The Glory of God’s Word

Third Sunday after Epiphany: Neh. 8:1-12 Introduction Bible reading has always been a hard topic. It has always been a topic that tends to guilt and sorrow. This is because we know that we are sinners, and the perfect law of liberty is a mirror that shows us who we really are (Js. 1:22-25). This…

Eyes, Trees, and Houses

Luke XXVI: Luke 6:39-49 Introduction Jesus concludes His charge to those who would lead His people and (by implication) those who would follow Him (and them), with three exhortations. Seeing Clearly First, a leader must be someone who sees clearly. A blind leader will produce blind followers (Lk. 6:39-40). In order for a leader to…

Jesus and Vulnerability-Based Leadership

We have hosted a monthly men’s forum periodically over the years, and this year’s topic is dedicated to leadership. Each month we are watching video clips giving some significant exhortation on what great leadership is. This month’s meeting began with a clip from a Patrick Lencioni talk on the Five Dysfunctions of a Team which…

The Happiness of Jesus

Luke XXIV: Luke 6:20-26 Introduction Setting aside some of the intriguing questions about whether this is the same sermon as the Sermon on the Mount in Mathew 5-6, we can at least acknowledge that it is a very similar one. Nevertheless, Luke has very clearly presented this sermon as delivered to the “disciples” in the…

Jesus Our Healer

One of the accusations leveled against our community has been our lack of care for the victims of abuse. And wound into that accusation is the assumption that instead of caring for children and victims, our refusal to cow to the accusatory catcalls is necessarily just an act of self defense, defending leaders and pastors…

We Do Not Lose Heart

Just a few quick follow up thoughts on grace and justice in difficult pastoral situations. First, I linked a post from Tim Bayly this morning that is a great example of gracious, thoughtful disagreement with the way another session of elders has handled a difficult situation. It is helpful not only because of its tone…

On Disagreement & the Injustice of the Internet Lynch Mob

In the wake of recent discussions surrounding the Steven Sitler situation here in Moscow, I wanted to offer several thoughts on the matter. I had the privilege of a helpful exchange on Twitter on Sunday with Boz Tchividjian, the founder of GRACE, a ministry whose self-described mission is to recognize, prevent, and respond to child…

Pride, Prejudice & the Eye-Roll

My friend and fellow pastor at TRC, Joshua Appel, recently recommended Tim Keller’s book Encounters with Jesus to me, and I dutifully mashed the “buy now” button on my phone and lo, here I sit cruising through the first chapter. Now let the reader beware that I have some serious reservations about some of what…

The Art of Vigilance

Just had a fantastic parenting conference this last weekend (recordings of which you can find in one of the tabs here). It’s always a gift to be reminded of things you’ve known to be true but somewhere along the way, you’ve forgotten or forget where the pieces fit. Obedience is always a gift. One of…

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….