Why You Can’t Have Justification without Sanctification

If you’re united with Christ and therefore have the righteousness of Christ, it is impossible for you not to be transformed.

Heaven without Transformation I think there are two main misunderstandings people have of the central idea of reformation with which Luther and the Reformers started. The first is that justification is abstracted from the person of Christ. The problem there is that I might hear a message of salvation saying You can have righteousness and assume that... Continue Reading

The New Thought Roots of the Prosperity Gospel

"New Thought assumed essential unity between God and humanity, declaring that separation from the divine was only a matter of degree."

“The American religious terrain, plowed deep by the soulful individualism of Ralph Waldo Emerson, was fertile soil for a high anthropology (which is to say, an optimistic theology of human capacity.) As many New Thought authors worked inside a Christian framework, they explored “salvation” not as an act imposed from above by God, but rather... Continue Reading

5 Myths About the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity is the only view of God that makes sense of Christian salvation.

Since God’s triunity is bundled together with the gospel, it is the foundation of the spiritual life of every believer. The more you understand the deep structure of the spiritual reality you experience in Christ and the Spirit, the more you understand and are experiencing the deep things of God for us. If you think... Continue Reading

Why Higher Education Needs to Know Its History

We learn from the apostle Paul: calling the churches back to the truth of the Christian faith.

At the heart of this calling is the need to prepare a generation of Christians to think Christianly, to engage the academy and the culture, to serve society, and to renew the connection with the church and its mission. To do so, the breadth and the depth of the Christian tradition will need to be... Continue Reading

Erdmann Neumeister and His Pious Orthodoxy

Erdmann Neumeister (1671-1756) hated Pietism but his music was full of vigorous piety and lively devotion

“Born at Uechteritz, Germany, from a schoolmaster and organist, Neumeister studied theology and poetry at the University of Leipzig. One of the main subjects of discussion around that time was the recent visit of the popular lecturer August Hermann Francke and his subsequent expulsion from Saxony due to the disputes he generated.”   Erdmann Neumeister... Continue Reading

How Old Testament Kings Bear Witness about Jesus

The man who died on the cross is the Savior of the world.

The message of “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2) is the greatest paradox in the history of the world. It defies all human wisdom. It is also the most profound, powerful and important truth in the world: it is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). The man... Continue Reading

Are Christians Free to Enjoy the Things of Earth?

The created world reveals. It makes invisible attributes visible. The heavens declare the glory of God.

We can find God everywhere, and if we do that, then all of reality becomes an invitation. Everything in reality from our family to our food to our hobbies to the natural world—all of it is God saying, Come, know me in very deep and real way, because you’ve known the things that I’ve made.  ... Continue Reading

5 Myths About the Bible

The Bible tells one story of the one God who is redeeming one people in his one creation through the one Savior Jesus Christ.

  There are layers of themes that tie in this big story in a remarkable way. Some parts may have different emphases and different authors have different styles, and the story develops between the old and new covenants. But the story and details of the Bible are unified in amazing ways. The Bible tells one... Continue Reading

The Counterintuitive Nature of Authority

The purpose in using authority is not to get . . . but to give and to serve, to build up, equip, and strengthen.

I want to say to anybody in any position of authority at church, the home, or the office: that’s your job. Be that rock, be that platform on which others stand. You use your top-down authority to get yourself in a bottom-up position. Authority is dangerous—more so than you think because it can kill. But,... Continue Reading

Why You’ll Never Be Free Until You Start Obeying God

Freedom is the ability to do what we ought to do—that’s real freedom.

It wasn’t just an exchange of slavery to a certain kind of enlightenment freedom. It was servitude to Pharaoh which was hardship and oppression in exchange for serving God—which is true freedom, true joy, true happiness in loving God, in knowing God, in delighting in God, and doing things God’s way instead of our way.... Continue Reading