The Surprisingly Crafty Way Jonah Told His Story and the Purpose Behind It (Some Further Reflections on Jonah)

In the book of Jonah, the author uses his former self as an object lesson for God's people. Israelites believed themselves to be better than the Ninevites. Yet the Ninevites repented immediately at the word of the Lord. Their quick response and God's gracious forgiveness put the apostate Israelites to shame. If Israel were truly… Continue reading The Surprisingly Crafty Way Jonah Told His Story and the Purpose Behind It (Some Further Reflections on Jonah)

Three Lessons We Learn about God’s Love from the Death of Christ (Good Friday 2018 Teaching)

You may have heard the phrase, "God is love." That is a quote from the Epistle of 1 John, and it unleashes a whole host of questions in the inquiring mind. What does it mean for God to be love? What is God's love like? Does God love me?  On Good Friday, 2018, I preached… Continue reading Three Lessons We Learn about God’s Love from the Death of Christ (Good Friday 2018 Teaching)

This Is Apologetics: An Argument from Christian Hypocrisy

The objection that Christians are hypocrites, and therefore Christianity must be false, borrows from the very Christian worldview. By presupposing objective morality, the objection presupposes the very God it aims to disprove. *****  Sometimes skeptics will argue that Christians are hypocrites, and therefore Christianity must be wrong. After all, hypocrisy is wrong, and therefore Christianity… Continue reading This Is Apologetics: An Argument from Christian Hypocrisy

How We Organized Our Worship Service Last Sunday

How should a gathering of the church be organized? Is it possible to make sure the Gospel is not only preached, but also experienced through the various elements and activities of the service? I have been interacting with these questions for a few years now. Along the way, I have been inspired by Joe Thorn's… Continue reading How We Organized Our Worship Service Last Sunday

Is Predestination the Same as Favoritism? (Some Further Reflections on James 2:1-13)

Sometimes at Park Community Church (Forest Glen) worship gatherings, we take text-in questions from the congregation. It is one of my favorite things to do and a practice I recommend. Back before I went on paternity leave (Aliza and Baby Josephine are both wonderful and healthy, thanks for asking), I taught on James 2:1-13. My big idea… Continue reading Is Predestination the Same as Favoritism? (Some Further Reflections on James 2:1-13)

This Is Apologetics: 30 Questions for Non-Christians

In my last post, I offered four principles for getting started in apologetics. One of those principles was the importance of asking a lot of questions. Of course, it's common for Christians to be confronted with questions and objections from non-Christians about the Christian message.  We need to be ready for such questions (1 Peter… Continue reading This Is Apologetics: 30 Questions for Non-Christians

How Can the Church Be In the World, Without Being Of the World?

"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:19).  "We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil… Continue reading How Can the Church Be In the World, Without Being Of the World?

Recommendations: Bible Study Tools

On Tuesday, January 2, Dan Osborn and I did a Facebook live video to talk about some of the tools we like for studying the Bible. Without any further ado, here are some links to get your hands on some of the tools we recommended (with a couple of others thrown in for good measure).… Continue reading Recommendations: Bible Study Tools

Some Further Reflections on “Abiding” (John 15:4-5)

Sunday at Park Community Church (Forest Glen), Pastoral Resident Ryan Goble taught us from John 15:4-5. I was struck by how this passage, which conveys the words of Jesus to his disciples, revealed to me my own inner leaning toward that faulty belief that, somehow, my activity does something to actually increase my godliness or,… Continue reading Some Further Reflections on “Abiding” (John 15:4-5)

This is Apologetics: An Argument from the Uniqueness of the Christmas Story

I originally wrote this as part of my weekly letter to Park Community Church (Forest Glen). At Christmas, we celebrate God’s ultimate self-revelation: He became a human being. This teaching is known as the Incarnation, and it is what Christmas is all about. There is so much truth about God packed into the Christmas story. God is… Continue reading This is Apologetics: An Argument from the Uniqueness of the Christmas Story