I still remember the time in Bible college when our class was confronted with an Internet article about implementing various methods in order to increase congregational numbers. The author explained that many congregations altered their music and services in a way that would reflect the culture more. Continue reading Wrapped Up in Relevancy
It’s been about 4 months since I’ve said anything on this site. The last few articles I’d written and the subsequent reactions to those articles had driven away my desire to write. I just didn’t feel like it. It’s not that I felt that the comments were overwhelmingly unloving. I realize that a lot of people felt very disillusioned by what happened. I did too. My apathy toward writing mostly had to do with how the motivation behind what I had written was perceived by only a few people. And they weren’t exactly wrong. Continue reading The Heavy Coat of Self-Justification
My wife and I have 3 children. We have a 6 year old son, a 3 year old daughter, and a 4 month old son. I remember that one of my earliest feelings, upon finding out that we would have our first child, was one of fear. Was he going to survive child birth? Was he going to be a healthy baby? How was he going to learn words? Do I have to teach him every individual word? Will he believe the gospel? All of these things haunted me. Thankfully, he, like all of our children, survived child birth and was healthy. I also soon learned that words were something he’d largely pick up on his own. And he, like his sister, believes the good news that Jesus Christ has given His life as a substitute for sinners so that their record of a lifetime of sin doesn’t damn them when they stand before God. Instead, God will credit Christ’s perfect life to their account. And if you are a parent, or plan to be a parent, then I want to offer some encouragement and help by disclosing some things I do with my children. Continue reading Kinesthetically Catechising Kids
Sometime in early November, I started feeling foggy all day long. I still do to this day. It had come during a time when I was starting to have achiness throughout my teeth and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Dentists’ x-rays didn’t show anything, and yet my molars were achy. The fogginess I felt was accompanied with bouts of dizziness and lightheadedness. At times, in the beginning, I’d even have shallow breathing. I felt choked at times. This made it difficult to even look down at a page to write or draw. And art is one way that I make money. I became really depressed. I didn’t want to do anything. Continue reading “God is in Control” Isn’t Good Enough for Grief
The other night, as I was preparing dinner, I heard a loud exclamation come from the television. “Yay! Now I’ll never be late again!” My kids were watching Super Why!, a computer animated cartoon about superhero children who teach grammar lessons. And in this particular episode, a little girl had difficulty waking up on time so they realized she needed an alarm clock. Admittedly, when I first heard her say, “…I’ll never be late again!” I scoffed and responded, “Yah right! That won’t guarantee anything. You’ll still be waking up late!” It’s okay. You can say it. I’m a jerk who yells at little cartoon girls. But it got me thinking about the law of God, and specifically the theological term, “Lex Semper Accusat” (or the Law always Accuses); a term I adhere to. Some people view the law the way that little girl viewed her alarm clock. Continue reading A “Timely” Defense of Lex Semper Accusat
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44
The parable above is one in a string of parables where Jesus is describing what the kingdom of heaven is like. In this verse, He tells us that kingdom of heaven is like a field with hidden treasure buried in it that a man finds and desires. So he sells everything he has to buy it. You might be familiar with this verse, and chances are you’ve heard the interpretation and seeming application many times as well. You might have been told that we are the man who has stumbled upon this field and must forsake everything to have this treasure. Continue reading What Have YOU Given Up For God?
Have you ever heard someone tell you to listen for “God’s still small voice”? Maybe you’ve heard this from your pastor or favorite daily devotional or blogger. It is usually put in the context of needing to take “time out for God” in our otherwise loud and busy days. Rick Warren’s sermon, God Wants to Talk to You, Part 3, is a perfect example of this common evangelical teaching. In it, he begins by saying that we can’t have a relationship with God if we can’t hear God. We need to silence the televisions, phones, and radios and listen for Him in silence. Now, the first thought that might enter our brains is that if Rick Warren is teaching this and the view is popular, then perhaps there’s truth there. But there are two major problems with this view. Let’s start with the second of these two problems by comparing this teaching to the Scripture.
Continue reading Listen to the Pained Donkey Voice of God