Living God Living Icons

Jer. 1:11-25, 1 Thess. 1:4-10 Idolatry is ultimately about power. The great lie, the great seduction of idols is the illusion of power. If you bow down to this image, you will take control of your life. If you bow down to this statue, you will overcome what holds you back. If you serve this…

Six Woes for Leaders

Luke XLIII: 11-37-54 Introduction Theodore Dalrymple points out in Life at the Bottom that leaders have a tendency to construct theories that do not actually match reality. Frequently, commitment to a particular vision or ideology works as a filter that strains out inconvenient facts that would call our vision into question. The “rightness” of a…

Weak Faith Strong Savior

Because the Bible says we must believe and have faith in Christ, it is a periodic temptation of Christians to doubt their faith, to wonder if they believe enough or have enough faith. Perhaps you wonder if you are believing God enough for your parenting. Or perhaps you wonder if you are trusting God enough…

The Cult of American Climax

If you’ve watched any television in the last year or so, you will have likely been treated to one of the most unseemly elements of modern advertising: a Viagra commercial. Now arguably Budweiser and Coors have been saying basically the same thing in a slightly more subtle way for many years. See these young underclad…

The Sin of Cynicism

Luke XLII: Lk. 11:29-36 Introduction We live in an age of skeptics. Often this is presented as a thoughtful, intelligent position to take, but Jesus addresses the skeptics of his ministry as cynics and sloths. Jesus condemns those “who were seeking a sign” (Lk. 11:16) as evil and full of darkness. Therefore, it’s very important…

My Brain on the Debate

My reactions to the second presidential debate: Well, more accurately, my reactions to following Twitter during the debate, which according to Twitter was the most tweeted debate ever, at more than 17 million debate-related tweets sent. I follow around 500 accounts on Twitter, heavily weighted on the conservative end of the spectrum, with a number of…

All Hail Aphrodite!

In Peter Berger’s fascinating book In Praise of Doubt, he references the German social philosopher Arnold Gehlen’s description of human society in terms of foreground and background as ways of describing those areas of a culture which are given and inherited or “preempted” by previous generations (background) and those areas which are live choices for…

Of Demons, Chaos, & America

In a bit of a rabbit trail during Sunday’s sermon, I noted that God’s war on Egypt was a thoroughly spiritual warfare. That is, God was at war with the demon-gods of Egypt (cf. Ex. 12:12). Pharaoh was the earthly representative of that pantheon, and clearly in Egyptian mythology, he held a deified status. Thus,…

Sin, Trauma, & God’s Grace for Parenting

[These are my notes from my talk for the 2016 TRC Parenting Conference] Introduction When I was sixteen years old, the summer before my senior year in high school, I worked during the days for my high school grounds keeper doing manual labor from 7am to 3pm. Then, most days, I drove 45 minutes south…

Jesus and Our Demons

Luke XLI: Lk. 11:14-28 [Audio here] Introduction Perhaps C.S. Lewis put it best when he said that people tend toward two opposite dangers when it comes to demons: unbelief on the one hand and unhealthy obsession on the other. Lewis said he thought the devils were equally pleased with both errors and “hail a materialist…