The Commandment We Forgot: Honoring the Dishonorable

Today we continue this series on honoring our parents, the series that considers how we, as adults, can fulfill the fifth commandment. Behind it is the knowledge that few of us seriously consider the fifth commandment and how we can actively fulfill it, even after we have left our parents’ authority. We have been focusing on Deuteronomy 5:16: “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it …

Reveling in Wrath

It was one of the darkest chapters in Jewish history. Zedekiah had chosen to rebel against his Babylonian overlords, and King Nebuchadnezzar’s retribution was swift and sure. He besieged Jerusalem and captured it. He burned the temple, he burned the king’s palace, he burned all the mighty houses. He broke down the walls and left the city bereft and defenseless. He didn’t stop there. He also drove off 10,000 of the city’s most prominent citizens, leaving behind only the lowest, …

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I’m Complementarian and I Read Books By Women

I wonder if you have ever noticed that Christian books authored by women tend to be written for women, while Christian books authored by men tend to be written for both men and women. Books authored by women tend to have feminine covers, while books authored by men tend to have neutral, not masculine, covers. In general, men write with a voice that reaches both genders, while women write with a voice that reaches just one. This perplexes me. It …

The Best Way to Begin a New Year

I look forward to the day we own our house free and clear. We have been making payments on the mortgage since the day we moved in, but the end is finally in sight and four or five years from now we should be done at last. (An advantage of buying a small house and staying in it!) The moment the bank withdraws the final payment, we’ll be free and clear: free from further financial obligations and clear of all …

Sex on the Silver Screen – Outsourcing Depravity

I once read a memoir by a man who, as a teen, had been a Shabbos goy. A Shabbos goy is a non-Jew who performs some of the Sabbath-day functions that that are forbidden to the devout. Traditionally, a Shabbos goy would extinguish candles and lights, or he would stoke up a fire on a cold Sabbath morning, all actions considered work by strict interpretations of Jewish law. But since those regulations pertain only to Jews, some would hire Gentiles as a means of circumventing the law. The primary task of this young man was to sit in an elevator and push the buttons. Pushing buttons involves closing an electrical circuit and this was considered a violation of the Sabbath within that community. They outsourced the work to him.

For They Know Not What They Do…

Today we celebrate the events that marked the beginning of Jesus’s life: The angelic announcement, the virgin conception, the difficult birth, the unexpected visits, the prophetic blessings. But even as we remember that Jesus came to live, we need to also remember that Jesus came to die. As we think about his birth we do well to think about his death. Recently, one of my Patreon patrons asked if I would write about some of the last words Jesus spoke. While he was …

God Hates Sexual Immorality

Those who love must also hate. Those who love what is good, what is beneficial, what is honorable must hate what is evil, what is harmful, what is deplorable. We are defined by the things we love as well as the things we loathe. And what is true of us is true of God as well (or, said better, what is first true of God is subsequently true of us). For God to love he must also hate. The Bible …

10 Ideas and 10 Tips for Family Devotions in 2017

With a new year dawning, many Christian families will resolve to approach family devotions with greater faithfulness in the year ahead, or perhaps even to begin family devotions for the first time. These are great resolutions! Here are 10 ideas and 10 tips that may help. Ten Ideas for Family Devotions Read the Narratives. Read through the big picture of the Bible by focusing on the narrative (story) parts. In the Old Testament, read Genesis, parts of Exodus (you might …

6 Practical Ways to Honor Your Parents

God’s commandments are perfectly clear in what they say and, broadly, in what they require. Yet implementing those commandments in practical ways and in the nitty-gritty of life can pose a challenge. It can take thought, prayer, creativity. This is exactly the case with the fifth commandment—“honor your father and your mother”—and especially so for adult children. Young children honor their parents through their obedience, but what about adults? How do we honor our parents in ways that are fitting? …

4 Times In Life You Should Expect To Face Temptation

Temptation is a mysterious thing. There must be method to the madness, there must be patterns of how and when we are tempted by specific sins. If there are, I’ve never quite been able to hack or solve the system. But at the very least we can observe this: There are some times in life when you should be especially wary, when temptation is especially likely. Here are four times you should expect to face temptation. During Times of Prosperity …