The Heavy Coat of Self-Justification

fear3815It’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

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Kinesthetically Catechising Kids

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

What Have YOU Given Up For God?

“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?

Some Thoughts on Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking is a book written by a nun named Sister Helen Prejean. Tim Robbins made a play out of it, and I had the chance to go check it out on Friday at Miami Dade College. It was also made into a movie. My wife is taking a stage course at Miami Dade and was doing some “behind the scenes” stuff. The school had been performing it all week long and Friday night was the last night of the performance. It was very well done. Everyone in attendance seemed to thoroughly enjoy the play and be captivated by it, as evidenced by the gasps and laughs and crying. Dead Man Walking follows a particular time in Prejean’s life when she meets a man by the name of Matthew Poncelet. I don’t want to give away too many details, so I’ll just say that she was his spiritual advisor while he was on death row. The really cool part was that Prejean was actually there on Friday night, and we were able to hear her speak afterwards. She filled us in on the fact that she ultimately wanted the story to stir the audience to think about the death penalty and how it is wrong to use death to teach that death is wrong. It certainly made me think about my own position, and the defenses of others. But that’s not what I want to briefly comment on. I heard many reactions of approval in the audience to a lot of the spiritual advice that Prejean gave Matthew Poncelet. I wasn’t one of them. There were three statements she made to him during their time together that I think were totally devastating for anyone to hear while on death row. I found her advice to be hopeless news for the poor guy and hoped that he paid no attention to it.  Continue reading Some Thoughts on Dead Man Walking

Do You Even Serve, Bro?!

Has anyone ever asked you what your “ministry” is? I was just asked this the other day. If you’re like me, a natural nail biter, this question causes you to tense up. My mind starts spinning and grasping for something interesting or meaningful or powerful to say. I say something like, “Well, I went to Bible college for a little bit, and then did some seminary, and run a blog” and then I immediately feel kind of disgusted. I really do. I wonder why I have to try to find some sort of official sounding description of myself. But, at the same time, it’s probably the appropriate answer for that question. I think we all know what the question is really getting at. The questioner is looking for something official sounding. It’s like the answer you’ve probably heard a million times to the question, “What church do you go to?” The answer that usually follows is, “Well, we ARE the church.” Of course we are. But we know what the person is really asking – “Which building do you fellowship with other believers in?” And the person asking, “What’s your ministry?” really means, “What’s the especially Christian thing you do?” The question itself comes out of a confused presupposition.  Continue reading Do You Even Serve, Bro?!