No Farms – No Food

“There is profit in the land in all things; he who is king serves the field.” (Ecclesiastes 5:8 {5:9 in English Bibles}) I have a bumper-sticker that I keep on the back of my truck that reads: “No Farms — No Food.” And indeed, therein lies the interpretation of this verse. Everyone is indebted to… Read More

All Things Work Together for My Salvation

Not only is the Christian not to worry, we are also called to be confident. Confident in what? Confident in our God. Confident in the promises of our God. Confident in the assurance that God will bring about, for us, that which he promised to bring about for us. And confident that no matter what… Read More

“What, Me Worry?”

I’m a kid of the MAD Magazine era, where their mascot, Alfred E. Newman, was famous for saying this line… “What, me worry?” Of course, in many cases, it was the punchline of the joke and it conveyed the he ought to have been worrying about the state of affairs around him. That, of course,… Read More

The Tyranny of the Devil

“Be self-controlled. Be Alert. Your enemy the devil goes about roaring, seeking one to devour. Oppose him firm in the faith, knowing that these things are being endured throughout the world by your brothers.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) “And the dragon became angry about the woman and departed to make war with her remaining offspring —… Read More

One is the Lonliest Number…

“Two are better than one; for them there is good compensation for their anxieties. For if they fall, one will raise up his companion; woe to him who is one and falls, for there is not a second one to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) Every time that I read these words, my mind always… Read More

Declining becomes Refining

Over the last decade, many traditional churches in America have experienced a decline in attendance and the membership that corresponds. Of course, much of that decline is in the wake of the mega-church movement that is built around big entertainment and celebrity pastors while also watering down their theology to make it palatable to all.… Read More

Satisfying the Penalty

I suppose that one of the most significant criticisms that can be made of the church in America today is that pastors often downplay the seriousness of our sin. The late Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones used to say that “sin used to be ashamed of itself,” yet by his day, in the church, it no… Read More

The Scientific Method: A Christian Idea

“What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down?”  — Friedrich Nietzsche, The Madman (1882) In Nietzsche’s classic parable (one which… Read More

Comfort

“Comfort, Comfort, my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 So, what is comfort and why is it important? The Hebrew word that Isaiah uses is נחם (nacham), which means “to ease one’s regrets or griefs.” When the Hebrew scribes translated this passage into Greek, they translated נחם (nacham) as παρακαλέω (parakaleo), which means “to encourage,… Read More

Violence all Around Us

As I sit here this morning struggling to wrap my head around the recent school shootings that have taken place, it has me thinking about the violence of our society. True, when students and teachers lose their lives in what is supposed to be a place of learning, not a place of fear, it shakes… Read More

Life is a Lemon and I want my Money Back

“So, I hated life for the work which I did under the sun was evil to me — for it is all vanity — it exasperates the spirit. I hated all of my anxieties which I had been anxious with under the sun; I must put it to rest with the man who will come… Read More

Leaving a Legacy

“For there is no eternal remembrance for the wise along with the foolish. With the days that have already come, are all forgotten and how the wise dies along with the foolish.” (Ecclesiastes 2:16) Do you see what Solomon is saying? As we have pointed out before, he is not falling into nihilism or fatalism… Read More

Christian Doctrine and the Paradox of Theseus’ Ship

There is an old thought experiment that dates back to the ancient Greeks that surrounds Theseus’ ship. As a youth, I grew up with the stories of Theseus, the six labors, his battle with the minotaur, and the various adventures that surrounded this Greek hero. In his writings, the Historian, Plutarch recorded that Theseus’ ship… Read More

What Must a Christian Believe?

One of the debates that circulates around Christian church circles has to do with what that core body of information happens to be to which all Christians must assent. There are many who would say that the Apostles’ Creed stands as the most basic test of the Christian faith. Yet, I think that we would… Read More

Satisfaction and Vanity

“Thus, I became great and I did more than all of those who were before me in Jerusalem. Indeed, wisdom accompanied me. All that my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold any joy from my heart from all of my toil and this was my share from all of… Read More

Loads and Loads of Wealth

“I also collected for myself silver and gold and the possession of kings and provinces. I got for myself male singers and female singers and the delights of the sons of man — loads and loads.” (Ecclesiastes 2:8) Next to his wisdom, Solomon is best known for his wealth…and he had lots of it. The… Read More

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

Reforming the Culture a Temporary Thing

“What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is receding cannot be ordered.” (Ecclesiastes 1:15) When my wife and I first got married, our first house was what people call a “fixer-upper.” It was a home originally built in 1905 and while being structurally sound, it needed a lot of repairs and renovations. And, in many… 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

The Essential Preacher

“I, the Preacher, am king over Israel in Jerusalem and I put my heart to investigate and to discover through wisdom all that is done under the sun. It is an evil undertaking that God gives to the children of man to undertake.” (Ecclesiastes 1:12-13) We have already discussed the identification of Solomon as Qoheleth… Read More