Better Than Anointed Lords

A couple of friends have replied to my earlier post suggesting that I’m begging the question by assuming a definition of the church before I’ve adequately made my case. There may be several ways that charge is meant, but I’d like to appeal to at least one historical authority for the right to claim what…

God the Potter

At the end of Paul’s closing arguments about what God is up to in the world in Romans 9-11, he breaks into doxology. He bursts out: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of…

Joyful Resistance

One of the disciplines Christians need to learn and practice constantly is joyful resistance. But this is a virtue that is only possible in and through Jesus. It’s a virtue that rests on the unique doctrine of justification by faith. All other religions and philosophies are attempts to ascend to God, to find God, to…

Women Teaching Men Part 2

So we established in the previous post that the role of systematic theological categories is significant, but we also closed by noting that there are cultural tectonic plates at work in any discussion about the teaching role of women in the church. I said in my previous post that I suspect that any church that…

Women Teaching Men: Part 1

First off, let me refer you over to a conversation on the femina blog from a few weeks ago which began with Nancy Wilson’s explanation for why she doesn’t normally speak at Bible conferences to co-ed audiences. She followed up with two additional posts (here and here) further elaborating her views, and Bekah Merkle followed up…

The Hope of Christian Joy: Palm Sunday 2015

Introduction What is joy? The Bible teaches and human experience frequently confirms that joy is more than a present experience of delight but is always also an anticipation of even better things to come. In other words, Christian joy flows directly out of Christian hope (Rom. 5:2). However, in the face of tragedy and hardships,…

Death By Accessory

One of the things I’ve noted elsewhere is that frequently the work of the evangelist is to awaken love. Part of the insidious destruction of human beings by sin is the corrosion of love. Sometimes belief in God and belief in Christ must begin with belief in the bare existence of goodness, beauty, and truth….

Humility is Strong. Pride is Brittle.

Pride is all about me. Pride is all about protecting myself, protecting my reputation. This means that pride is an attempt to hold myself, defend myself from every potential threat. And pride does this generally in two ways: either it blusters or in whines. And the two are frequently related. The bluster front is loud…

Joy & Disagreements

It’s striking that Paul addresses two women by name in Philippians 4 and implores them to be of the same mind, and then almost immediately commands them and all the Philippians to rejoice: rejoice always. We don’t know anything about their disagreement, but we know their names and we know that part of Paul’s immediate…

The Politics of Celebration

Right after urging the Philippians to remember that their citizenship is in heaven, Paul reminds them that this means they are called to rejoice always. This is because rejoicing and celebration are always community events, public events, political events. In the first century, Christians were surrounded by celebrations: the old Jewish feasts, Greek and Roman…