The Levite Club

Every few years it seems I hear about a friend or acquaintance in a Reformed church deciding to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism. I have written on this topic previously a number of times with gusto and don’t need to skin this cat again to make one simple point once more. Reformed Protestants…

Luke V: When God Shows Up

Luke 1:39-45 Introduction Luke has introduced his gospel with two unexpected birth announcements. Here, those two stories literally meet and the moment is strikingly human and yet, Luke is indicating that something dramatically unique is also happening. As an aside, it is likely that Luke is drawing all of these early accounts directly from Mary…

Why Did Jesus Need to Ascend?

Ascension Eve 2015 Most Christians understand that the resurrection of Jesus is of crucial importance to their salvation and the validity of the Christian Faith. Paul states explicitly that if Jesus is not risen from the dead, we are still in our sins, and we of all people are to be most pitied (1 Cor….

Luke IV: True Myth & Humble Servants

Easter VI: Luke 1:26-38 Introduction The virgin conception of Jesus is one of the most famous elements of the gospel story, and here, Luke subtly illustrates why. The gospel is all about how God is rescuing the world and bringing to birth a new creation through ordinary people. New Creation With most miracles the supernatural…

God the Potter

At the end of Paul’s closing arguments about what God is up to in the world in Romans 9-11, he breaks into doxology. He bursts out: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of…

Joyful Resistance

One of the disciplines Christians need to learn and practice constantly is joyful resistance. But this is a virtue that is only possible in and through Jesus. It’s a virtue that rests on the unique doctrine of justification by faith. All other religions and philosophies are attempts to ascend to God, to find God, to…

The God Who Answers

Easter V: Lk. 1:5-25 [Note: the audio for this sermon can be found here.] Introduction Luke writes so that Theophilus and others like him would have certainty of the things he has been taught. The first episode in his gospel is the story of an uncertain old man. He has lived a long, faithful life…

Women Teaching Men Part 2

So we established in the previous post that the role of systematic theological categories is significant, but we also closed by noting that there are cultural tectonic plates at work in any discussion about the teaching role of women in the church. I said in my previous post that I suspect that any church that…

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Questions Skeptics Ask #2 As we continue through 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian, Harrison asks about the Cross what many non-Christians wonder: “Why would a god need to rely on such a disgusting and primitive act to forgive us and save us from judgment?” (15) Harrison wants to know why Christians think that the crucifixion of…

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…