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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Understanding And Applying The Kenosis

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Theology is life, or so it says on the t-shirts. But the real truth is that theology must impact life, any theology, no matter how orthodox, that doesn’t shape the way life is lived is worthless. R.C. Sproul put it this way in his helpful basic systematic theology, Everyone’s A Theologian:

The purpose of theology is not to tickle our intellects, but to instruct us in the ways of God, so that we can grow up into maturity and fullness of obedience to Him. That is why we engage in theology.[1]

Perhaps no passage in the New Testament  has so tickled intellects and been the subject of more idol theological curiosity than Philippians 2:5-8, often called the Kenosis of Christ.Continue reading

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Why I Present The Gospel

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Every time I preach I make sure to include one thing, an express presentation of the gospel. When I say I include an express presentation of the gospel what I mean is that I succinctly describe the incarnation, perfect life, sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ, and the implications of His birth, life, death and resurrection for both believers and unbelievers (often quoting Rom 10:9). I often use the exact same (or at least very similar) words. No one has ever complained to me, and even if they did, I wouldn’t change what I do. That every sermon contains a succinct presentation of the gospel is a nonnegotiable for me.Continue reading

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Why, God? On the Problem of Evil & Other Questions

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Why did God create man with the ability to sin?  I suspect this is a question that you have asked at some point in your life.  I know I have.  It is a variation of the age-old “problem of evil.”  Is there an answer to this question?  And how might it apply to other kinds of God-ward questions beginning with “why”?

In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin gives a very good two-part answer to the question of why God made man with the ability to sin.  I thought I’d pass it on to you in this post, as I have found it helpful, and I believe it is relevant to the other why questions of life.… Continue reading

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Why I Don’t Wear A Tie

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About six months ago, I stopped wearing a tie when I preach (at least at my home church). It was an intentional, considered decision. One that I made prayerfully with reverence and out of love for God and the people and church that I am privileged to serve. For me I feel that the most reverent thing I can do is not wear a tie when I preach.

Let me explain. The church I serve was recently seriously injured by someone who sought and was admitted into leadership, all the while (over a period of several years) expertly concealing that he functionally rejected sola scriptura in favor of “capital F” Fundamentalism.Continue reading

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