Learning to Say, “My Gospel”

[Here are my notes for the talk I gave at the TRC Evangelism Conference 2016, recordings coming soon.] Introduction I don’t remember a time when I did not love Jesus. One of my earliest memories is being interviewed for membership in an Orthodox Presbyterian Church by a couple of elders when I was four years…

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…

Facing the Future like a Christian

1 Sam. 2:1-10, Heb. 11:32-12:2, Jn. 14:1-17 Introduction Fall is a busy time of new beginnings: new school years, new seasons of life, new living situations. Add to this the regular (but significant) transitions of new marriages, welcoming new children into your home, sending children off to college, or various goodbyes, and then of course…

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 for Mercy & Mission #6: Beauty Will Save the World

Ps. 90:1-17, 1 Jn. 2:15-17, 5:1-5, Jn. 15:12-17 Introduction The task of Christian mercy and mission is not complete without an eschatology: Where are we going? What are we aiming for? We are after unending goodness and beauty, and we are convinced that all goodness and beauty comes from God. Against the World, For the…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #5: Sin, Slavery, and the Gospel

Gen. 4:1-16, Rom. 7:1-6, Mk. 15:16-39 Introduction As we continue to lay a biblical foundation for carrying out the mission of Jesus in this world, the world around us continues to give us reason to ask the question: How should we carry out this mission? What are we to think and believe? And what are…

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…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #3: The Politics of Sex

Ps. 19:1-14, Rev. 21:1-8, John 4:5-26 Introduction One periodic objection leveled at Christians when it comes to the topics of sex and marriage is that we are unnecessarily politicizing private preferences. The implication is that the Christian impulse to care about the way our culture speaks about and enacts our sexuality is like turning food…