Category: Sin and Salvation

Enjoying God’s Gifts

What does it mean to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? In Matt Jenson’s book, The Gravity of Sin he traces, among other things, how Martin Luther portrayed sin as a centripetal force in the soul. It drags all of life back to self. So that everything—including vocation, religion, and God’s …

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Luther in 1517

Welcome to All Saints Eve, 2017—now reduced to the weirdly twisted event of Halloween. Halloween aside, many of us know this day marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-five Theses in Wittenberg, Germany. I’d love to be in Germany but having missed my chance let me at least offer a reflection in …

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Corruption & Correction

In this entry I’d like to consider corruption and its cure. In the news we regularly read about corruption but in most cases it isn’t explained. So let’s chase a definition by turning to Ezekiel where we read of Satan’s fall: “Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the …

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Proper Alignment

A few years ago, when Boeing was first building the B-787 Dreamliner, a magazine article caught my attention. Parts of the airplane were built separately all around the world and then gathered and assembled in Everett, Washington. So it was critical for every piece to fit perfectly once it reached the final factory floor. But …

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An Invitation

How many of us grew up with a “grumpy God” syndrome. I’m thinking mainly of those among us who have a rigorous religious heritage. So that the child’s Christmas question of “who’s been naughty or nice” is a year-round preoccupation. And God is the great moral inspector in the sky. If that’s you, consider having …

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“Anthro…what?”

Last week I used some ordinary jargon in a conversation: “Churches seem more anthropocentric than ever.” My friend was puzzled, “anthro…what?” “Sorry,” I said, “they seem more human-focused and less God-centered—‘theocentric.’” Why the jargon? Using obscure terms when normal speech works is a bad habit. And that, in turn, can fog a conversation. If, for …

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The Liar

James Warren, after the recent US election, cited President Obama as saying, “Trump understands the new ecosystem, in which facts and truth don’t matter.” In the same week we learned that a widely circulated Facebook news item—about Pope Francis endorsing Trump for president—was a bold lie. And, elsewhere, news is now out that the Volkswagen …

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Don’t be troubled

Only hours before his crucifixion Jesus was still reassuring his followers about the future. Twice over dinner he repeated his call, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1&27). This even as he knew Judas Iscariot was arranging for his immanent arrest. So, was Jesus having a Pollyanna moment? Or was he the ultimate promoter …

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Sibbes on Jesus

Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) loved Jesus. It spilled out in his life and sermons as an infectious joy. And today more and more kindred hearts are hearing of Sibbes. So what did Sibbes offer? The records of Gray’s Inn offer a tease. The Inn was an important residence hall and training center in central London, set …

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In Heaven?

Let me start by telling a true story but with some particulars changed to honor privacy. Gary’s comment caught my attention at the funeral of his father, Ricky: “I’m glad he’s finally at peace and together again with Linda.” Linda, his mother, died of cancer six years earlier. As context, I knew Linda from church. …

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