Pastor's Blog

As you know, last week was the 50th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Several times over the past few weeks, I found myself in a conversation about race relations. One thing we all agreed on: America still has a ways to go to solve the problem. That much is obvious to everyone. 

What may not be so obvious is what I’ve found myself thinking...

What if the resurrection of Jesus means more than you think?

What if it means you can trust God even when your life makes no sense? Jesus’ followers were heartbroken, scared, perplexed, and angry after the cross. His death defied their expectations and killed their dreams. To them, there was no way this situation could turn out well. But then, Christ arose!

What if it grounds your...

Today is Palm Sunday, the traditional observance of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the beginning of Passion Week. The whole Bible—and all human history—pivots on the events of this one week that took place in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. But it’s not enough to be familiar with the events themselves. We have to know what these events mean.

For instance, Jesus commandeers a colt...

What does it mean to pray “in Jesus’ name”?

R. A. Torrey, a famous American evangelist from the early 20th century, told of a letter he once received from an earnest but troubled man: “Dear Dr. Torrey: I am in great perplexity. I have been praying for a long time for something that I am confident is according to God’s will, but I do not get it. I have been a member of the...

Christianity claims to be based on absolute truth. Our culture claims there’s no such thing—or at least, if there is such a thing as absolute truth, there’s no good way to recognize it. So now what? How should Christians have this important conversation with their nonChristian friends? I’d suggest three strategies: probe the mind, prick the conscience, and pierce the heart.

Probe the...

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”  Psalm 51:1

It’s one of the most precious verses in the Bible and, for sinners like us, one of the most instructive. What hope could a murderer and adulterer like David have that God would forgive his sins? Answer: God’s “steadfast love.” David is referring to...

The health of the church depends on the preaching of God’s Word. It depends, in other words, on the proclamation of the Scriptures through the power of the Holy Spirit by preachers who honestly believe that the Bible is the actual words of the one true God.

The Charles Simeon Trust is an organization grounded in that conviction, which exists to train the next generation of expository...

. One of my seminary professors used to call baptism “Jesus’ altar call.” In other words, baptism is the immediate response to the gospel Jesus Himself ordained for His followers. Are you a Christian? Show it by being baptized. If you claim to be a Christian and you’ve not been baptized, you need to ask yourself why. Perhaps one of the reasons is that you don’t really...

How do you build your life?  That’s a question that the writer of Ecclesiastes relentlessly works through as he works through our frustrating experience and our frustrated intuitions.  Our culture has many competing ideas on pursuing the good life.  Some tell you to look inside for your truest, most authentic self, making authenticity outweigh love, wisdom, and self-sacrifice,...

Maintaining the inadvertent theme of long reviews of short books, I’d like to introduce two helpful books:

 The Message of Ecclesiastes, by Derek Kidner, Coming soon to a book table near you.  Per Josh, this is a very high value per pound.  God’s people are usually not tempted to think in an atheistic way, but often in a...

I commend to you a book by a former pastor of mine:  She's Got The Wrong Guy by Deepak Reju.  I’d like to convince you to read and benefit from it, and that you need more than the book.  

  • As a pastor I feel joy that our godly young women love and serve God, but also concern that they could be harmed in a...

One of the delights of being in a rich, high technology culture is that we can readily get excellent books.  These books are being added to the church distributed library, and I would commend them to you.

-          Jesus Made in America by...

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “All is vanity!”

It’s the well-known and joyless refrain from Ecclesiastes—the obscure book we’re setting out to study for the next 3 months. Why would anyone ever choose to preach through this gloomy book?

For one thing, this book is part of God’s revelation to us. Since God gave it, we can reasonably assume we need it. The only wise course...

I first wrote this column in May. I believe it’s important enough to rerun frequently. I hope you agree.

“Pastoral work, in large part, deals with the difficulty everyone has in staying alert to the magnificence of salvation.” So says Eugene Peterson (Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work). I believe he’s right.

Do you really know what it means to be “saved”? Read...

It’s an intriguing and enchanting story, that aspect of the nativity where the wise men visit the holy family in Bethlehem. Noble magi. Long journey. Mysterious star. Valuable gifts. From our perspective, it’s an enchanting story.

But from the perspective of the Jerusalem locals, it’s sadly ironic. Foreigners greet the King of the Jews, while His own people overlook Him. Pagans travel...

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