All the Usual and Necessary Disclaimers

I have written an unbalanced book. I have written an unfair book. I have written a fragmented book. I have written an incomplete book. (I think my liver is diseased.) -Peter Leithart, Against Christianity, 7.

A Love that Finds the World

In Pastor Leithart’s introduction to Song of Songs yesterday, he cited a Jewish commentator who noticed that in the love poetry of Solomon, the lover is not cut off and isolated from the world. Much modern love poetry tends to be isolationist, driving lovers away from the world, away from friends. Their passionate, obsessive love…

Idols are Excuses

It occurred to me as I finished my sermon yesterday on the Second Commandment that the reason God prohibits carving other images to bow down to and serve is because they always function as excuses. They are lifeless but they demand our time and energy. You must light candles in front them, burn incense to…

Eighth Sunday in Trinity: Second Commandment: Ex. 20:4-6

Introduction The Second Commandment has everything to do with the image of God. What does God look like? What does it mean for God to have a likeness, an image, a face? The First Commandment prohibits any other gods before the face of God, and the Second Commandment restricts how we conceive of that face….

Ty & Lenora

“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’” (Gen. 2:18). Any more, a wedding is an act of war. A Christian wedding which invokes the Triune God, and appeals to His word for direction, for guidance, for definitions, for instructions,…

In Praise of Patriarchal Society

In The War Against Boys, Christina Hoff Sommers describes Camille Paglia’s “refreshing” view of men: For Paglia, male aggressiveness and competitiveness are animating principles of creativity: ‘Masculinity is aggressive, unstable, combustible. It is also the most creative cultural force in history.’ Speaking of the ‘fashionable disdain for ‘patriarchal society’ to which nothing good is ever…

Fully Authorized

“And I bestow upon you a kingdom just as My Father bestowed one upon Me. That you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Lk. 22:29-30) Jesus says that He gave us this meal, this table in His Kingdom  so that we…

The Promise is for the Mission

Introduction As we’re gathered here for our first ever Church Camp, a retreat of sorts, it seemed fitting to think about our mission as a church. Why do we exist? Why do we gather week after week at the Best Western in Moscow? Why don’t we gather here every week? Why do we exist? And…

The Conspiracy of Grace

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8) The central, overwhelming trait of Christians is gratitude, thankfulness. It was the grace and love of God that created the world, that created you, that created laughter and wine and friendship and music….

Missions as Market Expansion

Altogether there must have been about 300 different (often competing) foreign denominations (or otherwise distinctive foreign groupings) of Christians in China when I arrived there in 1948. It was the “free enterprise” business model applied to religion… So a major offence of the contemporary foreign missionary enterprise is that it operates on the same principles…