Posts from 2013

Losing the Urgency of the Gospel

Sometimes I pray that God will re-ignite a passion in my heart for the simple truths of the gospel – the realities of sin, salvation, judgment, heaven, and hell. I still believe them and haven’t forgotten them, but I’m not gripped by the sheer urgency of the gospel as I ought to be. Maybe your…

The Heart of the Problem is the Problem of the Heart

Jesus blasted the scribes and Pharisees for their rank hypocrisy: “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matt. 23:24). They punctiliously tithed mint, dill, and cumin, but “neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matt. 23:23). And they unwittingly demonstrated the truth of this charge when,…

Peter’s Denial of Christ and His Faulty Theology

I don’t mean to pick on Peter but something I read in one of my commentaries on John’s Gospel (namely, that by Herman Ridderbos – dense but wonderfully insightful) helped me see Peter’s denial of Jesus in a brand new light. We typically chalk up Peter’s dismal failure to confess Christ before his questioners to…

Simon Peter – the Great I Am…Not

Jesus is sometimes called the Great I Am. This is because several times in John’s Gospel Jesus says the phrase “I am”, either by itself or as part of a longer statement. At least one time when Jesus says “I am”, he clearly alludes to the words that God spoke to Moses at the burning…

Don’t Give Up Your Printed Bibles!

At our worship service, before I read and preach from the Scriptures, I always say something like: “Please open your Bibles and turn to such-and-such a page.” Recently I was struck by how dated and even quaint those words are beginning to sound in a church where a good many people use their smartphones or…

Goodread – “Crazy Busy” by Kevin Deyoung

Unless your life resembles that of our fabulously lazy cat Buttercup, whose entire existence consists of one long nap punctuated by the occasional rodent hunt, you’re probably pretty busy with more important things to do. Maybe even “crazy busy” – you have more “must-do” items than time, you’re often stressed, and sometimes you feel that…

Must Christians Tithe?

In a word, “no”, but qualifications to follow! “Tithe” means “tenth,” and it was the portion of crops and livestock God commanded the Israelites to give to the Levites to support their labors at the tabernacle/temple (Lev. 27:30 – 33; Nu. 18:20 – 24). Being bound up with the entire Levitical priesthood, an old covenant…