Essay / Theology

Saying Stuff (about the Lord's Supper)

This is the Lord’s Supper meditation I gave at Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada on Dec 2, 2012. Sometimes people stand up in front of a group and just start saying stuff. They just have a microphone, and an audience, and some ideas in their head,

Essay / Theology

The Broken Trinity (Forsaken pt. 1)

Tom McCall’s recent Forsaken:  The Trinity and the Cross, and Why it Matters (IVP, 2012–thanks to IVP for a copy!) is a very stimulating little book.  Its four short chapters (just 165 pages total) are a series of focused treatments of major issues in Christian

Essay / Theology

Sanctification: Two Meanings

First you’re justified, then you become sanctified, and finally you’ll be glorified. To make progress as a disciple is to grow in sanctification. Right? Yes, this is how we talk. And when we talk this way, we know what we’re talking about. The word “sanctification”

Essay / Theology

Lenten Asceticism

As most of you know, we are nearly two weeks into Lent, that forty day period that we set aside before Easter to prepare ourselves for the remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s an important season in the church calendar

Essay / Culture

New Year's Resolutions and Biblical Renewal

I stood in church and watched two baptisms on the first day of 2012. Just a few hours before, a couple of friends and I had raised glasses and toasted the new year. Then, there in the sanctuary, two heads were lowered and splashed in that old reenactment of Christ’s new life.

Essay / Culture

Pietism—What Is It Good For?

It is a truth universally acknowledged (among theologians, or at least most of them), that a Christian in possession of a Pietistic spirituality, must be in want of a social ethic. Pietists, those champions of heart religion, those prototypes of today’s experience-driven religion, were so

Essay / Theology

Here Comes Pentecost: Good Books on the Holy Spirit

Hey, according to the liturgical calendar, it’s Pentecost Sunday! Quick, think about the Holy Spirit. Here are some of my favorite books on pneumatology, off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m leaving out a few even better books, but there’s an embarrassment of

Essay / Theology

"Self-Salvation Means Despair:" Moule's Paraphrase of Galatians

H.C.G. Moule was the Bishop of Durham just after the death of Queen Victoria. He wrote wonderful commentaries on many books of the New Testament, but never did a full-length treatment of Galatians. What he did publish was an itty-bitty 60-page devotional book called The

Essay / Theology

The Structure of Matthew's Gospel

The Gospel According to Matthew is intricately structured. A simple outline can capture the basic shape of the book well enough to assist a good reading, but a little more attention shows that this book has several layers of order, all helpful. Consider some of

Essay / On This Day

G. Campbell Morgan

George Campbell Morgan (born this day, December 9, in 1863) used to be more famous than he is now. Best known as the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, he also worked in the United States with Dwight L. Moody’s many projects, and taught widely

Essay / Theology

Review of Gordon Smith's Transforming Coversion

In Transforming Conversion: Rethinking the Language and Contours of Christian Initiation (Baker Academic, 2010), Gordon Smith, president of reSource Leadership International, presents a compelling case for why the church must take seriously not only the salvation of humankind but the conversion of humankind as well.

Essay / Theology

Unperplexed About the Church

There’s a series of books called Guides for the Perplexed, which is a Rambammish series title that promises to help you sort out your confusion. I don’t know how all the other books in the series are, but here’s one that really delivers on the