Pastor's Blog

Very few books I've read have exploded my paradigms like R. C. Sproul's "The Holiness of God." Here are a few favorite quotes:

"It is one thing to fall victim to the flood or to fall prey to cancer; it is another thing to fall into the hands of the living God.: (p 53)

"The Old Testament list of capital crimes represents a massive reduction of the original list. It is an astonishing...

As many of you know, my friend Jason Janz leads a local church in downtown Denver called Providence Bible Church. Providence has a whole family of ministries that bring the gospel to bear on the many and complex effects of sin in the lives of their church members and other citizens of the city. One such program is A Strong Tower Ministry.

A Strong Tower's mission is clear from their...

A precious friend of mine made a remark in an email recently that provoked a lengthy response from me. It's a very important issue to me as a pastor, and as you read more, I hope you'll understand why. My friend said it would be OK for me to share the discussion with you. Here's what I wrote:

"I want to comment on your very last statement. Our beliefs regarding free will and sovereignty...

Do you really believe that what you believe is really real? If you're still reading after four columns on this one question, I'm impressed. I'm also indebted to offer you a solution. What should we do if we find that a false belief has captured our own soul?

Three suggestions:

1)  Get in the word. To paraphrase Romans 10:17, "True belief arises in our heart through hearing the...

I've been arguing that our actions never contradict our real beliefs; they simply manifest them. But the question that really intrigues me is why our actions so often show that we don't really believe what we say we believe. What are the greatest hindrances to believing, and thus living, what we say we believe? Last week I gave one answer. Here are a couple more:

2.  We tend to live...

In last week's column I asserted that we all show exactly what we believe by how we live. It's a mistake, in other words, to try to change what we do to match up with what we believe. What we do already matches what we believe. Our actions never contradict our real beliefs; they simply manifest them.

Suggest whatever example or hypothetical scenario you'd like. Let's say a pro-life...

Do you really believe that what you believe is really real? So ended the first session of The Truth Project, a DVD-based worldview study from Focus on the Family which we presented several years ago at Parker Hills. Dr. Del Tackett concluded his first lecture with this haunting question, and I've pondered it often since.

It reminded me of a thought that first came my way about 20 years...

Your love, O Lord, is better than life. But my heart fears to say what it only so faintly feels. You know my heart...how fiercely I have to fight to keep my longings inclined toward you instead of the glitz and sparkle of the American Dream. Living in this Disneyland which is America, how quickly I forget that I am a stranger, a sojourner just passing through this foreign land to my real...

Why can't God just overlook our sins? Or why can't He just do kind of like we do with each other and say, "It's OK. I forgive you"? Paul addresses this exact question in Romans 3:5-6:

"But," some say, "our sins serve a good purpose, for people will see God's goodness when he declares us sinners to be innocent. Isn't it unfair, then, for God to punish us?" (That is actually the way some...

Forgiveness is at the heart of Christianity. The Scriptures ring with the joy and blessing of sins forgiven and conscience cleansed. "Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." (Ps 32:11) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 Jn 1:9)

But I wonder if you've ever thought about...

My goal for this "Get Real" miniseries of columns has been pretty straightforward: to foster authenticity and genuine community within our church. Every time I watch a superhero movie, I ponder what superpowers I would like to have. I'll admit, I have a hard time narrowing down the list; but I can promise you one ability that I don't think any one of us needs: invisibility. I certainly hope...

Last week I suggested that one of the best ways to foster community in our church is to fight sin in our own lives. The connection is simple: sin, even private personal sin, destroys community.

Another way to fight for community is to develop a cross-centered approach to our relationships. Put most simply, a cross-centered mindset works like this: "The gospel tells me I'm more wicked...

For a couple weeks now, I've been trying to establish one simple point: authenticity fosters community. Assuming you agree, how do we fight the easy but disappointing tendency to keep to ourselves? How can we fight for community? My answer falls into two parts, a two-directional approach that targets our own heart first (this week's column) and then our approach to relationships second (which...

I think we all realize that we have some sort of sin in our lives. For many of us, the question that we must ask ourselves is this: "Why don't I think my subtle sins are that important? After all, I haven't done any of the really big sins." 

As Evangelicals, we may know we are sinners, but we don't think we really sin, at least not all that much. The reason we may...

Last week I finally came right out and said it: a bald appeal for our whole congregation to respond to God in worship with every part of their being—mind, heart, and body—with an unapologetic emphasis on the body. I’m emphasizing the body notbecause it is more important than the other parts of our being, but because it is sometimes more neglected, especially in our worship meetings. Since the...

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