Two Sundays ago, I preached Nehemiah 3. It's a chapter that lists the various men and women who rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. Here's a taste: "...Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph repaired opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah repaired. Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub … Continue reading Can’t I Just Skip the Boring Parts of the Bible?
First off, the book of Ruth presents itself as the solution to Judges's problem. The book of Judges sums itself up in its final sentence: "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Turn the page, and Ruth 1:1, we find ourselves in same world: "In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land." However, in verse 2 we are introduced to a man named "Elimelech", which translates "God is King."
The same story can be a tragedy or triumph depending on who you are rooting for. I grew up in North Carolina in the heated NCAA basketball rivalry Duke v. UNC. Twice every winter, the two schools would meet on the court. Every game ended in cheers or tears. I won't name names, but I … Continue reading The Two Ways to Read the Old Testament
I concluded a series on the book of Titus yesterday, and--as always--a bunch of stuff got left on the cutting room floor. This week, a really juicy connection (Can connections be juicy? This is my blog--who asked you anyways?!) was left out of the sermon that I just couldn't let pass. So, for those of you … Continue reading Why Did Paul Winter in Nicopolis?
There is a reason we are enamored with The Shack. We have a longing to see God's purposes played out in metaphor, in terms we can touch and taste and feel. We are feeble creatures, and we need spiritual realities to be depicted in physical terms. The Shack scratches an itch--albeit poorly, like when you reach your hand … Continue reading Who Needs ‘The Shack’? We’ve Got Abraham, Isaac, and the Servant!
Acts is a book about the foundation of the church, but it is a book foundational to the church in every generation. In his second volume, Luke invites us into the fellowship of the local church. We hear the preaching of the apostles. We witness baptism. We taste the life together (κοινωνια, Acts 2:42). We hear … Continue reading Churches that Love the Gospel…Love Paul
Any of these sound familiar? "I'm gonna travel and see the world while I'm young." "I need to make sure I do everything I want to do before I settle down and think about starting a family." "I need to spend tons of time working while I'm young so I'll have a chance to advance … Continue reading Don’t Waste Your [Young] Life