Bible, Theology

  • Life Under the Sun

    Life Under the Sun

    You can’t make sense of the early parts of Ecclesiastes if you haven’t read all the way to the end of Ecclesiastes. Likewise, you can’t really make sense of the end of Ecclesiastes if you haven’t read through the early chapters of Ecclesiastes.

  • The Lord of Hosts Is the God of Jacob

    The Lord of Hosts Is the God of Jacob

    When we learn that the LORD of hosts is also the God of Jacob, we find gospel hope.

  • Whose Wisdom?

    Whose Wisdom?

    Christians, pastors, and churches have a choice. You can find joy in the wisdom of God revealed in the Bible, or you can embrace the wisdom of this world, but you can’t do both.

  • The Good News

    The Good News

    As we come to the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, I pray that you know the good news of Jesus Christ.

  • Hope In Suffering

    Hope In Suffering

    The book of Romans is a glorious book, and Romans 8:18-39 is a glorious passage. In these verses, Paul talks about the reality of suffering.

  • The Kindness of Jesus

    The Kindness of Jesus

    Recently my Bible reading plan took me through John 21. As I closed out the fourth gospel, I was struck by the kindness of Jesus.

  • The Miracles of Christmas

    The Miracles of Christmas

    In addition to all the things that make Christmas “magical,” I pray you take time to remember the things that made the first Christmas “miraculous.”

  • The Religion of the Left

    The Religion of the Left

    Of all the lies that are widely believed to be true, the greatest might just be the lie that the “left” has freed itself from the confines and constraints of “religion.”

  • Idolatry and Sin

    Idolatry and Sin

    Recently my Bible reading plan took me through the book of Judges. Judges 2:10 and 2:11 describe a link between the idolatry of God’s people and the sin of God’s people.

  • The Plan of Damnation

    The Plan of Damnation

    While many church-going folks would have some familiarity with the phrase “plan of salvation,” few of us have ever stopped to think about a “plan of damnation.”

  • Possessions, Social Media, Experiences, Sexuality, and Jesus

    Possessions, Social Media, Experiences, Sexuality, and Jesus

    Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

  • God With Us

    God With Us

    On Saturday December 26th, I preached a funeral for a woman who died from complications related to COVID.

  • Moses, Isaiah, and Sunday Worship

    Moses, Isaiah, and Sunday Worship

    Much of what passes for “worship” these days is anything but. Just visit a typical evangelical church or watch their live stream online.

  • My Favorite JI Packer Books

    My Favorite JI Packer Books

    JI Packer was born July 22, 1926. He died July 17, 2020. During Packer’s ninety-plus years on earth, his preaching, teaching, and writing impacted a countless number of people.

  • I Believe in the Virgin Birth

    I Believe in the Virgin Birth

    “I believe in God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.”

  • What Child Is This?

    What Child Is This?

    William Chatterton Dix’s most famous hymn is “What Child Is This,” based on the poem “The Manger Throne.” In the hymn, Dix asks the rhetorical question, “What child is this who laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping?” 

  • Fighting Temptation in Egypt

    Fighting Temptation in Egypt

    When I read the story of Joseph, I’m always struck by his obedience and faithfulness. Certainly I don’t want to make Joseph “the” hero of the story. He is, however, remarkably obedient and faithful once he arrives in Egypt.

  • The Truth about Idolatry

    The Truth about Idolatry

    Many in the west hear these words and picture primitive worshipers bowing down to man made statues. However, the Bible also describes a kind of idolatry that takes place in the heart (Ezekiel 14:4).

  • 10 Thoughts about “God and the Gay Christian” by Matthew Vines

    10 Thoughts about “God and the Gay Christian” by Matthew Vines

    Recently a friend asked me to read God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines. To add my thoughts to the discussion, here are ten thoughts about Vines’ approach to the issue of homosexuality in his popular book God and the Gay Christian.

  • 5 Great Exodus Commentaries

    5 Great Exodus Commentaries

    I’ve spent the last several months preaching through Exodus at Immanuel. As I’ve studied each week, I’ve worked through a stack of 12 different commentaries. All have been helpful in some way, but after working through most of Exodus these are my top five Exodus commentaries.

  • 4 Types of Conversion

    4 Types of Conversion

    Recently I worked through Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology. The book is a helpful mix of historical and systematic theology, with much practical application for those engaged in pastoral ministry. One section that I found particularly helpful was Berkhof’s chapter on conversion, which is essentially a chapter about repentance.

  • My 7 Favorite RC Sproul Books

    My 7 Favorite RC Sproul Books

    Like so many in my generation, my thinking has been particularly shaped by the preaching and the writings of three men: RC Sproul, John MacArthur, and John Piper. Last week, Robert Charles Sproul passed away at the age of 78.

