Blog

This Political Moment

Last month I was in Grand Rapids performing the funeral of a young father. It was a heart-wrenching service that led me to ponder how the fears and angst of this moment relate to the presence of Christ’s kingdom. In God’s gracious providence, Ryan—a friend and thoughtful conversation partner who lives there—invited me out for[…]

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Your Identity in Christ

“Who are you?” This question seems simple enough, but the answer is hopelessly entangled with our life experiences. If we happen to be singing on a mountaintop, for example, our self-understanding is backlit by a joyful radiance. But if we’re languishing in a valley, weighed down in lament, dark clouds and shadows will fill the[…]

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Relishing God, The Good Shepherd

In the opening of his classic book, The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer memorably declares, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” In other words, our thoughts about God inform every level of our being–our hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, what we despise, and what we[…]

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We Continue to Preach

It happens every week—same time, same place. Just before I preach, I look out upon the congregation. Then I think: How can simple words penetrate the souls of men and women, lift them from the mire of sin, impart hope, and engender heartfelt worship. Audacious. Presumptuous. Ludicrous. Nevertheless, here goes. In those brief moments before I begin to preach, as[…]

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The Priority of Prayer

Adoniram Judson was among the first missionaries that American Baptists sent overseas. During a long career in Burma, he became noted for his commitment to evangelism and his translation of the Bible into Burmese. A master of languages, he also produced a Burmese grammar and dictionary. His preaching ministry resulted in thousands of conversions though[…]

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George Floyd Asphyxia ad Mortem

We’ve seen the gut-wrenching footage. Hands cuffed behind his back, Mr. George Floyd on his face, oppressed by the unjust knee of cruelty that has afflicted African Americans for centuries. Immobilized and groaning on the pavement “I can’t breathe.” “Please, please.” Eight minutes long—suffocating to death. “Let him breathe, man!” a bystander yells. Passing cars,[…]

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When We Preach Jesus

It was among the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. Following a lesson on Matthew 2 in which I explained the redemptive-historical significance of Jesus’ flight to Egypt, an older member of the congregation put his arm around me and asked if he could offer some feedback. “Please,” I replied, “I am a seminarian;[…]

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Freedom from Anxiety

The daily tallies of infection and death from COVID-19 assault our hearts and minds. Rather than calm us, the syncopating admonitions to wash our hands, wear a mask, or—best of all—stay home and “shelter in place” stoke our fears. As we toss and turn, the questions just won’t leave us alone. When will all this[…]

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Preparing for the Awakening

The COVID-19 crisis has brought much of American life to a grinding halt. Gone and nearly forgotten as we shelter in place are heretofore assumed national pleasures such as the advent of spring and Major League Baseball. The exhilaration that many of us experience at this time of year has been replaced by deeper and[…]

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The Word in the World

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) was a persistent advocate of Scripture reading and faithful preaching. As Bishop of Liverpool, he did all in his power to advance knowledge of the Bible. At a time when the influence of the church was declining and the population growing rapidly, Ryle maintained the importance of the Bible both for individual[…]

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