Over the past several years a new article of faith has seemed to pass into the pail of orthodoxy in certain corners of the evangelical world, that there is a “war” on Christmas. Some people seem positively determined to interpret every bit of available data as evidence that there is a vast conspiracy whose goal is to stamp out Christmas, and to especially stamp out any Christian association with Christmas. Quite frankly, I’m not buying it, and I’m annoyed, saddened and offended by much of it. I am saddened that some Christians so quickly disregard the command to live peaceably with all people (as much as it is up to them) and take offence at cashiers following their employer’s instruction and saying “happy holidays” to their customers and angrily replying “merry Christmas” (see Rom 12:14-21).… Continue reading
One of the most common questions I get asked about any given passage of Scripture is “what does it really say in the Greek/Hebrew?” 99.995% of the time my answer is “just what it says in your translation.” It is very, very, very, unlikely that your pastor will make a linguistic discovery in the text of the Bible that millennia of scholars, pastors and theologians have missed. And there is no dark conspiracy among translation committees (of major translations) to obscure the text of Scripture. The best advice I can give you is the advice always give those who ask me what the text really says.… Continue reading
This post is a distillation of a seminar session I taught at most recent Grace Advance Mid-Atlantic equipping conference. It is always good to be reminded of how faith trumps fear and anxiety. But given the events of this past weekend in Texas, as we head to worship this Sunday, this is a timely reminder for everyone, myself included. Faith is the antidote to fear and anxiety
All people – believers as well as unbelievers – experience anxiety, frustration, heartache, and disappointment. Some suffer intense physical pain and catastrophic tragedies. But that which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God; our suffering has meaning and purpose in God’s eternal plan and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.… Continue reading
Halloween has become one the biggest holidays on the American calendar, spending over $6 billion last year on decorations, candy and costumes. What was once essentially a children’s holiday has become a cultural juggernaut, and as it has, Halloween has become an increasingly controversial and at times divisive topic in the Christian community. But it doesn’t have to be, and to that end I humbly offer a few thoughts.… Continue reading
It is an opinionated world these days. Everyone seems to have an opinion about everything. It has always been like that. What seems to have changed these days, is that now most everyone seems to want to share their opinion, it even seems that many feel compelled to share their opinion. I get this from the world in the age of social media, but believers in Christ should know better. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the only appropriate comment for a Christian to make is no comment.
Before we get to the 99 times, I want to address the one.… Continue reading