Naming Names

If you spend much time on this blog, you know that one of my concerns is for the Truth of God’s word to be triumphed in a world that throws so much chaff at you that sometimes you feel lost in information overload and don’t know who to believe. As a preacher, this has often… Read More

Fighting Words

In Calvin’s commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia, he argues that “meaning is a function of use.” Now, we may debate over how that is worked out in Seneca or we may debate on how that gets worked out in the rest of Calvin’s later writings. And, while that might be a valuable conversation, my interest… Read More

The Law of God

The longer I live the more things about the mindset of our culture just makes me scratch my head. When I was younger, we used to talk about “Things that make you go, Hmmm…” Today, I wonder if the phrase should be, “Things that make you go, huh?!?” And one of those things that I… Read More

Christian Delight

Question ninety in the Heidelberg Catechism asks, “What is the birth of the new man?” In other words, it wants to know what it is that distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever…or more personally, what distinguishes your life today as a Christian from the way you lived before as a non-Christian. The answer to this… Read More

Are You Ready to Go to Church Tomorrow?

Okay, the pastor is just on one of his soapboxes, again. Sure, this is a soapbox…but if you are a Christian, it should be your soapbox as well. So, hear me out. You see, many people are simply satisfied that you are going to church in the first place — you remember that kind old… Read More

There’s Something Missing from Our Conversation on the Body

In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul makes an impassioned plea for the unity of the body…a unity that can only built up in love, when the body itself is functioning properly (Ephesians 4:16). Love in the body is indeed the “better way” (1 Corinthians 12:31) toward which we should strive. To make his point,… Read More

A Brave New World: Ariana Grande, Terror, and God’s War Psalms

I must confess, for me, music pretty much ended in the 80’s. Okay, so I exaggerate, but I am a kid of the era where Styx wasn’t so much a reference to a mythological river, Jethro Tull was not a historic agronomist, and The Boss was not someone you worked for, but all were musicians… Read More

Mockery in the Service of God

“Thus, Ehud made for himself a dagger (and it had two mouths) a cubit in length. And he bound it to himself under his robe on his right side. And he took the gift to Eglon, the king of Moab. Now, Eglon was a very fat man.” (Judges 3:16-17) As the elements of this story… Read More

Help Us Repent and Love You in Deed

“And so the nose of Yahweh burned toward Israel and he sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathayim, king of Aram Naharayim. And the Sons of Israel served Cushan Rishathayim for eight years. The Sons of Israel cried out to Yahweh and Yahweh raised up a deliverer for Israel who delivered them — Othniel,… Read More

Forgetting the things of God

“And so all of that generation were gathered to their fathers, but following them arose another generation which did not know Yahweh and also the works which he had done in Israel.” (Judges 2:10) The Historian, Will Durant, is famously quoted as saying, “From barbarism to civilization takes a century; from civilization to barbarism needs… Read More

Burial or Cremation

“And they buried him within the borders of his inheritance, in Timnath-Cheres, in the mountains of Ephriam — on the north side of mount Ga’ash.” (Judges 2:9) In a day and age where the practice of cremation has become both commonplace and acceptable, it is important to be reminded of the Biblical practice of burying… Read More

Personal Holiness of Church Leaders

“And when Joshua sent the people off, the Sons of Israel each went to his own inheritance to possess the land. And the people served Yahweh all the days of Joshua and all of the days of the Elders who lived days beyond Joshua, who had seen all of the great works that Yahweh had… Read More

Influencing the Culture

“Naphtali did not dispossess those who dwell in the House of Shemesh or those who dwelt in the house of Anath; and they dwelled in the midst of the Canaanites who dwelt in the land. Thus, the House of Shemesh and the House of Anath became forced labor for them. And the Emorites tormented the… Read More

Friends

So what makes a friend a friend? And when I speak of friends, I am not thinking of those we might casually refer to in that way, but those with whom you have a close and enduring bond — a bond that is strengthened, not weakened by trials and difficulties and with whom love is… Read More

Playing Dominoes in Ukraine

I spent about half an hour the other day playing a game of two-on-two Dominoes with several of my Ukrainian students. The game was the basic game that I had played as a child, though it has been many years since I had played, and it was fairly easy to follow the progression even though… Read More

Strengthen What is About to Die

You must become alert!  And you must strengthen the ones who remain, who are waiting to die, for I have not found your works to be fulfilled before your God. (Revelation 3:2) The seven letters of Revelation contain some devastating rebukes for those in the churches of Asia. Out of the seven churches, two receive… Read More

Ego Custodiam

The fourth of the relational statements that the early church fathers made reflected God’s relationship to the church. “I will guard them,” says God of his people. At first, we might be inclined to think that this statement could be fuller or more involved. We might expect God to say Ego Redimam (“I will redeem”)… Read More

Ego Eripiam

The third of our statements deals with the relationship of Satan toward believers—“I will snatch them” or “I will steal them away.” While we would affirm in our theology that the believer is held by Christ and can never be separated from his hand (John 6:37; 10:28; Romans 8:37-39), the reality of Satan’s eventual failure… Read More

Ego Decipiam

While the pastor must confess that he will fail his flock, the world makes a different profession. The world says, “I will deceive them” or “I will ensnare them.” How much more sinister is this response than the one that went before, yet how often has this been our experience. The world promises us wealth… Read More

Ego Deficiam

“I will fail them.” The early church fathers reflected on the relationships between pastors, the world, satan, and the church flock and developed a series of statements that described each relationship. The first of these statements was that of the pastor with regard to his people: Ego Deficiam (I will fail). At first, our response… Read More

Blankets as a Sign of God’s Grace

One of the ways in that my wife and I are different has to do with blankets. My wife is almost always warm when she sleeps, so typically a comforter is all she wants to sleep with. I, on the other hand, am perpetually cold when I sleep, so to me, the more blankets the… Read More

The Gospel and Brushing Your Teeth

I publicly confess that I am not overly fond of brushing my teeth. I do brush my teeth, mind you, but it is not a part of the day that I look forward to. In fact, after I got married, one of the great sacrifices that I made to please my new bride was that… Read More

Do We Need a Polygraph in Church?

  I suppose that all of us have seen the movies or read the pulp stories where the evil villain captures the hero and forces him to reveal some sort of important information by strapping him into a chair and hooking him up to a lie-detector machine of some sort. How the hero would sweat… Read More

Polished But Worn

Recently, I was reading about the criminal investigation that took place around the shooting of President Kennedy. One of the investigators made note of something that I found quite striking: the shoes that President Kennedy was wearing looked as if they had been re-soled at least 10 times. To us, in our modern “throw-away” society,… Read More