One of my favorite New Testament churches is the church at Corinth. They didn’t always get everything right, and they caused Paul a lot of trouble, but when viewed through his apostolic eyes they are rightly seen as a trophy of God’s grace (1 Cor. 1:4-9; 2 Cor. 7:16).
While recently preparing to teach 1 & 2 Corinthians in our Sunday school New Testament survey, I got a little bit carried away in the details of Paul’s interaction with the church there, from his first visit in Acts 18 to his last recorded departure in Acts 20 – and is there ever a load of information to get caught up in!… Continue reading
I don’t have a history of successful New Year’s resolutions. I count only two that have been successful in any meaningful way. The first was a weights workout resolution during college that lasted 8 months before carpal tunnel syndrome knocked me off pace for 14+ years and counting. The second was a vague but determined resolution to “be happier” the following year that had no hope of succeeding – except that God hijacked it and used it to bring me to repentance and faith in Christ by leading me through it into church attendance and being captivated by God’s word. Certainly I rejoice in this, but it wasn’t at all in line with what I had planned!… Continue reading
I’m a Christian and a pastor who loves God’s word and loves God’s people. I want to see Christ’s name exalted. And as a result, I have a constant burden: watching the reputation of Christ suffer by the words and actions of the kind of false teachers Scripture warns about time and time again.
No one wants to see their Lord maligned because of the actions of phony followers; no believer wants to see the gospel message and God’s people slandered because someone gives a false reputation in word and deed.
And yet this is the environment that many of us live in from day to day.… Continue reading
I feel a bit compelled this week to write about a problem that has been building for years, and which last week it reached perhaps its high point so far: the ludicrous online outrage over the featured couple from the HGTV show Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines.
This compulsion, however, isn’t because some random person happened to publish a guilt-by-association hit-piece on a couple for probably believing what their pastor believes about same-sex marriage. Nor is it because it’s one of the only current shows I actually know anything about.
Rather, I’m concerned with the response to such things I see from the evangelical community, and I want to make a plea to those who might listen.… Continue reading
One of the great lines in the Psalms is spoken by Moses in Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”
The idea of the verse is that God’s people need to consider carefully and often the brevity of life – to “number” their days – and to live in light of that calculation.
However, there is another type of numerical calculation that believers in Christ need to make: the number of our words.
Not, of course, to literally know how many words we speak per day (around 16,000 on average, according to one study).… Continue reading