Bonhoeffer on Disappointment with Church

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13 ESV)

Every church has its flaws.  Significant ones, in fact, since even the best of churches are made up of and led by exclusively by sinners.  As a result, if you are a member of a local church, you are bound to be regularly disappointed by something going on within it.

In the local church it doesn’t take long before you encounter people who don’t share your excitement for the particulars of your theology, or who don’t seem to be very zealous in evangelism or very excited about living in “community,” or who are just remarkably ordinary (unlike you, of course).… Continue reading

Why I Embrace our Next President

God is lightMy title probably leads you to guess, “Because God is still sovereign?” Yes true. The truth should not cause us to over-look this answer, give lip service to His reign under our breath, while we continue to worry or even complain about the elections. Either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump will be the President of the United States of America. God sits on His throne over the universe. Many of us need to swallow that pill, sit on it, smoke a pipe over it, then tell the world. No President thwarts His throne, the return of Christ, or the New Heavens and Earth.… Continue reading

The Wonder of The Incarnation (Reprise)

Many folks find this time of year to be one of joy, reflection, celebration, and wonder. It isBirth of Jesus this last thing – wonder – I want to address in this post. Specifically, I want to share with you some of my own wonder as it relates to that thing we call the Incarnation.

I love to reflect upon the Incarnation and I have had ample opportunity to do so as I preach through John’s Gospel for my local church. By drawing on what I have learned in my study I hope to reinvigorate in all of us the wonder which I believe should accompany any contemplation of the fact that, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14).… Continue reading

Sovereign Grace is Seen

cage-stage2It is said regarding the young Calvinist, “The first few years in a Calvinists life, he should be caged and only let out of the cage when he learns to love.” This is a most unfortunate observation (let’s admit though, not 100% true all of the time, but enough to justify the stereotype). Understanding God’s sovereign love and grace should actually compel us to be gracious and kind. I know a person truly understands God’s sovereign grace, not by his or her ability to articulate the doctrine, but through his or her actions. I think James would resonate and support this assertion, “Show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works” (2:18).… Continue reading

Empty Chairs

empty chairsI am a church planter, and while that term is loaded with all sorts of baggage, at the end of the day what that ultimately means is that I am a small church pastor. If on any given Sunday there are sixty people in the worship service, that is a banner week, no one is sick, and all of the occasional attendees have chosen that week to come. I love being a small church pastor, but there is something that weighs on my mind in a way that it might not, if I were part of a large staff at a large church.… Continue reading