Pastor's Blog

 

One of my seminary professors used to call baptism “Jesus’ altar call.” In other words, baptism was Jesus’ ordained response to the gospel. Are you a Christian? Forget raising your hand or walking down the aisle of the church. Show it by being baptized. If you claim to be a Christian and you’ve not been baptized, you need to ask yourself why...

 Can you imagine trying to raise $400,000 (= big money) in 18 months (= little time) with middle-class (= limited discretionary income) Christians (= not typically the wise, powerful, noble of society) as your primary funding source? Me either. But that’s exactly what Shanirak Church of Astana is trying to do.

As some of you know, Astana is the capital of...

Last week I wrote that Christians can see beneath the surface of the apparent victory recently achieved by the Sexual Revolution. The SCOTUS’s decision requiring all states to allow gay marriage appears, at least to some, to have finally and fully banished repressive religious sexual ethics to the Dark Ages from whence they came. Once and for all, thanks to the progressive-minded majority on...

It certainly looks like the Sexual Revolution has fully and finally won. With the Supreme Court’s decision on June 26 to require all states to allow gay marriage, our country has officially severed sex and marriage from that most basic relational reality: gender. It’s the climax of a revolt that began 50 years ago by publically and unapologetically severing sex from marriage and instead...


We’ve heard that kind of question many times.  How do we answer?  What have you done?

Walk by cynically – “Anyone can get a job at McDonald’s.”  This turns out not to be true.  Also, it’s often hard for the poor to make it from where they spend the night to where they work.  It might take 2-4 hours each way,...


 

Christians are often wary of trying to help the poor.  Citizens are frequently disgusted with their government’s efforts to help the poor.  International efforts to help the poor are often expensive disasters.  We’ve seen well-meant, well-funded efforts not only fail, but seemingly actively hurt the recipients....

Several weeks ago, our elders nominated Adam Bensaid as a candidate for the office of elder in our church. Today, you will have an opportunity to hear from Adam personally, as he answers your questions about his beliefs, background, and qualifications at a friendly, informal Q&A session immediately following our morning worship service. I hope you will all participate!...

Driving through Fort Logan National Cemetery last week after Jane Peterson’s interment, my heart was raging inside. I hate Death. He’s a robber and a thug. He pushes us around, breaks our hearts, and destroys so much of what we love. Death offends me at a level I can’t even articulate.

Every time I perform a funeral or visit a graveyard, I want to scream at Death, wherever he might...

Today is something of a “Missions Sunday” at Parker Hills. We are excited and honored to have missionaries Elise McIntosh (South Africa), Karl Peterson (South Africa), and the Bannikov family (Kazakhstan) with us for the day.

So, why is missions a thing? Why do Christians insist on spreading their faith and making converts all around the world? It’s a question I faced years ago, in a...

In last week’s column, I wrote that it is a serious mistake to think of the Bible as a book full of unconnected moralistic stories, like an inspired version of Aesop’s Fables. Rather, the Bible tells one grand story—the story of redemption, where our holy and loving God rescues His fallen creation from His own wrath by the sacrifice of His Son.

So what about all the separate, little...

The Rainbow Bridge, which spans the Niagara River a short distance below the famous Falls, began its existence literally as the string of a kite. In 1847 the State of New York and the nation of Canada agreed on a joint effort to erect a bridge downriver from the Falls. Their first challenge was to establish a link from one bank to the other; but the width of the river, the height of the bluffs...

 

Last week I ran a series of compelling quotes from Tim Keller’s excellent book Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering. Keller’s treatment of suffering is so thorough and his viewpoint is so compelling, I wasn’t able to include all the noteworthy quotes in that column. So here are a few more:

“If an all-powerful and all-wise God were directing all of...

Books don’t change lives. Paragraphs do. Sometimes single sentences. At least that’s how it works for me. I can remember specific sentences from specific books that lit my heart on fire and profoundly changed the way I thought. Here’s a sample of some of those verbal incendiary bombs from Tim Keller’s book Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering

“While other...

A few years ago, I was flipping through the booklet of a newly released hymns CD, surveying the artists’ reasons for why they chose to rerecord these particular Christian classics. I balked when I read this one: “I have always loved this particular hymn [“Fairest Lord Jesus”], and though written in 1677, its message is still relevant today.” What is it about our Christian culture that assumes...

“Do not be alarmed,” said the angel at the tomb that first Easter morning. “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.” (Mk 16:6) And with that one invitation to investigate the empty tomb, God set all our fears and anxieties to flight.

“Do not be alarmed.” In a nutshell, that is the significance of Easter. No more...

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