Saturday, December 9, 2023

Farewell Old Friends


Farewell old friends. 

I thought many of us would make it to the end together, but so few are remaining on board and so many are jumping ship.  More and more every day. 

And unlike so many others... I cannot... I will not... jump ship with you, thinking that Christ will come with me.  There is not a relationship on this planet that I would bend the law of Christ to maintain. Not a one. 

And it is not simply my love of Christ that compels me. I will also seek to maintain my lack of Christian / Familial fellowship with you, my fallen brothers, out of the vague but essential hope that this visible, tangible broken relationship with me, as you cling to your sin, might help you to see the invisible, but more real and more broken relationship with the Father before it is too late. 

Oh, if only other believers would but take the same approach, hoping to make it clear to all that friendship with the world is enmity toward God. 

Farewell old friends. I hope you know that when you return to the Father, I will be running down the road with him to greet you and not sulking in the fields. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

I know he lives.

 C.R. Wiley - From The Household and the War for the Cosmos

"I hate to say it, but even the piety of Wesley and Whitfield was a downgrade of the real thing. This is because by the eighteenth-century piety’s sphere had already contracted. It is a well-documented story, so I won’t go into detail, but I think I can sum it up succinctly. By the time of Wesley and Whitfield, what had once been regarded as public truth had been reduced to private convictions. Authority in general had eroded due to revolutions in politics, the sciences, and even economics. To meet the challenge evangelists were forced to stress direct, very personal experience of the supernatural by everyone. The second-hand Truth contained in catechisms and confessions was no longer enough. Even eyewitness accounts of the risen Christ were not as trustworthy as a “warmed heart.” This is how we ended up with a hymn like “I Serve a Risen Savior.” In that song the line that is supposed to persuade you to believe that Jesus rose from the dead is, “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!” What we are left with today is heart religion, because now the heart is the only place Jesus can be publicly acknowledged to live. Ironically, many people think that this is the sum total of Christianity, and the notion that this is actually a downgrading of the faith is inconceivable."

Friday, November 17, 2023

Post Tenebras Lux

A modification of the Post Tenebra Lux (After Darkness Light) Seal of Geneva. 


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Open Letters to a Son: Letter 1 - The Bible Part 1

 Open Letters to a Son 1: The Bible Part 1

‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall run from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.’ (Amos 8:11f.)

To my Son:

If you were to ask me, my son, what is one of the most deceptive, destructive, dangerous ideas that has ever intruded upon mankind, I would have to say it was an idea that was encapsulated in a question. It is the first recorded question asked right at the dawn of humanity. You can find the first words of this question in Genesis 3:1, where we read of the Serpent, who had entered the Garden and all that was good and all that was of God, and simply began by saying, “Did God actually say…?”

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Watch Your Mouth

Episode 99 - Watch Your Mouth

I know a few people who claim Christianity but don't seem to have any problem using profanity or making an inappropriate joke from time to time. I don't often confront those who aren't as careful with their mouths and I've often had to explain why I don't use bad words. I'm not standing in any sort of judgment here: I've had a strong personal stance on profanity my whole life (even before I was dedicated to following Jesus, I believed it was wrong), but forsaking slightly off-color or inappropriate jokes has been a much slower process. All I want to do here is offer a Biblical perspective on this area of the Christian life. I would like to do that with four points, all from Paul's letter to the Ephesians. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Cheap grace is...

[Cheap grace is] the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

as quoted in Kevin DeYoung's book: What does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?

Thursday, July 27, 2023

To those who have cracked the problem of unity in the church.


Unity in the church, amongst believers, was an essential thing for Paul the Apostle. On multiple occasions, he either wrote about the need for unity directly or it was implied through one of the many "one another" passages. Many a church leader has pondered this need for unity, have taught extensively on its practicalities, and worked tirelessly with members of their churches to promote it -- all to be met with tension in the church, relational strains with their members, and sometimes disunity that leads to division. 

Well, I want to offer some hope to church leaders everywhere.  Right in the middle of my own unity prepping, studying, teaching, and training, I accidentally found that there are some people who have already solved the unity problem. They were right around us and were probably there all along but went unnoticed by us pastors and teachers. There are at least five types of unity I've discovered with these unity triumphant people who have made themselves manifest to their own unity. Here are those five types, in no particular order. 

Disclaimer: any resemblance to actual people is mostly coincidental. This is meant to represent conglomerations of people, not any one person in particular. I've met multiple people in each of these categories... and most likely, so have you - that is what makes it funny. 

Saturday, July 15, 2023