The Challenge of Christian Community

Luke XXXVIII: Lk. 10:25-42 Introduction Christian community is hard. It’s hard because of sin. It’s hard because of different personalities and gifts. It’s hard because the stakes are high. Christian community aims to be and claims to be a sharing in the fellowship of God Himself (1 Jn. 1:3). So the choices we make in…

One Body With An Immune System

“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many” (1 Cor. 12:13-14). Paul immediately goes on to explain that this is why we need one another. The…

International Resistance Movement

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). Every week we gather here because we believe this. We believe that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. The works of the devil are anything and everything that is not love, beginning with the…

Loving Brothers in Error Part 2

I want to follow up my last post on this topic with two somewhat different points, heading in somewhat different directions, but which are related to the central principles already laid out. I’ll post part 2 today and then part 3 in a few days. First, I take it for granted that when Paul exhorts…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #4: Children, Treasure, and Productivity

Ps. 127, Eph. 4:25-32, Mt. 25:14-30 Introduction So far in this series, we have established that Christian mission flows from the assumption of God’s abundance. We ground our faith in that abundance by prioritizing the use of our time and resources in accordance with God’s word, specifically through obedience in Sabbath keeping and tithing. Last…

The Letter from the Synod of Nicaea II Concerning Icons

Just to be clear on what a person is agreeing to when converting from Protestantism to Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism: A portion from the letter from the synod of Nicaea II to the emperor and empress: The things which we have decreed, being thus well supported, it is confessedly and beyond all question acceptable and…

Loving Brothers in Error

One of the realities that Christians face with some regularity and difficulty is the challenge of loving brothers in error. All three of those words are important: loving. brothers. error. Given the harsh world around us full of violence and terror and murder, the Church is called to be a massively different kind of place….

The Twelves

Luke XXXIII: Lk. 9:1-17 Introduction The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of the Risen King of Israel. In this Kingdom, God fills empty hands with plenty to share; He makes the weak His means of power. The New Twelve Notice that Luke has organized this section with a high concentration of “twelves” (8:42, 8:43,…

Paul & Pastoral Jui Jitsu

The longer I pastor the more the New Testament becomes meaningful to me, and in particular, the more Paul’s letters and his pastoral jiu jitsu comfort and encourage me. Perhaps what’s so surprising is beginning to notice just how often Paul is talking about himself, his ministry, his life, his past and so on. But…

The Temple Became A Man

If I occasionally come across as baffled in discussions about conversions of Reformed Protestants to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy it’s because, well, I am. But let me explain. It’s certainly not because I believe the only true church is OPC or CREC or PCA or URC or some such silliness. It’s certainly not because…