One of the Most Overlooked Reasons Why We Should Trust the Bible

In the midst of all the options there is one person that, ironically, Christians (and non-Christians) overlook. Jesus.

Of course, Christians don’t overlook Jesus generally.  He is central to about everything Christians think and do.  But, strangely, he is not often the ultimate court of appeal when they are deciding what to think about the Bible. But, just a few moments of reflection suggest he should be.   When deciding what to believe... Continue Reading

Loving Yourself Truly

There are only two great commandments, not three.

If we are not careful in our preaching and teaching, we can lead those we teach to think more highly of themselves than they ought by pursuing a narrow self-interest in the name of hoping to know more of Jesus’ love. We can so urge them to feel good about themselves “in the Lord” that... Continue Reading

The Capitalist and the Christian Hedonist

Does Scripture support self-interest?

Capitalism supposes a world in which the greatest good extends to the greatest number of people through free exchanges between men and women who are otherwise in pursuit of their own self-interests. Smith famously wrote, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but... Continue Reading

The Strangest Thing Jesus Said

“No one ever spoke like this man.”

Over the centuries, many nonreligious theories have been proffered for the tenacious, massive, increasingly global influence of this wandering, first-century, Jewish rabbi with peasant roots and ordinary disciples. None do him justice. Political, institutional, economic, social, cultural, psychological explanations all prove reductionistic and overly simplistic. They don’t explain why people find Jesus so compelling.  ... Continue Reading

The End of the World is Not the End of the Story

God has a glorious plan with Jesus at its centre.

A great book for these troubled times, Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians instructs us on how we should respond to fears around the world ending. In chapter 2, Paul makes it clear what Christians ought to do: stand firm. He says don’t be “shaken in mind or alarmed” (v. 2); don’t let end-of-the-world reports... Continue Reading

It’s Not Up to You

Our job as pastors is to get out of the way.

Never believe the lie that you’re someone special. You’re a servant. You are like grass. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). Never make your fading life the focus of your ministry. Put the attention on what matters most and will last the longest.  ... Continue Reading

Clarifying the Gospel, Part 2: How the Apostles Preached Christ

There is no greater deliverance accomplished by Christ than that which is from the looming judgment of God over humanity.

The sermons in Acts consistently build up to the same appeal for repentance/faith/baptism in light of the threat of the coming divine judgment, which will be executed by Jesus Christ, risen from the dead and now exalted to the right hand of God. This is why the forgiveness of sins is held out as the... Continue Reading

Steal Away Home—Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey (2017)

This story shows how the gospel operates in the real world.

This story involves two men from backgrounds that have very little in common. C.H. Spurgeon was the Prince of Preachers, a refined man with a rich theological heritage who occupied the pulpit in Victorian England. He was well-known around the world. He was a best-selling author and recognized by thousands. Thomas Johnson was a simple... Continue Reading

Called by God to Worship

Responding in faith to God’s self-revelation.

The book of Genesis does not record God giving his people clear directions concerning how he was to be worshiped (that wouldn’t happen until Sinai), yet they observed standard practices of sacrifice, offering, and meal in worship to the Lord, just as had Adam’s sons and Noah (Gen 8:20–21).   The first Patriarch of Israel,... Continue Reading

Should Christians Expect to Hear a “Still Small Voice” from God?

Can we “tune out” the background noise and “tune in” to the Spirit?

God has nowhere promised to reveal himself privately, directly, specifically apart from his Holy Scriptures. God’s Word written is sufficient for the Christian faith and the Christian life. Sola scriptura. Everything we need to know, to believe, is revealed in his Word. Everything we need to know to live the Christian life, all the guidance we... Continue Reading