  • The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, CS Lewis, and Reluctant Converts

    The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, CS Lewis, and Reluctant Converts

    Surprised by Joy is the story of CS Lewis’ life, particularly the story of how he became a follower of Jesus. Towards the end of the book Lewis describes the moment he moved from atheism to theism.

  • Reflections on Confession

    Reflections on Confession

    Over the last three weeks I’ve met with several groups of men for breakfast and Bible study. Our focus was directed to prayers of confession in the Old Testament. We looked at Psalm 51, Daniel 9, and Nehemiah 9. Each week we tried to make sense of the context as well as the actual prayer…

  • The Danger of Demons

    The Danger of Demons

    CS Lewis wrote these words in the preface of The Screwtape Letters: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by…

  • You Need to Understand Sin

    You Need to Understand Sin

    I’m convinced that many church going folks don’t have a biblical understanding of sin. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certain that most church going folks would be quick to admit a few of their imperfections. But acknowledging the obvious reality that you are not perfect is a million miles away from a biblical understanding of…

  • The 4 C’s of True Conversion

    The 4 C’s of True Conversion

    Maybe you’re a pastor seeking to lead people to Christ. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a child, a teenager, a young adult, or a senior adult … There are certain things that mark true conversion to Christ. Maybe you’re a missionary seeking to lead people to Christ. It doesn’t matter what culture a…

  • God is (Always) Good

    God is (Always) Good

    I want to ask you a question, and I want you to be honest with yourself. When do you find yourself reflecting on the goodness of God? In what circumstances do you find yourself caught up in the goodness of God? The obvious church answer is “always.” Maybe you’ve sat in church and heard a…

  • Jehoshaphat and the Wicked Kings of Israel

    Jehoshaphat and the Wicked Kings of Israel

    Jehoshaphat was one of the God-fearing kings of Judah. The Bible says Jehoshaphat sought the LORD, and even describes him as “courageous in the ways of the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 17:1-6) The Bible says Jehoshaphat sent trained theologians to teach the “Book of the Law” throughout Judah (2 Chronicles 17:7-9). The Bible describes Jehoshaphat’s noble…

  • Joash, Jehoida, and Jesus

    Joash, Jehoida, and Jesus

    Joash was the son of the Ahaziah King of Judah, and the story of his rise to power and fall from grace is truly remarkable. When King Ahaziah died, his mother Athaliah began destroying any contender to the throne (2 Chronicles 22:10). Athaliah wanted to be the last woman standing so that she could rule…

  • Jesus, Religion, and Rules

    Jesus, Religion, and Rules

    Facebook tried to sell me a t-shirt last week. The shirt read, “Religion sets rules, Jesus sets free.” Catchy, right? It certainly rolls off the tongue, and absolutely jives with the spirit of our day. The same idea is repeated a thousand ways through a thousand mediums. This morning on Twitter I saw this tweet,…

  • Knowing God, Knowing Ourselves

    Knowing God, Knowing Ourselves

    Great thinkers have the ability to take complex ideas and make them simple without being simplistic. Take John Calvin, for example. His great work, Institutes of the Christian Religion, begins with these words, “Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of…

  • 5 Thoughts about the Conquest

    5 Thoughts about the Conquest

    Recently a church member came to me with a question. The question didn’t actually come from her, it came from one of her coworkers. In the course of a conversation about spiritual things, the coworker asked my church member to explain all the violence and killing in the Bible. In particular, the Old Testament story…

  • Are You Breaking the 3rd Commandment?

    Are You Breaking the 3rd Commandment?

    I recently had to sit through a “testimony” that was heavy on motivation and light on Jesus. Considering the setting (an award night for a church basketball league), I expected this sort of talk. What I didn’t expect, was that the speaker would break the third commandment throughout his motivational testimony. The third commandment ……

  • 5 Resources for Teaching Theology to Teenagers

    5 Resources for Teaching Theology to Teenagers

    Disclaimer: I don’t have teenagers. However, I do have a ten year old, and I’ve already started thinking about the next step in her process of discipleship. Before long we will leave “children’s” Bibles behind and move on to more age appropriate resources. As I’ve thought about the tools I might use to help my…

  • Four Awesome Children’s Bibles

    Four Awesome Children’s Bibles

    “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall…

  • Did You Really Think The Shack Was “Just” Fiction?

    Did You Really Think The Shack Was “Just” Fiction?

    “Calm down, The Shack is just fiction!” If you used this line in defense of The Shack (book or movie), I’d love to get your thoughts on Paul Young’s latest book. The book is titled Lies We Believe about God, and for the record it’s non-fiction. This recently released Amazon best seller reveals Young’s thoughts about God … and surprise,…