Reprise: When Gray Areas Are Black and White

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I have been thinking a lot about Christian liberty lately. Not because I tend to ruminate on this subject, but because in the last month or so I have noticed a ton of chatter about it in the Christian blogosphere  It isn’tblackorwhite that a lot of writers have decided that now is the time to discuss the doctrine of Christian liberty, it is that the comment sections of various blogs have erupted into a chorus that seemingly thinks that Christian liberty is the ultimate defeater argument.
Christian liberty can be defined as the freedom believers have in Christ to allow their redeemed conscience to guide their actions when scripture is silent on a topic or an issue.
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Total Depravity & the Christian Life

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About a year and a half ago, I decided to take the plunge and begin preaching my way through the book of Romans.  The journey through the book so far has benefited my faith in many ways – not the least of those ways being the constant reminder of what a colossal privilege it is for a corrupt, rebellious, totally depraved sinner like me to be a Christian.

Early on in Romans, the reader of Romans is overwhelmed (in a good way!) with the truth of human depravity.  You don’t even get three chapters into the letter before you are required to square with the truth of your sinfulness. … Continue reading

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Five Life-Shaping Books

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Last week one of my fellow PS23 contributors sent me one of those annoying Facebook challenges, in this case it was to post a picture of a book that influenced my life, with no explanation, for 5 days.  And while, as a rule, I find things like this annoying, and ignore them, in this case I was intrigued to think through the five books that impacted my life.  I’m a book guy, I always have been (even as a hard partying unbeliever and even as a child) so it was an interesting exercise to think through the 5 books that really affected my life.… Continue reading

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Schedule your Priorities

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What is the greatest commandment? Jesus answers, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’” and “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Matthew 22:37 & 39). Although the Pharisees tried to box him into a situational answer, to set him up for failure, [1] Jesus both corrects and dodges them pointing out the foundational reason for every commandment: devotion to the Lord.

Jesus answer addresses the true reason for every commandment: worship. The use of ‘love’ in this text, conveys the idea of worship and devotion. To live is Christ.… Continue reading

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Storms, Jesus, and You

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Life can be straight up overwhelming at times.  Can I get an “Amen”?  If you’ve lived more than 15 minutes in this world, you surely know what I’m talking about.  Though I’ve heard it said, “God will never give you more than you can handle,” and though the words themselves sound very similar to the words of Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:13), whoever first used those words to suggest that the Lord is too nice to allow too much pain into your life – was dead wrong.  Overwhelming situations are like storms.  And Jesus has been known to lead his people through storms. … Continue reading

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