A Signal for All Nations: The Politics of Advent

Second Sunday in Advent Is. 11:1-10, Rom. 15:4-13, Mt. 3:1-12 Introduction The gospel of Advent, which is to say the gospel of Jesus, is irreducibly political: it aims at nothing less than the greatest common good and harmony of all men. The question is not whether people will have a Lord, the question is only…

Sola Scriptura & the Archaeological Casserole

One commonly held but mistaken conception of ancient Israel is the assumption of the priority of oral tradition over written record. I’ve gathered that many ancient cultures are thought to have been primarily oral and therefore the practice of writing things down developed later in the course of history as an afterthought or curiosity. For…

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…

Identity Politics & Christ

One of the phrases we’ve heard more and more in recent years is the phrase “identity politics.” This is shorthand for the kind of public dialogue and policy positions that emerge based on the interests or perspectives of various social groups that people identify with, whether by class or race or gender or ethnicity or…

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…

Dressed for Action

Luke XLVI: Lk. 12:35-59 Introduction Over the last few weeks, the world has witnessed a particularly spectacular American presidential election and aftermath – spectacular for its multiple layers of surprise. But perhaps the greatest surprise has been the sheer distance revealed between the various factions in America, the revelation of just how deep and wide…

Children of the Light

NSA Morning Prayer Jer. 16:14-21, 1 Thess. 5:1-11 One of the most important lessons from Genesis to Revelation is that you can’t hide from God. He sees all things and knows all things: “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many…

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…