The Masculine Gospel: All Girls Allowed

“Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal 4.7). The gospel of Jesus Christ is decidedly masculine but it is neither discriminatory nor chauvinist.  In fact, the glory of the gospel is wrapped up in its masculinity rightly understood.  Given the context of Scripture and the people among which the gospel spread, we want a masculine gospel. God […]

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God’s Love, Actually

The prophets spilled no small amount of ink clarifying God’s posture toward his people.  Had God given up on saving a people for himself (Hos 4.6)?  Could God actually overlook or forgive his people’s rebellion against him (Mic 6.9-16)? Will God sit idly by while pagan nations run roughshod over the people he claims to love (Hab 1.13)?  Can we reconcile God’s apparent displeasure with his promise of eternal love toward […]

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Baptist Catholicism (What the Altar Call, Sinner’s Prayer & Pope Have in Common)

The typical Baptist suffers from Catholiphobia: the fear of all things Catholic. We Baptists often know more about Catholics than Catholicism, which is probably true of any religious tradition.  We tend to define religious traditions by the few people we know who practice them rather that what that tradition has historically confessed. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take long for a Baptist to realize he strongly opposes Catholic baptism. The Council of Trent‘s […]

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Moonlight Graham & Christ’s Field of Dreams

Archibald Wright “Moonlight” Graham was a baseball player.  He was also a doctor.  He was immortalized in the classic American baseball film Field of Dreams.  And he can illustrate the glorious mystery of Christ’s incarnation. Moonlight Graham spent seven seasons in the minor leagues, even having a cup of coffee with the Memphis Egyptians in 1906.  His claim to fame, however, was not what he did in the minor leagues.  […]

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Don’t Stop Sinning

“…as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5.21). Christians use the stock language of “hating sin” and “killing sin.”  Those wanting to sound especially holy and smart speak of “mortifying sin.”  Sin is indeed an interloper in the Christian soul, a squatter in the Spirit-indwelled heart.  Because of Christ sin has no rights, privileges or legal […]

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Friday Night Tights

Football is king in Texas. Our pastoral stint in the Lone Star state awakened me to the hysteria that is 6A high school football. With its own Jumbotron and state-of-the-art turf field, the local high school had facilities fit for most small college programs.  I watched a future Heisman trophy winner triple-option his way to championships, and former NFL players coach on the sidelines. The school also introduced each new season […]

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Yom Kippur and Graceland

Every Saturday The Commercial Appeal in Memphis publishes a “Faith in Memphis” section with a “Faith in Memphis Panel.”  The editor asks local religious leaders to respond to a current issue in the news.  That issue is usually about atonement when Yom Kippur rolls around each year.  Yom Kippur is the Jewish “day of atonement” and the holiest day of the Jewish year (Lev 23.27-28).  Since the holy day began […]

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Is the Pastor Irrevocably Called?

I recently resigned from my vocational pastoral position.  It’s a wonder Jesus entrusts his most cherished possession to the care of foolish men like myself.  That the church will survive into eternity can only be explained by the power of God. Naturally, I am sorting through exactly who and what I am these days.  Is the pastoral office like being a doctor or lawyer?  A doctor is an M.D. whether […]

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The Church Isn’t a Commodity

Bonhoeffer captured the heart of the royal priesthood (1 Pt 2.9): The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him.  He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth.  He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation.  He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ.  […]

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Don’t Stop Sinning

“…as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5.21). Christians use the stock language of “hating sin” and “killing sin.”  Those wanting to sound especially holy and smart speak of “mortifying sin.”  Sin is indeed an interloper in the Christian soul, a squatter in the Spirit-indwelled heart.  Because of Christ sin has no rights, privileges or legal […]

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