Category: Sin and Salvation

A Problem

Let’s think about Genesis 12-16—of God’s promise of a son to Abram and Sarai. This son extended God’s blessing promise made to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15. And, as we now know, the birth anticipated a son born of Abram’s lineage centuries later: Jesus, the Son of God. The plan started badly. As the …

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Pompeii

Luca and Anca spent the day with me visiting the ruins of Pompeii near Naples. Then the next day Luca and I visited the Naples archealogical museum where most of the artifacts of Pompeii’s destruction from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius are on display. I was surprised by my response to the experience. Let me …

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Point-Counterpoint

The apostle Paul hated counterfeits. He knew when he launched new churches opponents of the faith would soon pop up with false teachings. Some even followed him directly—as in his trip from Thessalonica to Berea—just to stir chaos (Acts 17:13). Jesus anticipated this sort of thing in his parable of the weeds (Matt. 13:24-43): “The …

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Investing

“Start making retirement investments as soon as you start earning!” This was a Law of the Medes and the Persians, inviolable and unchanging. That truth—and its corollary, that compounding interest is magical—was the stuff of high school economics in my day. With a lifetime of steady investments we would retire in style. And this was …

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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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