Discontentment Says Something about You, Not Your Circumstances
The spiritual geography of Israel's exodus from Egypt can be mapped onto the experience of our own souls.
Our own complaints are not caused by our outward circumstances; rather, they reveal the inward condition of our hearts. Really, the Israelites had nothing to complain about. They were not running out of food, but were confusing what they wanted with what they needed. This is often the source of our discontent: thinking that our “greeds” are really our... Continue Reading
Debunking the “Our Citizenship is in Heaven” Motif
In the political realm, there seems to be only two choices—either liberal humanism or conservative humanism.
The point is that heaven is the place from which we get our identity. Our lives as we live in this world reflect the character of heaven and the Christ who is in heaven. As we enter daily into our places of work, into our homes, and even into our churches, heaven goes with us. ... Continue Reading
The Fairness of God?
Fairness is the last thing we want—mercy from the King is what we need.
Our great problem is that we are inherently rebels—we either rebel politely or obnoxiously, but we rebel nonetheless. We de-god him and deify ourselves. Yet the incredible thing is, the God whom we seek to dethrone, got up off his throne, came down here, put on a crown of thorns and went to the cross so that we could be forgiven for our cosmic treason. He offers to pay for my rebellion—and people want to accuse him of not being fair!
4 Tips for Defending Your Trust in the Bible
In a world that’s decisively against the Christian faith, it’s crucial that we as Christians be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us.
But if Jesus did rise from the dead, then that fact has enormous implications for how we look at the Bible. Then, it’s not nearly enough to stop at saying, “The Bible is historically reliable.” At that point—because Jesus, the resurrected one, endorsed the Old Testament as the very Word of God and authorized the New as... Continue Reading
The Design and Scope of the Atonement
The real issue was the design, or purpose, of God’s plan in laying upon His Son the burden of the Cross.
Was it God’s purpose simply to make salvation possible for all but certain for none? Did God have to wait to see if any would respond to Christ to make His atonement efficient? Was it theoretically possible that Jesus would die “for all” yet never see the fruit of His travail and be satisfied? Or was... Continue Reading
O NSA, You Have Searched Me and Known Me
We have every reason to rejoice at God’s perfect ability to know everything about us
“What a contrast. Edward Snowden saw the government’s desire for omniscience and feared that it would be used to harm its own citizens. In the muddied hands of human beings, programs designed to protect will inevitably be used to destroy. David saw God’s omniscience and rejoiced that it would be used to protect his loved... Continue Reading
Beware of Ministry Shaming
I fear that we are unaware of our tendency to cast shame upon those with different ministries than us
I don’t think ministry shaming happens with blatant intention, yet I think it is more common than we realize. We may let our passion for our particular ministry color our speech about it in a way that paints a picture of superiority and makes others feel shame for their ministry. We may have certain ideas about what kind of ministry is the best use of our time, so we unknowingly assume that it is the best for others. God may have created us to be an eye, and we may be so passionate about the work of eyes that we make hands and ears feel less important (1 Corinthians 12:14-26).
Taking Back Christianese #8: “It’s Not My Place to Judge Someone Else”
We have been conditioned to never condemn certain kinds of behavior lest we are chastened by an avalanche of social media accusing us of being legalistic and judgmental.
If we stick to the two positive uses of this phrase above, we will be in good shape. However, this phrase is routinely used to say that we can never tell someone that their behavior is wrong. In other words, it is sinning to tell someone they are sinning. But, there are two problems with this approach:
The Cure for a Lack of Fruit in Our Christian Lives
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you
“While the certainty of salvation is grounded upon the (objective) work of Christ, the certainty of assurance is grounded upon the (objective) promises God gives us and the (subjective) discovery of those promises at work in us. And it is this latter consideration that gives rise to one or two problems.” The Westminster Confession of... Continue Reading
Christ’s Amazing Transition
Christ’s resurrection was His appointment as the Son of God-in-power
“It is only if the Son of God amazingly transitions from humiliation to exaltation that we can graciously transition from God’s just and holy wrath on us for our sin to his love toward us as his adopted children. In other words, we are sons of God by grace whereas Christ is God’s Son by... Continue Reading