The Madness of Grace

You know when that unexpected gift comes? The one you so hoped for but couldn’t imagine would actually be possible? That one. And remember that moment? That joy. It might have taken time to sink in, but it did slowly, wonderfully, all the way down to your toes. Realization of all that it meant. Understanding….

Which Is More Than You Think

“The mission of God’s people is not a matter of how great we are at doing things for God, but a matter of how patient and persistent God is in doing things through us.” – Christopher J.H. Wright, The Mission of God’s People, 169.

Fat Souls

Second Sunday in Christmas Jer. 31:7-14, Eph. 1:3-14, Jn. 1:1-18 Introduction As we begin a new year in a new building with many new opportunities and challenges, we want to look at where we are as a congregation and address our particular situation. If we have one resolution as a congregation this year, let it…

On Beauty & Being Christian

This world is a treasure trove. Not only are the mountains filled with gold, the mountains are gold. They are golden with sunlight, golden with wild flowers, golden with leaves preparing for flight. And everything we touch is gold. Billions of icons walking and talking, gilded with flesh and blood, breathing and laughing glory. Where…

The Bomb Shelter of Self-Deception

Self-deception is terrifyingly easy. Sin is the great deceiver: “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me” (Rom. 7:11). The reason people sin is because they are deceived. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, people believe lies. But in order to believe the big lies, we have to…

Single Guy Syndrome & the Fear of Death

Carl Trueman once noted that “to lead is to choose” (Fools Rush In, 35). In other words, it is the task of leaders to make choices for which they will bear responsibility. Followers can “like” and “retweet” and “share” all day long. They can choose to go along with various opinions, various leaders, but if/when…

Wrath, Love, and Christmas

First Sunday after Christmas Lessons: Is. 63:7-9, Heb. 2:10-18, Mt. 2:13-23 Christmas is not always an easy time of the year. Of course children love it. They give us some of the best facial expressions, some of the best responses to the gifts, to the lights, to the candy. Their intensity, their joy, their delight…

Frozen & The Great Spring to Come

Saw Frozen last night with the family, and it struck me that the climax of the movie is actually a fairly good picture of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus — not perfect, but pretty good. If you haven’t seen the movie, and don’t want to spoil it, you’d probably want to stop reading this post…

You Don’t Love Stuff Enough

One of the responses I’ve gotten from my recent grenade launch against foodolatry and healtholatry is that I don’t like people liking stuff very much. Of course if you read the posts, you’ll find that such sentiment is entirely absent from my argument. But just to make it crystal clear, I would actually take the…

God Invades Flesh

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Is. 7:10-16, Rom. 1:1-7, Mt. 1:18-25 Introduction Christmas means that God invades the ordinary. God invades our unlikeliness. God invades the details. What did Salmon think, marrying the recently converted harlot from Jericho? What did Boaz think, marrying the Moabite widow? Ask A Sign When Isaiah instructs Ahaz to ask for…