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…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #2: Time & Resources

Dt. 5:12-15, Gal. 2:16-20, Mt. 6:19-34 Introduction The mission of Jesus is to baptize the nations and teach them everything He commanded. This is how you distinguish between God providing in what seems like scarcity and folly. If God commands it, then He promises to provide for it. Justification is God’s gracious gift of setting…

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….

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #1: Abundance & Scarcity

Gen. 3:14-24, 1 Jn. 4:7-21, Lk. 9:12-17 Introduction The Bible opens in mission (Gen. 1:27-28), and the mission is predicated on abundance not scarcity (Gen. 1:29, 2:8-15). The mission of the Church rests on an even greater abundance in the inheritance and authority of Jesus (Mt. 28:18-20, Rom. 8:32). Sin is the assumption of scarcity…

Civil War, Culture War, and the Cross

Apart from the peace of the cross of Jesus, our attempts at dealing with the severe effects of the fall will only create more tension, resentment, and violence. “… through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross…” (Col. 1:20). Think about…

I Saw Satan Fall

Luke XXXVII: Lk. 10:1-24 Introduction One of the most important lessons of the Bible is that things are not always what they seem. Here, we have the relatively unassuming record of Jesus sending out the seventy to proclaim peace, heal the sick, and announce the arrival of the kingdom of God, but in this event,…

Avantgardian Charades

Jonathan Merritt barely represses a swagger as he recounts his prescient foretelling of the doomed conservative Christian resistance to sexual perversion. First, Christians resisted the idea of homosexuality altogether, and now they pathetically and predictably object to the transgender movement and are doomed to fail again. He cites the three major blunders of conservative Christians…

Lewis on the Difference between Colleges and Schools

In an essay on education in Image and Imagination, C.S. Lewis explains the difference between schools and colleges. He says that in schools, the primary activity is teaching, and therefore students are absolutely essential. A teacher must have a student to teach, otherwise  he is sunk. However, students are not necessary for colleges. Colleges, as originally…

Some Thoughts on the Trump Apocalypse

I want to throw out a few observations and tentative thoughts on the looming spectacle of a Hillary vs. Trump showdown this November. To this point I have not thrown my hat into the #nevertrump ring. Not because I’m remotely excited by the prospect of a Trump presidency, but for a couple of downstream curiosities…