The Politics of Celebration

Right after urging the Philippians to remember that their citizenship is in heaven, Paul reminds them that this means they are called to rejoice always. This is because rejoicing and celebration are always community events, public events, political events. In the first century, Christians were surrounded by celebrations: the old Jewish feasts, Greek and Roman…