Articles on Theology

Embrace The Suck! The Gravitational Pull of Sin

Embrace The Suck! The Gravitational Pull of Sin

I apologize for the semi-vulgarity, but this has become something of a favorite phrase of mine of late. I guess it’s because life can so often seem so sucky to us. Things rarely go like we think we want them to, and even when they go like we think we want them to,...

Why I Love Hymns, And You Should, Too!

Why I Love Hymns, And You Should, Too!

I’m one of a rare breed, those who love hymns, and will only go to a church where hymns are sung. When we were younger and moved to a new state (which has happened four times), we would go church hunting. A couple times with my wife and kids in tow we walked into a...

The Real First Christmas

The Real First Christmas

No, it wasn't Bethlehem and Mary and Joseph, baby Jesus and a manger, shepherds keeping watch by night, a choir of angels, a bright star or wise men from the east.  Actually, that first Christmas was the fulfillment of something that came way before that, and if you...

Mercy Me and a Gospel Concert

Mercy Me and a Gospel Concert

Last week my son and I went to see the Christian band Mercy Me. Even though I'm not really a fan of the band, nor do I listen to Christian contemporary music (I don't listen to much of any kind of music anymore), it was an enjoyable concert. It was held at the arena...

Final Thought Experiment: The Revelation of God in Christ

Final Thought Experiment: The Revelation of God in Christ

God has revealed himself to us in creation, Scripture, and Christ. My first thought experiment post was on creation, and my second on Scripture. Now we come to the ultimate thought experiment, Jesus Christ, the Jesus who was from Nazareth who claimed to be Israel's...

Another Thought Experiment: Seeing Revelation in Scripture

Another Thought Experiment: Seeing Revelation in Scripture

In a previous post I mentioned that most mornings as I pray I thank God for his revelation in creation, Scripture, and Christ. I suggested a thought experiment that encourages us to see God's invisible qualities as we encounter creation every day, his eternal power...

A Porn Star and the Awesome Power of the Gospel

I've been a Christian for more than 42 years, and I am more blown away by the grace, mercy, and love of God in Christ than I have ever been. It continually astounds me how God in Christ can take lives wrecked by sin and guilt and shame, and turn them into something...

Thoughts on Dying: RIP Rush

Thoughts on Dying: RIP Rush

I was going to write something on the dying of conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh, and before I got to that I listened to this interview from the Dallas Theological Seminary’s The Table podcast about embracing our mortality.

When All Doesn’t Mean All: Calvinism Gets it Right

When All Doesn’t Mean All: Calvinism Gets it Right

I recently wrote a post on I Timothy 2, where Paul says something that is a favorite proof text for Arminians, but they ignore the difficulty the text presents for their position. Reformed theology has been a critical part of attempting to build an enduring faith in...

In Case You Hadn’t Noticed: We Live in a Fallen World

In Case You Hadn’t Noticed: We Live in a Fallen World

I write this, and my title, while we as a nation are in the middle of a bitterly contested election. It seems to many of us that a whole lot of chicanery is going on, or more accurately fraud and outright theft of a presidential election. We have lived through four...

Christianity Is a Religion of Knowledge: Seek It!

Christianity Is a Religion of Knowledge: Seek It!

As I've been writing my way through the Bible, I've recently been engaging with Paul's letters, and his focus on knowledge in the life of the Christian has stood out to me. Since the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800s, for much of Christianity knowledge has...

Psalm 1 – Living Lives of Counterfeit Blessing

Psalm 1 – Living Lives of Counterfeit Blessing

Our pastor last Sunday preached on one of the most profound Psalms in the Psalter, the first one, that which serves as the gateway to all the rest. Psalm 1 starts with the words, "Blessed is the man who . . . " The writer starts with the negative, that this blessed...

Psalm 115 – To His Name be the Glory: God and Idols

Psalm 115 – To His Name be the Glory: God and Idols

On Sunday Our pastor preached on Psalm 115 in a service we actually attended in person, praise the Lord! It was a powerful sermon on a profound Psalm that addresses our everyday experience in the 21st century. The first verse sets the tone: Not to us, Lord, not to us...

Watch This Movie, and be Freed from Practical Atheism!

Watch This Movie, and be Freed from Practical Atheism!

On Friday I came across an article at Breakpoint about a movie called The Master Designer—the Song, and I, my wife, and son watched it in dumbfounded awe. It's so refreshing to watch a documentary about the wonders of the natural world and not be told over and over...

If There Was No Jesus, There Would be No Dignity in Work

If There Was No Jesus, There Would be No Dignity in Work

Given that many Americans are unemployed through no fault of their own, and are chomping at the bit to get back to work, a few thoughts on Christianity and the dignity of work are appropriate. I'm currently reading How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J....

