Ignorance ≠ Innocence

“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to do it.” What kind of apology is this? Is it the mea culpa kind? (Mea culpa is Latin for, “My bad.”) Or is it the kind where we try to justify ourselves? There are two basic kinds of apologies. The first is the kind where we acknowledge that we… Read More ›

God Wants Us to Know about His Wrath

God Wants Us to Know about His Wrath

God is just. He is righteous. He always does what is right. He always performs justice. And he wants us to know it. One of the ways God performs justice is by punishing sin. And one of the most famous demonstrations of this kind of justice is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19)…. Read More ›

The Living Dead

The Living Dead

In Ephesians 2 Paul insults his readers. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the… Read More ›

The Myth of Autonomy

The Myth of Autonomy

Dear Christian, You are not autonomous. You are free, but you are not autonomous. There is a difference between freedom and autonomy. Autonomy means “self-government.” It comes from the Greek words autos, meaning “self,” and nomos, meaning “law.” To be autonomous means that you are a law unto yourself; you can set your own rules…. Read More ›

Read It

Four months ago I encouraged you to make 2019 a year of reading the Bible. I have been very encouraged by how many of you have committed yourselves to do this. I know many of you have stuck with it. I also know some of you have gotten behind. That often happens with any kind… Read More ›

Trouble in the Garden

“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36). Jesus didn’t want to die. On at least three occasions, Jesus explicitly told his disciples that he must suffer, die, and rise again (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34). He was clear, but… Read More ›

Resolution 2019: The Bible

I have an annual joke that gets less funny every year. I wait for someone to ask me what my New Year’s resolution is, and then I say, “To not make promises I can’t keep.” Actually, that joke was never funny. I should resolve to retire it. It was probably just an attempt to deflect… Read More ›

Christian Hymnody: History and Emotion

One of the great benefits of a Christian hymnal is that it pulls together the very best of Christian hymnody from across centuries, even millennia. Most music doesn’t have much of a shelf life. Just consider pop music (Christian or secular). The vast majority of what you hear today will be completely forgotten in a… Read More ›