Social Media: New Tech, Same Old Shinar

“Come, let us go down there and confuse their language, so they will not be able to understand each other” (Gen 11.7). The news cycle had moved on. The Flood was a such divisive event and we couldn’t let that happen again. It was time for good news and unity. So we wandered east to Shinar. Everyone was excited to build a new world that promised to keep us all […]

In Dependence Day

Mom (a.k.a. Mama Max) died July 4th, 1990.  That’s my last picture with her: my 16th birthday meal at Gridley’s BBQ in Memphis. She wore her wig with all dignity and elegance. Her smile, as infectious as her cancer, betrayed her pain. She died nine months later. You never forget the day. I pulled an all-nighter a local golf course watering greens (bentgrass greens’ only hope for survival in Memphis […]

The Olivet Discourse – Plain & Simple (Part 3)

Read Parts 1 and 2. In Mt 24-25, Jesus set his disciples’ expectations about the end of it all. The end of the age would be an age of the end. The disciples assumed there would soon be a cataclysmic event to inaugurate Messiah’s reign. Wanting to be prepared, the asked Jesus about signs and times (24.1-3). They learn, however, the Messianic kingdom will come in stages. There would be […]

Search Without Flattery

“He whom you detest appears to you to be unworthy oft he grace of Christ. Why then was Christ himself made a sacrifice and a curse, but that he might stretch out his hand to accursed sinners? Now, if we feel disgust at being associated by Baptism and the Lord’s Supper with vile men, and regard our connection with them as a sort of stain upon us, we ought immediately […]

The Olivet Discourse – Plain & Simple (Part 2)

Read Part 1. Jesus’ disciples asked him what they thought was one big question (Mt 24.3): When will this world end and the Messianic kingdom begin? Surely, the temple’s destruction (24.2) coincided with the Son of Man’s “coming” (παρουσία) in final judgment to make an end of God’s enemies. The way Jesus answered their questions, however, corrected their premise. The destruction of Jerusalem and her temple (AD 70) would not […]

The Olivet Discourse – Plain & Simple (Part 1)

Jesus spent his evenings during “Passion Week” with his disciples in a village on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem. On Wednesday (?) evening, Jesus “was sitting on the Mount of Olives” (24.3) when his quizzical disciples sidled up for clarification. Earlier that day they left the temple complex and Jesus, rather matter-of-factly, buried the lede. Messiah wasn’t coming to raise Jerusalem and her beloved (and corrupt) temple. […]

He Descended Into Hell

During 2015-16 we enjoyed the fellowship and ministry of a local Presbyterian church. They lovingly afforded me the privilege of their pulpit while they sought a pastor. When the heavenly accounts are settled we will be indebted to this congregation for their kindness to us. The weekly liturgy and encouragement helped us consider Christ’s work in anciently refreshing ways. As would be expected, the weekly liturgy included the Apostles’ Creed. I […]

And God said, “Let there be Dark”

At 9am on a bright Friday morning Roman soldiers crucified Jesus like they’d done a thousand other derelicts (Mk 15.25). They drove spikes through his wrists. Maybe they toenailed his hands. They drove spikes through his heels on either side of the cross. They shot dice for his clothes. Souvenirs of a man hung there like a carnival sideshow. Another day at the office. The execution was textbook until noon. […]