Jesus of Nazareth: “Who do you say I am?”

Jesus of Nazareth: “Who do you say I am?”

These trying times are a reminder that the most important question of human existence came from a Jewish Rabbi 2,000 years ago: "But who do you say I am?" Jesus of Nazareth, objectively the most influential human being who ever lived, is himself life's ultimate...

I Corinthians 13 – This is Love

I Corinthians 13 – This is Love

I'm working on a post about how Christianity completely transformed the world. In my other writing obsession, I've been writing my way through the Bible since April 2014, one of the best things I've ever done. God's word is a bottomless well of profundity that gets...

Reformed Theology and Building Our Children’s Faith

Reformed Theology and Building Our Children’s Faith

Those of you who are parents know those moments Madison Avenue has coined as "priceless." I had one the other night that thrilled my soul when my son said something to the effect, "I'm so glad that God is my salvation." The subtitled of my book gets at why this was so...

Lessons from the Life, and Death, of Rachel Held Evans

Lessons from the Life, and Death, of Rachel Held Evans

Since everyone else it seems has commented on the unfortunate and untimely death of Ms. Evans, I figured I would as well because there are important lessons to be learned from her short time on this earth. In case you are not familiar with Evans, she was an author,...

“Don’t Let Me Down” . . . . They Always Will!

“Don’t Let Me Down” . . . . They Always Will!

One of the most important things we can teach our children is that people will always let us down. I've tried all their lives to teach mine to have realistic expectations about human nature, others and their own. This way when people inevitably do let us down, we are...

The Ministry of Right Relationship: Love in Action

The Ministry of Right Relationship: Love in Action

The older I get, the more I realize why Jesus said that the law and the prophets can all be summed up in . . . . love. The problem with love, "twue wove," is that it's hard, as in really difficult. That's because love means a certain dying to self, and we fallen,...

Jesus May Be the Most Divisive Person in History

Jesus May Be the Most Divisive Person in History

The pastor of the church we attend recently said these words, and because I've been slowly reading and writing through the gospels, I found them spot on. It's amazing to me, but not surprising, that Jesus is the most misunderstood person in history. Amazing because...

“that all of them may be one . . .”

“that all of them may be one . . .”

These words of Jesus come from what's known as his "high priestly prayer" in John 17 where he prays before his crucifixion not only for his disciples, but for those who would believe in him through their message. That would include we who claim his name these two...

Calvinism and Free Will

Calvinism and Free Will

One of the more frustrating things about being a Calvinist is the rampant misunderstanding about Calvin and his theology one encounters pretty much everywhere. Even among some of his followers! The old canard is the Calvinism equals determinism, but nothing could be...

Why I Am A Paedobaptist, or Why We Baptize Children

Why I Am A Paedobaptist, or Why We Baptize Children

Whenever I have put the word paedobaptist in Google, the first article linked is "Why I Am Not a Paedobaptist" by Tim Challies. One day maybe my little post here will come up high on such a search so people interested in the subject can get a competing argument,...

What Does It Mean We Are Forgiven From Our Sins? Part 3

What Does It Mean We Are Forgiven From Our Sins? Part 3

In my last post I began to look at an Old Testament take on sin, and it's not a pretty picture. Until we understand the gravity of sin, and its horrific consequences in human existence, we'll have a hard time understanding and accepting that God could be angry about...

What Does It Mean We Are Forgiven From Our Sins? Part 2

What Does It Mean We Are Forgiven From Our Sins? Part 2

In my previous post I explained how many of us miss what it means that we are forgiven of our sins because we only see it as being forgiven, and that's it. As I said, since immersing myself in the Old Testament for several years, I realized that in the gospel God was...

What Does It Mean We Are Forgiven From Our Sins? Part 1

What Does It Mean We Are Forgiven From Our Sins? Part 1

Every Christian knows that being forgiven from our sins is Christianity 101. But if you ask most Christians what it means to be forgiven from our sins, I would wager that very few could answer with any confidence. I think a common answer would be something like a...

Is Jesus (i.e., God) Dying for our Sins Strange?

Is Jesus (i.e., God) Dying for our Sins Strange?

Skeptics are fond of mocking the idea that Jesus Christ had to die for our sins to reconcile us to God. Why can't God, I've heard some of them say, and write, can't God just forgive us. It can't be that hard; we confess, he forgives, we're good, right? No, it doesn't...

Falling in Love with . . . . God

Falling in Love with . . . . God

I often think of what a relationship with God means for me and those I love. I may be something of an aberration, but as far back as 12 or 13 years old I was wondering about my existence in this big vast universe and what it all means. Like many sinners (i.e., all...

