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….

Pentecost Sunday: Fire From Heaven

Luke XXXVI: Lk. 9:49-62 Introduction Today is Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter, the day we celebrate the pouring out of the Spirit and the birth of the Christian Church. The Text: The theme that ties these three scenes in Luke 9 together is the call to follow Jesus and the way other people and…

Far Better

Ascension Day 2016 Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” (Jn. 16:7) The ascension of Jesus is one of the harder things to understand as Christians. From our perspective, it seems like Jesus leaving made everything a…

When Silence is Love

Greyfriars Hall Spring 2016 Preaching Retreat Sermon Text: Acts 8:26-40 Introduction The problem of exegesis and the meaning of language goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden where the serpent asked the woman: Did God really say? And ever since, men have asked why God doesn’t speak more clearly. If there is…

Testing the Spirit of Sola Scriptura

One aspect of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura that sometimes seems problematic is what the Protestant tradition has called “the internal testimony of the Spirit.” Is this the Protestant version of the Mormon “burning in the bosom?” Is this the catch all excuse-maker justifying all manner of iniquity? I cannot submit to my elders because…

Horizons of Bang

Yesterday I wrote a bit about how this world is inundated with words and what with cyber wizardry and all, words are multiplying like busy little rabbits all around us. I nodded towards the issue I’m interested in pursuing further, that is, how one is to go about interacting with this storm of words. On…

Jesus & the Bikinis

There’s hardly any way to talk about the way women dress without coming off as the voyeristic pervert, the old cranky prude, or the fire-eating, Bible-thumping legalist, but whatever, there is a verse in the Bible somewhere that says Christian girls shouldn’t dress like harlots. And every once in a while someone should say so….

Two Measuring Tapes for the 4th of July

OK, since it’s the 4th of July, and everyone is hovering over their phones and computer screens hunting for something else to read, I’ll toss out one more thought and send you back out to your patriotic shenanigans. I’m fully convinced that lots of the “regeneration,” “rebirth” language in the Bible is way cosmic, political,…

Assurances of Salvation

Pastor Jim Wilson has a great little booklet entitled Assurances of Salvation, available here in Kindle format and available here for free download, along with a few other goodies. The booklet lists 8 ways to have assurance of salvation but begins with the recommendation to read 1 John which is written “so that you may…

Glorious Mistakable Joy

My friend Joffre on Pentecostal Partying: Pentecost Sunday is past. We are now in Ordinary Time. You have been given the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom is come in you. The Kingdom makes demands, it pricks in the heart. Live a life that demands the question, what meaneth this? And if I may suggest it, perhaps…