Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Unlocking Heaven

 


"We proclaim the gospel to the world so that they may be saved."

If you've ever been locked out of a place you were desperately needing to get into (especially if it was urgent), you know how frustrating it can be not to have the key to get in. Many of the doors in our lives have but one key each and we keep them in a special place, knowing that it's in our best interest not to lose them. When you're seeking to unlock that old shed, your everyday house key won't do. You need the key with the perfect fit.

Yet we know that locks can be picked. As our church's resident locksmith knows, where there's a will, there's a way. Especially considering today's use of electronic locks, it is possible to hack your way past any locked barrier if you have the right amount of knowledge and skill.

Not so with heaven.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Always Living for God

 


"We live for God wherever we are, knowing He has put us there."

This past December, a pair of friends from New Jersey set sail for Florida in their Catalina 30 sailboat, seeking a warm escape from the winter. The voyage was going well until they encountered a storm near North Carolina and their boat was damaged--including the ripping-away of their sail. For ten days the men were effectively lost at sea, having no power to rig or steer, as yet another storm rocked their boat, sending them even farther from shore. Their cell phones were dead (they drifted too far for cell service, anyway). They had little food and eventually ran out of water.

Figuratively speaking, the storms of life sometimes have us feeling a bit lost at sea. There are even those times when "life comes at you hard" and we endure particularly excruciating hardship. Circumstances change radically; love is lost, harm is done, and the pain is overwhelming. It can be very disorienting, even causing us to feel hopeless.

But is life ever hopeless? It depends.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Fellowship: A Blessed Obligation


 

"We love each other and cherish the fellowship of God's people."

The first question found in the Heidelberg Catechism is, "What is your only comfort in life and death?" Provoking question, isn't it?

The answer may surprise you. The catechism responds, "That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ."

I propose that you could give someone the same answer if you were asked, "What is the reason for your commitment to your local church?"

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

2022: No Christian Music Review

 


Earlier this year I announced on Facebook that I won't be doing a Christian music review this year. Walking away from the farthest-reaching ministry I started through this website was not the easiest decision I'd ever made. However, this was the right choice.

Because I take the music review game so seriously, I consciously sought to produce that absolute best review possible and I wouldn't accept a less-than-full effort from myself. As the years went on (I started doing this in 2014), I learned of more and more "fishing holes" where I could find lesser-known Christian music and, due to the accessibility of recording equipment today, more and more Christian albums have been released (400-500 annually). This combination led to me putting in 100+ hours (150+ hours? 200+ hours? I don't know...) to make my music review. These hours were jammed into November-December each year.

For now--for this year, at least--that personal contribution is not sustainable. I'm parenting, pastoring, and authoring. I can't squeeze in that large of a project anymore.

Sadly, I don't have a place to point you to get the best music of 2022. As I write this, I'm listening to the top album from Brett McCracken's end-of-year Christian music list published through The Gospel Coalition and...it's not close to what I would have chosen. I'm sorry I can't help.

However, you can always access my past reviews through this website. May they continue to bless you for years to come.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 12, 2022

My New Book

I have just published my second book. It's a topic that not many people like to talk about -- head coverings and hair lengths as presented by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11. Read at your own risk.

How's that for marketing?

It's available for free as a PDF for those interested. It's also available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback. You should be able to get it in the Apple store soon.

To access the free PDF, click the cover below. I've added the book's introduction below that. At the very bottom of this post you can order a print copy by only paying a $3.50 minimum for shipping.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Modern Tech's Great Revelation

Introduction

It's no secret that technology is a two-edged sword. We've all heard the ways that our phones are changing us and we're well-acquainted with the dangers of the internet. We all know about the distractions and annoyances. But lately I've been thinking about the detrimental sin that is being exposed through smartphone and internet dependence -- and I'm wondering if we even realize what's happening.

Our relationship with our phones and the internet is a major factor for nearly all of us in nearly every facet of our lives. To be in the loop, you have to be connected; to be connected, you need this piece of technology; to use this piece of technology, you need these apps; to use these apps, you need to get notified; to get notified in a timely manner, you need to keep this piece of technology, with its apps and notifications, with you at all times so that it can tell you what it wants when it wants, regardless of whatever else may be going on.

This is bad.

This phenomenon that has swept the globe is not merely a pit of diversions and interruptions; it is, in many cases, a revelation of destructive lies that are corrupting our thinking and living.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Shepherds Must Be On Guard


 This article originally appeared in the July-August 2022 edition of Voice Magazine.

The Pastor’s Position

Pastors carry an impossible responsibility. Having been in ministry for about a decade, I’ve come to learn this reality firsthand. Feeding God’s sheep, protecting the flock from wolves, and not letting yourself fail in the process is an utterly unattainable assignment for feeble men. Praise God there’s more to the story.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Biblicism, Confessions, Womanhood, & Christian Duty

 



Introduction

It's becoming increasingly common for some theologians to mock individual Bible study. Picking up the word of God, reading it for yourself, and heeding what the Lord has said can be couched in language that makes the process sound like a fool's errand. These theologians will claim that without the help of historical secondary sources, it's nigh impossible for an individual to understand the biblical text in accordance with historic Christian orthodoxy.

Aside from essentially rejecting the perspicuity of Scripture, this understanding of the Christian faith generates more questions than answers. How do we know what heresy is? How are we to determine the fitness of those teachers who seek to influence our understanding of the Bible? What theology does God want us to presuppose in our Bible study, in contrast with the theology that is derived from Bible study?

Friday, February 25, 2022

A Quick Update

 


Hello there.

You may have noticed that I haven't published an article this year. Soon, I will! There are 2-3 articles that are in development right now. However, due to a variety of factors I haven't been able to sit down and write in a focused manner as much as I like. I anticipate having that time soon, though...So keep an eye out!

One of the additional projects I've been working on this year is a weekly podcast series that follows The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (Mormon) Sunday School curriculum. They're going through the Old Testament church-wide this year and I'm coming alongside the study to offer a Bible Church pastor's perspective. I encourage you to check that out even if you aren't particularly interested in Mormon teachings. You can check out that series on Facebook, YouTube, and Soundcloud.

Of course I still host the Do Theology Podcast, too. We always have lots of fun and exciting things going on over there. The episode coming out this coming Tuesday should stir the pot a little. :)

On Sundays, I'm co-teaching Sunday School and finishing up preaching through 1 Corinthians. You can find all of that on our church's YouTube and Soundcloud pages.

This is a lot of content. May the Lord use it to grow us all for His honor and glory.

Thanks for the support and God bless.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

An Open Letter To Women Who Are Missionary Dating



Introduction

Hello there,

You probably don't know me, but I hope you'll heed the advice in this letter. I'd like to spare you some years (or decades) of pain. This is a sobering letter, but I pray it's also life-changing.

There's a man that you love who isn't everything you want him to be. That's not a surprise -- nobody's perfect.

You're a Christian and he's not. It's a big deal, but is it a deal-breaker?

So far your religious differences haven't hindered your relationship. His "shortcomings" haven't changed the way you feel about him. It's a little awkward sometimes to be sure, but you think this issue will take care of itself along the way. You believe that as long as you love one another it will all work out. You think you can still get married and live a happy life. In fact, you believe it's quite possible that once you're married he'll see the light and believe in Jesus. Why wouldn't he? Well...

Many women have been in your shoes and have thought that the men they loved would change.

Very rarely does it happen.