Should Christians Buy a Powerball Ticket?

The current Powerball estimate is over $1 billion and counting.  It’s no wonder a recent article in The Atlantic cited this staggering statistic: “According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, lotteries took in $70.1 billion in sales in the 2014 fiscal year. That’s more than Americans in all 50 states spent on sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets, and recorded music sales.” The article concludes: “In an age […]

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 […]

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 […]

Victims of Victory: The Prosperity Gospel’s Trail of Tears

Victory is a biblical word and an especially exciting word for those in the prosperity “gospel” community.  In their defense, victory is a rich biblical theme.  We indeed have victory through and because of Jesus.  Scripture is quite clear about that. “…but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15.57). “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this […]

The Necessity of Baptism (Part 1)

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised […]

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 […]

Petrine Apologetics

“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and respect” (1 Pt 3.15). Many hold out 1 Peter 3.15 as the patron verse for the ministry of Christian apologetics.  (The Greek word behind the English “defense” is apologian, from which we derive “apology.”)  Obviously, […]

Forsaken, Yet Entrusting

The gospel of Jesus Christ is remarkably good news.  It is indeed “living water” (Jn 4.14) because it never ceases to flow in or satisfy the Christian soul.  The Christian needs only one Well and that Well is infinitely supplied.  The gospel is a living truth in that it does things in and for those who believe.  It changes those who welcome it.  It does so because Jesus is living.  […]

The Gospel Creates a Peculiar People

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pt 2.9). The way of Jesus is not simply a supernatural life.  It is in many respects an anti-natural life.  It is indeed the cruciform life: a life shaped by the cross.  Death of the […]