An Update, a Journey, and a Vacation

I have just returned home from Louisville, Kentucky after dropping off my son for his freshman year at Boyce College. He is our eldest child, so the first to head to college. I’m sure someone tried to tell us just how hard it would be to drive away and leave him there, but wow, we still weren’t expecting that. We are confident he’s in a great school and that Boyce is an ideal environment for him. The students, staff, and …

Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago Aileen and I each woke up in our parents’ homes. Twenty years ago I walked into St. John’s Anglican Church through the side door while, a few minutes later, she walked in through the main doors. Twenty years ago we looked into each other’s eyes and said our “I do’s.” Twenty years ago we strolled over to Ancaster’s Old Town Hall and spent a few hours celebrating with our families and closest friends. Twenty years ago we …

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War and Worship

This is my year of museums—of so many museums. If all goes according to plan, between January and December I will visit museums on every continent and in at least 15 different countries. In many of those places I will visit more than one. I’ve already been to so many that they are beginning to blur together in my memory and I’m having to dig out photos to distinguish them. But this remains clear: in almost every museum in almost …

Sex on the Silver Screen: A Scenario to Consider

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a number of articles under the heading “Sex on the Silver Screen.” In these articles I’ve been collecting my thoughts and expressing my concerns about an issue that I believe displays significant compromise among Christians today—our ambivalence toward watching scenes of explicit sexuality and nudity in movies and television shows. I’m hardly the first Christian to express such concerns, but I’ve done so by following a track that is unusual, even if …

What Is the Bible, Anyway?

We Christians spend a lot of time reading the Bible, hearing it preached, and meditating on its words. Why this commitment? We are committed to the Bible because of what it is and what it does. The Bible guides us to its purpose and power through the many metaphors it uses to describe itself. Here is a pretty good collection of them. Perhaps you’d do well to meditate on a few of them. The Bible is a lamp that illumines. …

How God Speaks To Us Today

In recent days there has been much discussion and debate about how God speaks to his people. The conversation continues, and as it does so, I find myself looking back to the basics, returning to some key principles related to the voice of God. Let me share those with you through four statements. Statement one: God can speak to people in many different ways and guide them with their cooperation. The Bible is full of stories of God speaking to …

The Haunting Beauty of Scotland

I recently returned from a trip to Scotland. I was there first to conduct my research for my worldwide EPIC project and then to enjoy some vacation with my family. We traveled far and wide and saw from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye. We were blown away by the haunting beauty of Scotland, made all the more stunning by the constantly dreary skies. I snapped a few photos along the way and thought I’d share some of them today. …

A Few Humble Suggestions for Reformed Worship Services

As Christians, we set aside the first day of each week as a day of worship. We gather together as communities to worship God through what we call “church services.” One of the struggles we may encounter is related to doing roughly the same thing in the same way week after week. We may begin to lose sight of the beauty of Christian worship through its sheer weekly repetition. Today I want to offer a few humble suggestions to pastors …

How an Emerging Church Pastor Inadvertently Changed My Life

The Lord often works in mysterious ways. At least, he certainly has in my life, and this was exactly the case with my first real introduction to Charles Spurgeon. Of course I lived far too late to be introduced to him face-to-face, but I did come to know him through his sermons. Here’s how. It was around fifteen years ago, at the point of my journey that had me wandering in a kind of spiritual wilderness between my early years …

Porn’s Ever-Evolving Verbs

Porn existed before the digital era, though it was rarely spoken of and was relatively scarce. In these days it primarily took the form of images printed in magazines stashed in (and stolen from) the forbidden top rack in convenience stores. It seems quaint now, but in those days porn was something we only looked at. [Look: “Perceive with attention; direct one’s gaze towards.”] By the time we were in our twenties and thirties, porn had evolved. Liberated from print, …