Hold On

I am a quitter. In some ways I am, at least. There are parts and places in life where I will maintain a stubborn determination to the end (like, say, this whole blog every day thing I’ve been doing). But there are others where I give up, where I can too easily quit. And one of those places is in the battle against sin. Certain sins, anyway. I believe that God blesses obedience. I believe that God has blessings stored …

A Call for Christian Extremists

The effects of extremism have been on display all weekend. Even this morning they are splashed across every television screen, every news site, the front page of every newspaper. The attacks in Paris have shown us extremism at its most brutal and bloody, the kind that celebrates death, destruction, and mayhem. But did you know that the Bible calls Christians to extremism as well? It calls Christians to be zealots in a cause, to go to great lengths to carry …

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3 Types of Fool

In his book Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion, Os Guinness portrays three types of fools in the Bible: The Fool Proper, The Fool Bearer, and The Fool Maker. I found it a fascinating discussion. There are three types of fool in the Bible, and Erasmus restored the way of the third fool to recover the power of subversive persuasion in order to make his point. His point is crucial to our discussion, for the way of the …

The Essential: Faith

This is the eighth installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, common grace, sin, and righteousness. Unlike some terms such as Trinity and theology, the Bible itself provides a clear and concise definition of faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, faith is a staking of our hearts and minds on a reality that is beyond us, both …

Justified by Faith or by Works?

When it comes to supposed contradictions in the Bible, a classic example is Paul vs. James on the subject of justification. Paul says, “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28). James says, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). The tension between the two seems irreconcilable at first glance: either a person is justified apart from works or they aren’t; either Paul is …

Let Us Imitate Him

If God be our Father, let us imitate him. The child not only bears his father’s image, but imitates him in his speech, gesture and behaviour. If God be our Father, let us imitate him. ‘Be ye followers of God, as dear children.’ Eph 5: 1. Imitate God in forgiving injuries. ‘I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions.’ Isa 44: 22. As the sun scatters not only thin mists, but thick clouds, so God pardons great offences. …

Imitate Their Faith

It was near the end of the book of Hebrews that I found some verses that have been bouncing around in my head for some time now. With the epistle drawing to a close, the pastor who authored this letter exhorts the believers to remember the men who had once led the church, to consider how these men lived, and to imitate their faith. “Remember your leaders,” he says, “those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the …

Desiring God – Chapter Two (Part 1)

If the chief end of man is to be a Christian Hedonist, there must be a moment where he becomes such – a moment where a Christian Hedonist is created. Having explained that God’s quest to be glorified and our quest to receive satisfaction are one and the same, the author now turns to a discussion of conversion, which he says is the creation of a Christian Hedonist. God’s desire to be glorified reaches its culmination in the echo of …