The Joyful Exchange: Justification by Faith Alone

This coming All Saints Day (otherwise known in America as Halloween) Protestant Christians celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the church door at Wittenberg, and the Western world would never be...

Burning Man Festival: Woodstock on Post-Modern Steroids

Burning Man Festival: Woodstock on Post-Modern Steroids

In case you're not familiar with the Burning Man Festival, it happens in the Nevada desert every year for nine days around Labor Day. And what a nine days it is. I initially thought the title was a bit retrograde, a  pre-feminist name for an event so post-modern that...

Man Shall Not Live on the New Testament Alone

Man Shall Not Live on the New Testament Alone

I recently saw this title to an article and it instantly got my attention. One of the great shortcomings of the modern Evangelical church is it's lack of focus on the Old Testament. When I ask friends and family if they have read the Old Testament, all of it, I get...

The Indicative vs. The Imperative in the Christian Life

The Indicative vs. The Imperative in the Christian Life

I bet those are two words you've likely never encountered in church before. What in the world do indicative and imperative have to do with Christianity? You won't find the words in the Bible, but you will sure find what they represent, and if they get mixed up all...

The Wages of Sin and Keeping Our Kids Christian

I guess this will be the last part of my little trilogy (previous two posts here and here) on the wages of sin, which Paul tells us is death. I made the claim that over the years my conviction of how we are saved has had a powerful impact on keeping our kids...

The Wages of Sin and Theology: Miracle Max Got it Right

The Wages of Sin and Theology: Miracle Max Got it Right

In my previous post I talked about the wages of sin as it related to the movie Dunkirk. In this post I want discuss how the wages of sin relates to our salvation from sin, and specifically what in theology is called the doctrine of soteriology. Over the years I've...

Peter and the Deity of Christ

Peter and the Deity of Christ

Who Jesus is, is the central question of human existence. If he was who he said he was, and if he is who the Council of Nicea in 325 said he was and declared by orthodox Christians ever since: God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made;...

Keith Green And Reflections on Our Love for God

Keith Green And Reflections on Our Love for God

Every Evangelical or "born-again" Christian of the boomer generation knows of Keith Green, a fervent evangelist (some would say almost prophet) musician who died way too young. When I was in college in the late 70s and early 80s, Keith Green's music was a large part...

Notable Quotation

Notable Quotation

If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus' fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus...

Notable Quotation

Notable Quotation

Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. The picture of a nervous, ingratiating God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God, that is precisely what we see. Twentieth Century...

How To Make Sure Your Kids’ Faith is Not All About Them

How To Make Sure Your Kids’ Faith is Not All About Them

In my last post I wrote about the best way to ruin your kids faith is to make it all about them. It's an extremely easy thing to let happen if you don't actively take responsibility for the content and shape of your kids' faith. We live in a culture where the...

One Simple Idea to Eviscerate Your Kid’s Faith

One Simple Idea to Eviscerate Your Kid’s Faith

Make it all about them! Yes, I know this is a blog, and book, about keeping our kids Christian, but what we must warn them against is also important if we are to make that keeping more likely. I recently learned about a Christian women. a famous "mommy blogger," who...

D.A. Carson on “The God Who is There”

D.A. Carson on “The God Who is There”

Don Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the Chicago area, an author of numerous books, and just a plain old brilliant guy. I've read several of his books, but recently came across a series of talks by him at...

Musician Sir the Baptist: I’m Anti-Religion, Not Anti-God

Musician Sir the Baptist: I’m Anti-Religion, Not Anti-God

There is much talk in American culture about young Christians going off to college or into life and abandoning their faith. I'm sure there are many reasons why this is so, but I think one consistent reason is that teenagers see their parents and people in church live...

October 31: Reformation Day

October 31: Reformation Day

But wait, I thought it was Halloween. Well, there would have been no Halloween with ghosts and ghouls and candy galore if not for Reformation Day. There is some argument among scholars as to whether Halloween has solely pagan or Christian roots. It is indisputable,...

Know Your Christology

Know Your Christology

Most Christians know very little in the way of doctrine or theology or church history. For many these seem at best unnecessary, for others they are downright dangerous. I am familiar with such thoughts because I was born-again into the Christian faith among such...

It’s the Sin, Stupid!

It’s the Sin, Stupid!

David Brooks is one of the token kind-of-conservatives at the New York Times, and I enjoy reading him because it is interesting to read someone who is not a committed conservative philosophically, but has something of a conservative temperament. He is also from what I...

An Arminian Response to the Problem of Evil

An Arminian Response to the Problem of Evil

I was asked to lead a book discussion at my church on the problem of evil, and I decided on this book mainly because I've loved the previous books I'd read by him, and also because of the Amazon reviews. After reading it closely and leading a discussion over four...