The constitution of man is a question that has vexed the Christian mind for centuries. Perhaps because of the intimacy of the question or perhaps because of the seemingly contradictory biblical data it has been hotly debated for centuries. The question is whether man is a monism, dichotomy or trichotomy.
This question is at the heart of biblical anthropology. All other areas of anthropology, from the meaning of the imagio Dei to the nature of original sin are all affected by the constitution of man.
Far from being and esoteric and impractical theological question, a proper understanding of the constitution of man has far reaching implications. … Continue reading
Recently news broke that Andrew Stoecklein, pastor of Inland Hills Church in Chino California took his own life. It is heartbreaking news, and shocking, but I have to say not overwhelmingly surprising. I’ve heard and read some express sentiments along the lines of “how could a pastor do that?” Sadly, some have gone on to posit that no “truly called” man could possibly be depressed much less suicidal. While I don’t know anything about this man or the church he served, over the last several years, both through my own experiences and through relationships with other pastors, I have learned a thing or two about pastoral ministry. … Continue reading
Recently, someone asked the question will a genuine believer who commits suicide lose their salvation? Honestly, I thought it was a no-brainer, of course not, suicide is not the unforgivable sin which according to Mark 3:28-30 is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (and in context that blasphemy is attributing the spiritual authority of Jesus, during His earthly ministry, to the powers of hell). But some insisted that suicide resulted in the loss of salvation, so I asked myself am I missing something? So I decided I would examine the Scriptures to definitively and authoritatively answer the question, “can someone who commits suicide be saved?”
Before I get into the question at hand, let me say this, suicide is an act of rebellion against God, it is sin plain and simple.… Continue reading
This Sunday, Lord willing, I’ll preach the last message in a verse by verse study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians that I began in January. (You can listen to the series here) And as is always the case, after spending many months and well over a thousand hours studying, thinking about, praying through, and preaching the book I have new insight into the letter. Perhaps more so than any other book of the Bible that I have preached, my understanding of Philippians has, if not changed, greatly deepened as I have worked through it. Here are a few of the insights I have gained.… Continue reading
On April 25, 2018, I was arrested. I was led away from the church in handcuffs. I was booked and charged with 3 counts of larceny and 2 counts of defacing a monument. I know, really shocking stuff. But what is even more shocking than a pastor being arrested, is what precipitated my arrest. I removed political signs that were posted on church property without permission. And because so many have asked me what happened, I thought I should take this opportunity to relate the events, and also a few of the lessons I learned.
I want to be clear and open.… Continue reading