The Faith That Saves (Part 2)

(Re)read Part 1. Imagine walking on railroad tracks with a friend. You see a faint light growing larger and conclude a train barrels toward you.  You and your friend begin to argue about what sort of train it is.  You’re sure it’s a coal train from Pittsburgh.  Your friend insists its a passenger train from Chicago.  You argue your experiences with trains makes you a better trainspotter.  He argues he has read everything about […]

The Faith That Saves (Part 1)

Calvinists and nonCalvinists have fought about the origin of saving faith for centuries.  Calvinists insist God grants saving faith to the elect at the moment of conversion.  NonCalvinists insist God has granted everyone the ability to believe the gospel and must be rightly persuaded.  No one has any ability or everyone has some ability.  Important distinctions, to be sure. But have we missed the forest for the trees?  While we skirmish on the periphery the enemy […]

Hold Your Heterosexuality Loosely

“But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of […]

Grace for the Greedy

With rock star status Jesus was flanked by thousands (literally, “the myriads”) as he meandered through the Palestinian countryside (Lk 12.1).  Folks stumbled over each other for a glimpse, nugget or even piece of Jesus.  It never got to his head. Not one to waste an audience, Jesus introduced his disciples to Greed 101.  Luke just told us Jesus was Public Enemy #1 to the self-righteous religious snots (11.53-54).  It […]

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 […]

Toppling the Social Media Baals

Like the God who made us, we humans are incessant communicators.  We will use anything to talk to each other: scratches on a cave wall, reeds dipped in plant dye, Dixie cups and a long string, mechanical arms stamping letters on paper, or digital pixels bouncing off satellites into mobile devices for social media. God communicates so naturally his image-bearers would do so. Social media is not inherently evil any more than the […]

Smith, Keynes, Marx & Jesus Walk Into a Bar

“The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good” (Gordon Gekko). Capitalism, liberalism and socialism are competing economic/political/social philosophies but they share the same inherent bane. Wherever one lands on the spectrum neither philosophy can assuage the very thing that cripples economies: greed.  Adam Smith (capitalism), John Maynard Keynes (liberalism) and Karl Marx (socialism) might be mortal political enemies but they all attempted to […]

God’s Love-Hate-Love Relationship With Us

If you’ve been in church for any length of time you’ve been admonished to “love the sinner, hate the sin.”  That is a helpful corrective to those of us who sin ourselves.  Every single person is an image-bearer of God and worthy of the dignity afforded the highest of God’s created beings (Gen 1.26f.).  To arrogate oneself as the arbiter of human life deserves the sternest of punishment (Gen 9.6).  […]

Jesus Cannot Be Serious

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Pt 5.6-7). I do a fair bit of worrying.  I worry about long-term, epitaph-related matters like vocation, character and legacy. I worry about our kids’ futures and my wife’s health. I worry about what might happen and what most likely won’t.  I […]