Pastor's Blog


 

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...

Why do we celebrate the Lord’s Supper every single Sunday? It’s a question that comes up in almost every membership class, and I’m always happy to answer it!

Historically, our church has roots in the Plymouth Brethren tradition, and one of the distinctives of the Brethren is a weekly observance of Communion. Our continuation of that practice is, in the first place, a humble...

What’s the difference between a church and a gathering of random Christians? Could we call it “church” when we gather with others in a small group? Is the youth group sort of a little church? We could probably discuss these questions endlessly, but for the purpose of this column I want to use church history as my reference point. Christians throughout history have used two primary marks to...

What can we do as a church to make a difference in the ongoing struggle over race relations in our country? Last week I wrote that, first of all, we must pray. Second, we have to educate ourselves and think clearly. Oversimplified answers usually make things worse.

Third, we must answer the gospel’s call to sacrifice. To surrender. To move away from comfort and toward need. Most of us...

In prior weeks, I’ve suggested that the way forward in race relations will be found 1) when our country lives up to its own ideals and 2) through the presence and ministry of Christ’s church. We in the church have answers and resources that aren’t available anywhere else—the gospel, the Spirit, and the love of Christ. This is our time!

But what should we actually do to make a...

Since 1776, our country has professed certain truths to be self-evident, namely, “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These are (some of) our country’s founding presuppositions. This has been our long-standing profession. These are our self-conscious values....

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