The Obedience of Faith

Advent IV: Is. 7:10-16, Rom. 1:1-7, Mt. 1:18-25 Introduction What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever made? How do you make decisions in general? Who do you trust to provide the right kind of information? What sorts of things do you fear? Our readings today focus on significant choices, comparing the obedience of faith and the…

Stepford Children: Secularism is a Religion

Just a friendly reminder that secularism promises relativism but delivers a bona fide religion in its own right. Secularism claims to create a space where no truth claims, no moral values are allowed to offend the beliefs or values of other human beings — all is relative. While the human race has sought for world…

The Nagging Word

Just finished up Tom Wolfe’s new screed, The Kingdom of Speech, and the following are a few thoughts and impressions as a result: Wolfe has of course made a name for himself over the years as a social contrarian, poking holes particularly in the various chimera of cultural elitism. And Kingdom of Speech is no…

Infant Baptism & the Faith of Friends

How is it that we can say that we trust in God’s covenant promises on behalf of our children? How can we say that we look to God in faith for our children’s salvation as we do our own? There is much we could say but let’s give three simple reasons for now. First, this…

Farming in the Wilderness

Advent III: Is. 35:1-10, Js. 5:7-11, Mt. 11:2-11 Introduction What are you waiting for? What do you long for? Advent is an annual reminder that Christians are a waiting people, and this in turn reminds us that there is a profound blessing to be found in learning to wait on the Lord. Two Prophets Isaiah…

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…