A Toast for Mother’s Day

A toast I gave at the TRC Easter Festival last night: This is Easter Season, a celebration first and foremost of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But it’s entirely fitting that our culture’s celebration of Mother’s Day falls during this Easter Season. It’s fitting to honor mothers who picture for us the gift…

My Thoughts On the Future of Protestantism Conversation

So there’s been a fun spat of posts and discussions about protestantism of late, following the Future of Protestantism round table discussion a week ago. I watched most of the event live and caught up on the parts I missed shortly thereafter. I’ve also enjoyed the follow up posts by the participants themselves. But lest…

Truth at a Table

Third Sunday in Easter: Jn. 21:1-14 Introduction The gospels do not present faith in Jesus as blind or irrational. Rather, Jesus and His disciples present “signs” as evidence of who Jesus is and for the reality of His resurrection. These signs are the evidence that the Spirit uses to convince people to believe that Jesus…

There is Only Easter Faith

In the beginning there was nothing, and then God spoke and in that place where there was nothing, light burst forth. God’s word was true, and the world reflected that truth in utter perfection, in complete justice. And day after day, God spoke and where there was nothing, stars shone, fish filled, feathered creatures flung…

Real Grace: The Difference between Trust and Forgiveness

One of the Christian duties I have found myself explaining more and more frequently is the difference between forgiveness and trust. The two are related, but they are not identical, and serious confusions creep into situations when they are thought of as being roughly the same thing. There might be a car mechanic in my…

Faith that Overcomes: Second Sunday in Easter: Jn. 20:19-31

Introduction The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus is the lynchpin for the entire religion. But what Christians are often accused of, and sometimes capitulate to, is the claim that this belief is entirely a matter of irrational, unsubstantiated “faith.” On this view, Christians “believe” not based on evidence or testimony, but based on…

The Truth in the Jungle

Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. Only in Jesus do all things make sense. Part of this is protological: He created all things. Part of this is ontological: He upholds all things. Part of this is eschatological: All things are being brought together in Him. This means of necessity that everything…

Victory in Chains

Ephesians closes with one of Paul’s great rallying cries. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of darkness, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places….

How The Risen Jesus Overcomes Shame

Sermon for Easter Sunday 2014: Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction One of the striking elements of all the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus is the fact that women were the first witnesses. There are different details, different aspects of focus, but all four gospel accounts agree that women were the first to find the empty…

Our Jesus Holds the Keys: Good Friday 2014

Note: The audio recording for this message is available here. One of the most unusual elements of the Christian gospel is the fact that we celebrate the death of our leader. For most movements, for most religions, for most kingdoms or empires, the death of the leader is a moment of instability, chaos, disillusionment. But…