• Atonement,  Christian Life,  Theology

    Why Christianity Won’t Go Away

    Supposedly, Christianity will go away. We will evolve and move on. Infuriatingly for some, it’s not going away that easily. Today, we remember a day when Jesus was supposed to go away. But, things did not go as planned. Crucifixions were supposed to be smooth and orderly. Everyone played their part to make sure the punishment was carried out with maximum efficiency and elegance. But this was no ordinary crucifixion. Things had already been going off the rails. Pilate couldn’t find a crime but gave in to the crowd’s call for Jesus to be crucified. Jesus himself was not displaying the normal characteristics of the guilty. But surely the day…

  • Bible,  Christian Life

    The Bible and ‘Time with God’

    Last week, Bible teacher, Beth Moore, tweeted this: “Spending time with God and spending time with the Bible are not the same thing. The Bible is the Word of God, crucial to knowing Him, but it’s not God. We can study our Bibles till the 2nd coming and leave God completely out of it. We can grow in facts and never grow a whit in faith” I can think of two ways to take Beth Moore’s statement. On one interpretation, Moore says that a person can read the Bible without having any relationship with God (I take it that this is what she means by ‘spending time with’ and ‘leaving…

  • Christian Life

    Pride

    “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor” (Proverbs 29:23). Pride is a pre-occupation with oneself. It is evident in both the arrogant and the self-pitying. Its only cure is a replacement of the object of one’s attention. This is both simple and difficult. “What can be more important than me?” the proud person asks. To this, there is only one answer that is certain to convince the puffed up – God. Humility–the opposite of pride–is a preoccupation with God and with other people. It is cultivated by a proper perspective of oneself. But a proper perspective of one thing requires that it be…

  • Christian Life

    The Value of Hard Work

    “Labor not to be rich” (Prov 23:4) “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want” (Prov 21:5) “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31) Hard work has a non-monetry value prior to its evaluation by those who pay for it. It’s a good thing no matter what one is paid to do it. The monetary value applied to work does not necessarily reflect its value. In part, this is due to kinds of work being more or less available, but it is also due to…

  • Bible,  Christian Life,  Ethics

    Psalm 73: Why No One Will Ever ‘Get Away With It’

    From the fall of 1997 to the following summer, I lived in a YMCA in London (the one in the picture). My band and I were given residency in part to help influence other residents. This YMCA was packed full of people struggling with life. My next door neighbor was a drug addict and an anorexic – she could only walk down the hall by leaning against the wall. Many of the residents struggled with mental health issues. One man believed that he was the actor who played Darth Vader in Star Wars. He had forged an entire collection of letters and pictures to prove it! While many we lived…

  • Christian Life,  Culture,  Ethics

    Without Distinction

    The problem with the Pharasees was not that they were a bunch of goody-two-shoes. They weren’t merely legalists, obsessed with minutiae. Rather, they were desperate people-pleasers. John tells us that the Pharisees “loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:43). What they craved was distinction. Most of us crave some sort of approval from the people around us. JFK wanted it and knew that Harvard would give it to him if he could get in. So, in his entrance essay he wrote, “To be a ‘Harvard man’ is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.” Ironically, some years before, the…

  • Apologetics,  Bible,  Christian Life

    The Apologetic Task

    The task of apologetics is not mainly the task of trained lawyers, theologians or philosophers. It is the task of ordinary Christians living an ordinary Christian life. The clearest reference in the Bible to apologetics is in the first letter of Peter to Christians who were attempting to live in towns that were—to varying degrees—hostile to the Christian beliefs. Peter tells them to expect suffering along the way and he teaches them how to conduct themselves in a godly way. Peter is especially concerned with ordinary Christian life. He writes: For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? But in fact, if you…

  • Christian Life

    10 Spiritual Truths I learned in 2014

    #1 The Lord’s favor is a shield in a time of trouble. When David faced insurmountable odds he knew that no army, no missile shield and no political alliance could save him. The only reliable shield for him was the favor of God. (Psalm 5:12) #2 The Lord makes lying down and sleep happen simultaneously. Anxiety causes the extended separation of lying down and sleep, but the Lord can unite them because he provides a sure protection. (Psalm 4:8) #3 Repentance is a gift and we should ask for it. The trouble with repentance is that it follows the pain of conviction. But without the conviction of sin no repentance…