When You Feel Like Giving Up Hope

At a recent talk about my book Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them, someone asked me what I did when I lost hope. I was surprised. “I don’t think I ever lost hope!” I said. My thoughts went immediately to one of the first weeks after my son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I attended a […]

What Have You Been Reading?

A long time Christian once came to me to confide that his spiritual life was as good as dead; it was so lack luster that he had abandoned all attempts to get alone with God, to read the Bible or to pray. He said, “I feel like I am walking alone in a desert, with […]

The Blessing of Persecution

Though all of Jesus’ teaching in the “Sermon on the Mount,” is relevant to the twenty-first century church, I found His words regarding persecution to be especially timely. In chapter 5 of Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (v. 10 […]

Christ is Homoousios With the Father

The relative peace that Christians experienced during the fourth century allowed theological issues that had previously not been a priority to come to the forefront of debate within the church. One of the primary debates of this era was how the Father and Son are related to each other. Despite their differing conclusions, patristic writers […]

Persecution Impels the Church to Grow

A lot has happened in 2000 years of church history, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the reality of persecution against followers of Christ. Persecution can come in several forms—social, intellectual, and physical[1]—but despite intense opposition (actually because of it), Christianity continues to grow now just as it did during the early church era. […]

The Title Of Firstborn

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  […]

Creeds and Confessions in the Biblical Text

Deuteronomy 6:4 While John 3:16 is the most famous verse in the Bible, it is fair to say that in the Old Testament, the most well-known words are found in what the Jews call the Sh’ma, found in Deuteronomy 6:4. There in English we read these words, “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the […]

No Degrees of Deadness

The key to a right understanding of God’s work in salvation is to start where the Bible starts regarding our condition outside of Christ. We are not healthy; and not just sick; very sick; or even mortally sick. No, we are dead. All of us were born that way when we came into this world […]

Christian, This Is Why You’re Already Rich

Are you rich? I am not asking unbelievers but Christians. I ask because some Christians have either forgotten or adopted an unbiblical measure of what makes a person rich. This outcome is a consequence of a popular theology that has penetrated the Western church known by two names: word of faith or prosperity gospel. The doctrine essentially teaches […]

Concerning Chapter and Verse Divisions in the Bible

Where did the chapter and verse divisions in our Bibles come from? When Scripture was originally written, there were no chapter and verse divisions. These man-made additions to our Bibles came much later. It was Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury in England, who added chapter divisions into the Latin Vulgate around A.D. 1227. A […]

The Logos (Part I)

John 1:1 is paramount to understanding the person of Christ. John begins introducing Jesus as the Word (Logos): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The English term “Word” is translated from the Greek term “Logos.” John knew the term “Logos” would be […]

The Call to Repentance

The first proclamation that Jesus made when beginning His ministry was, “repent, all of you, for the Kingdom of the Heavens is at hand” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17).  The call to repentance is to be given in all generations, because repentance serves as a means of grace to pull us away from a life devoted to […]

“Churchianity” Is not Christianity!

There’s a saying, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car!” Growing up in a Christian family I learned that this is true, and that there is a world of difference between “churchianity” and Christianity. Distinguishing “Churchianity” from Christianity My parents were able to teach […]

Is Grace ‘Amazing’ To You?

The Bible does not merely show sinners to be undeserving, but as ill-deserving. So often we are inclined to think of ourselves, prior to our salvation, as in some sense “neutral” in the sight of God. We are willing to admit that we have done nothing to deserve His favor, but this is entirely insufficient […]

Peter’s Freely Determined Choice

The question of Peter’s freedom and responsibility (or lack thereof) in his denial of Christ is one example of many times in Scripture where the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility is demonstrated. As Christians, it’s important for us to sit as students under the counsel of God’s Word and accept the paradox we […]

What About Works?

That salvation is by God’s grace through faith and not by works is considered an axiom of protestant theology. We are not put into a right relationship with God through any work of our own, but only by faith in what Christ has done in our stead. If this is true, what place (if any) […]

Every Ought Implies an Is

Every ought implies an is. What does this mean and why does it matter? It means that for every ought statement (“you ought to eat your vegetables”), there is a rule, code or law behind it with authority that gives it weight—that makes it mean something. The reason it matters is because if there is […]

What Does The Bible Say About Sin?

Why do we live in a broken and sinful world? Is man born sinful or are we born good and become sinful? These anthropological questions have been in philosophical debate and discussion for centuries. Nevertheless, whether you subscribe to the notion of man being inherently good or sinful, one must face the fact that man’s […]

Accounting of the Soul

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified.”   2 Corinthians 13:5 “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.  The way of the […]

No One Does Good, No Not Even One

If there is a saying that offends and stirs the human heart more than anything else, it is to tell him or her “You are not good.” Whether it is towards someone’s ability, profession, expertise, or morality, the way in which one takes such a comment varies. The power of this saying often depends on […]