Sipping Saltwater

Is there any sin we commit more but admit less than the sin of idolatry? As people who have knowingly and willingly deserted the one true God, we turn our hearts this way and that to find the satisfaction we are meant to find in him alone. We try first one thing and then the other yet never find our thirst assuaged. It is not until we rest in him that we find true rest. It is not until we …

The Hidden Power in Every Idol

We were made to mimic. God made us in such a way that we learn many of life’s skills by way of imitation. For good or for ill we also learn character, or lack of character, by imitation. Parents who routinely blow up in anger cannot be surprised when they raise a brood of children who respond to conflict with screaming, yelling, slapping. Teachers who constantly grumble and complain cannot be surprised when they find themselves in front of a …

Become a Patron

To the Other Woman’s Embrace

I sometimes wonder what it was like for Sarah as she watched Abraham and Hagar walk into that tent together—what she thought, what she felt (Genesis 16). What was it like for the wife to watch her husband seek privacy with that other woman, knowing exactly what they were about to do? Where did her mind go in those moments when they were out of sight? How far had Sarah fallen to not only permit this, but to suggest and …

Two Ways To Ruin Your Relationship with the Giver

I shared recently how much I enjoyed reading Michael Wittmer’s new book Becoming Worldly Saints. What I appreciate most is the perfect balance he strikes between living full-out for God while also enjoying life in this world. Here is a section I found especially helpful. There are two ways to ruin our relationship with the Giver of all things. The first is to ignore him and focus entirely on his gifts. This temptation to idolatry is ever present, and we …

The Essential: Idolatry

This is the seventeenth installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, common grace, sin, righteousness, faith, pride, election, revelation, atonement, adoption, sanctification and incarnation. “For what is idolatry if not this: to worship the gifts in place of the giver himself?” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.17.36) Calvin summarizes well what it means to commit idolatry. Idolatry may well be in full view in the days to come …

When I Am God

Sin is inherently anti-God, inherently pro-self. Each time I sin I make a statement about myself and a statement about (and against) God. Each time I sin, I declare my own independence, my own desire to be rid of God; I declare that I can do better than God, that I can be a better god than God. Recently I took some time to think about how life changes when I am god. The results were not pretty. When I am …