• Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Reflections on a Review

    Well, I think my review of Aimee Byrd’s book may have touched a nerve. At least it seems that way from the wide array of responses I have seen on social media this week. There are a whole lot of folks that really appreciated it, and there are a number of folks for whom—let’s just say—it was less than edifying. Years ago, I used to be more of a Twitter warrior and would have been online answering all the criticism. Not so much anymore. I don’t have the bandwidth for that kind of interaction, and I’ve come to see it as mainly futile because Twitter is often dominated by foolish…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Remembering OneDay 2000 and Piper’s “Seashell” Sermon

    Yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of John Piper’s famous “sea shell” sermon at the 2000 Passion conference called “OneDay.” Three years ago, I shared with Sarah Zylstra my memories of the event. There was a lot that we talked about that did not make it into her final article. And there was still more that I didn’t even share with her. So I thought I would briefly recount some of those memories here. Here are my top ten memorable memories of the memorable occasion known as OneDay 2000.

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    God’s Calling on Men to Be Protectors

    “Complementarianism is being taken to task as feeding abuse. I think that is dead wrong.” – @JohnPiper at #T4G20 pic.twitter.com/3ReI1Xp3kF — T4G (@T4Gorg) April 16, 2020 Last night, John Piper participated in a panel discussion about complementarianism, and today T4G released an excerpt (see above). I really appreciate the point that Piper is making here. He is pointing out that men have a special obligation to protect and to care for women. This obligation, by divine design, is written into their nature. Someone may object: “But doesn’t God’s image in every human being establish abuse as an offense against God? Why does gender even matter here?” Yes, God’s image does…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Why couldn’t God just forgive us? Did Jesus really have to die?

    Have you ever wondered why Jesus had to die in order for God to forgive us? Why couldn’t God just let us off the hook for our sin? Why did his very own Son have to die in our place? These are the questions that I attempt to answer in my Good Friday message. And they are the questions that Romans 3:24-25 answers. Sinners often ask the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is not a question that ever crosses Paul’s mind because he knows there are no good people (Rom. 3:23). The question that drives Paul is this: “Why is God good to bad people?”…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    The Innermost Meaning of the Cross

    “But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” -Isaiah 53:10 “God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation in His blood through faith, in order to demonstrate His righteousness.” -Romans 3:25 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’” -Galatians 3:13

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Comfort for the Afflicted: God’s People and the Coronavirus

    Our church still isn’t gathering on Sunday morning, but we are gathering around our scattered screens to sing and to pray and to hear a message from God’s word. Yesterday, I delivered a message about finding comfort in the midst of affliction. The text is 2 Corinthians 1:1-7, and you can download it here or listen below. Below the audio is an excerpt: ————— Many of you have been experiencing fear and dread at the possibility of contracting COVID-19, of being hospitalized, perhaps even of dying. Some of you are fearful about elderly family members or other loved ones with compromised immune systems. But even if you aren’t afraid of…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    What does it mean to “act like a man” in 1 Corinthians 16:13?

    I’ve been preaching through 1 Corinthians at our church for the last couple years, and in my most recent message we came to a little phrase in 1 Corinthians 16:13 that has become a stumbling block for some readers. The underlying Greek verb (andrizesthei) is rendered variously as “act like men” (ESV, NASB; cf. CSB, KJV) or “be courageous” (NIV, NRSV, NLT). Some of those who favor “act like men” understand the text as a call to manhood. Others dismiss that interpretation by noting that the command is addressed to both men and women. For my part, I think either translation is fine. Both of them are actually capturing something…

  • Theology/Bible

    A plan to read the Greek New Testament in a year

    Several years ago, I created a plan to read through the Greek New Testament in a year. For the most part, it tracks pretty closely with Lee Irons’ excellent schedule for reading the Greek New Testament in a year. My plan, however, varies a little bit. Because John’s writing is simpler Greek, my schedule goes through John’s Gospel at a faster pace than Irons’. As a result, there are no readings scheduled at the end of the year from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. These open dates at the end can be used as catch-up days. The schedule is given in two formats below. DOC – Read the Greek…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    A postscript on a Twitter thread about choosing a college

    I read an interesting little essay by King’s College professor David Talcott last week. It was the title that caught my eye: “Don’t Assume Because A College Is Christian It’s A Safe Place For Your Kid.” Talcott’s essay dealt largely with left-leaning political views on campuses, but near the end he made a comment about theological first principles: Christian education today is still in many ways excellent and the deeply religious culture of these institutions… can be a wonderful place for spiritual growth. But on matters related to sex, gender, and politics, it is “buyer beware” and “trust, but verify.” Parents and donors who care about Christian higher education remaining…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    A Plan to Read through the Bible in 2020

    In years past, my customary mode for reading through the Bible every year involved starting in Genesis and reading right through to Revelation. I estimated that about four chapters per day would get me through in under a year’s time. The method worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t without its problems. Sometimes I would miss a day (or days) and get behind, and I had no way to keep up with my progress. I needed a schedule so that I could keep myself accountable for finishing in a year. In 2009, therefore, I did something I had never done before. I followed a Bible reading plan. I adopted Robert Murray…