Crucifying Morality

No one could possibly claim that the Beatitudes (see Matthew 5:1-12) are overlooked or underappreciated. They have been the subject of countless books and sermon series. But this is not to say that the Beatitudes have been widely understood and properly taught. As often as not they have suffered from moralization, reduced to the level of the fortune cookie and with all the spiritual power of a fortune cookie. In Crucifying Morality, R.W. Glenn takes a new look at the …

If Dead Men Don’t Rise

Almost 2,000 years ago, a Christian named Paul wrote a letter to a group of people in Corinth, a city in Greece. People in that city had at one time been enthusiastic about the Christian faith, but had then begun to have some second thoughts. They had written a letter to Paul to ask something like, “You told us that this man Jesus died and then came back to life. We’re pretty sure you don’t actually expect us to believe …

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Suburbianity

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in Nashville at the National Religious Broadcasters’ annual convention. I was there to lead a breakout session that would explain a biblically-based understanding of technology, but had almost a whole day to just wander the event. The exhibit hall was massive, though I heard it was actually smaller than in years past. It was a sight to behold, a mishmash of some of the best and some of the worst of Christian …

Reviews I Didn’t Write

I love writing book reviews and I love reading them. Since I cannot possibly read and review all of the interesting books out there, I’ve decided to put together some occasional round-ups of reviews written by other writers. Here are a few notable links I’ve collected over the past few weeks. The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips – review by Douglas Wilson. “Phillips begins with the facts of creation and sin, moves on to God’s plan of redemption for us, …

Unexceptional Christians

Here is a great, challenging quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It is drawn from his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount and it does away with that false notion that the heights of Christian experience are reserved for the few and exceptional Christians who take on Christian work as their vocation. Read the Beatitudes, and there you have a description of what every Christian is meant to be. It is not merely the description of some exceptional Christians. I pause with …

Finding Joy, Finding Hope

Paul is not only the greatest theologian of the New Testament, but he is also a man whose life is worthy of emulation. He did not just know theology, but he also practiced it. What amazes me is that though the man endured an amazing amount of abuse and torment, he continued to be full of joy. I went looking for the source of Paul’s joy and found myself in 2 Corinthians 4. There I learned that Paul found joy …

A Holy Headache

Yesterday evening I went to the mid-week Bible study at Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Chattanooga. Pastor Wayne Layton has been leading a series examining the church’s statement of faith and last night he came to what Christians know as the hypostatic union.  Hypostatic union is bit of an intimidating term that describes the union of Jesus’ two natures. Jesus has a human nature and a divine nature and these two natures are united in the one person of Jesus …

An Easter Prayer

I had something queued up to post this afternoon. But then I read some blogs and found “A Prayer of Great Joy for Easter Sunday” by Scotty Smith. I took the liberty of copying and pasting it. It is a prayer of celebration, on this, the day we remember and celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of …

Humanitarian Jesus

There are few issues of theology that confuse me more than issues related to social justice. Those who advocate Christian humanitarianism, those who tell Christians that they are responsible before God to fight injustice, to feed the hungry, to free the oppressed, are able to provide a compelling case and they are able to tap into a deep vein of guilt. It is difficult to hear of poor and hungry children and not feel that the primary mission of Christians …

Guarding the Deposit

“O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you…” One of my favorite television programs is Antiques Roadshow. The program affords people the opportunity to present their antique possessions—whether furniture, paintings, toys, or anything else— and to have them appraised by some of the world’s foremost experts in antiquities. For every episode the producers single out ten or fifteen items and show an expert providing a detailed description and valuation of the item. Each section closes with the expert telling the …