The Dark Wine of the Spirit

The human heart inclines to all kinds of evil, and the flesh is a slippery beast. And as the Church has broadly acknowledged over the centuries, pride is the root of this inclination, the wriggling super-chameleon beneath all our schemes and sin. Pride can shove and take a fall. Pride can strike and be struck….

Grace, Justice, and Wisdom

[Note: This joint statement was developed by Christ Church and Trinity Reformed Church and adopted by both sessions recently.] A Joint Statement on Scandalous Sins in the Church Because we live in a fallen world, the presence of sin is inescapable. And the Christian Church is not immune to the disastrous effects of Adam’s sin,…

On Persuasion

Persuasion is a funny thing. Perhaps at turns like a chess match, like a roller coaster, like falling in love. Becoming convinced of something that you formerly didn’t believe consists frequently of many different elements: a sharp chisel sometimes cracking granite, shaving edges. At other times it’s like trudging home in the falling snow, white…

Like Showers of Rain or Bad Habits & How to Start Over

One of the things we have trouble with is seeing how certain actions are actually training for other actions. This is another application of “practice makes perfect.” The usual application is the fact that if you practice running certain distances, when you get to race day, you will have (hopefully) trained well for the 5K…

Our Name is Forgiven

A few other thoughts have been rattling around in my head related to my previous post on sex offenders in the church. It touches on several other topics related to counseling in these kinds of difficult situations. And it has to do with the potency of naming. We know that naming is powerful because in…

Barbed-Wire Love: What to do with Sex Offenders

A number of recent posts have been circulating regarding pedophiles and sex offenders in the Church, specifically claiming that because of the extreme clinical nature of this sin/crime, known child sex offenders ought not be ever allowed to attend worship services where children are present. A few thoughts: 1. First, as a Bible believing Christian,…

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…

From Dust to Light

Ash Wednesday Homily Mk. 8:27-38 We’ve said before, and it’s no trouble to be reminded, that we think of the church calendar like a devotional guide. Over the course of the Christian Year, we are reminded of the most crucial, most important parts of our life in Christ: what it means to know Jesus and…

The Last Enemy

Let me just make a quick plug for the upcoming conference we are hosting at Trinity: The Last Enemy, a Christian view of death with Steve Jeffery. First, you should know that Steve is the Minister of Emmanuel Evangelical Church, in Southgate, North London. He co-authored Pierced for Our Transgressions (IVP, 2007), a defense of the doctrine of penal…

What are Deacons Like?

Introduction Jesus said that you know a tree by its fruit. Good trees make good fruit; bad trees make bad fruit (Mt. 7:17-18). In context, Jesus is warning about false teachers, wolves in sheep clothing, but there’s a more fundamental reality also being assumed: you can’t be what you aren’t, you can’t give what you…