Category: The Spiritual Life

The Flesh

Someone recently asked me about Paul’s use of “flesh” in his New Testament letters. It’s a good question. The term sarx—“flesh”—in Paul’s era meant “muscular tissues.” Or, with animals, their “meat.” But Paul clearly had more in mind as he linked human “sinful passions” to “the flesh” (e.g. Ro. 7:5). So that sin engages our …

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Power & Love

I enjoyed a six-week internship at Christianity Today magazine many years ago. The Army paid for it as I returned to civilian life after two years as a draftee. At the same time Richard Nixon was impeached for his role in the Watergate burglary cover-up. Back then the CT offices were just a block from …

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Encouraged?

Last night I watched the Washington State High School football championship. Our local team won so our crowd was ecstatic: undefeated! Smiles were everywhere. At least on our side of the stadium. Not so much on the other side where their crowd slipped away quietly, many before the game ended. The world is full of …

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A Christian’s Charter

Our title is taken from a sermon series in Richard Sibbes’ Works (vol. 4) where “charter” spoke of a set of formal rights. The thought was inspired by a Bible text, 1 Corinthians 3:21-23, where Sibbes found a set of benefits for Christians who are “one with Christ” (p.29). Sibbes began with the promise, “all …

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Heart Talk

What do we talk about? About our family? Work? Sports? Politics? Weather? Fishing? Money? Favorite apps? Food? This simple question invites reflection because our words display our hearts. As Jesus said: “For from within, out of the heart of man come [thoughts, words, and deeds]” (Mark 7:21-22). Forgive my brackets. He actually said, “evil thoughts, …

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Marriage Coaching

Last night I attended a fundraiser for MarriageTeam, a marriage-coaching ministry. As a lifelong bachelor no one is asking me for marriage advice, but this event was a chance to learn about a resource I can offer to friends. And they’re good. This endorsement comes from what was shared at the event. A couple I’ve …

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Optimistic or Alive?

A number of scholars have commented on Augustine’s “pessimism.” The label has also been attached to Martin Luther and John Calvin who shared Augustine’s belief in Original Sin. That is, they all affirmed the Bible teaching that humanity died in Adam. So that no one has spiritual life without new birth. Jesus supported this when …

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Unity

What do we make of unity? Unity is celebrated in the Bible. As in the unity of marriage. Or in the broader call to the unity of “one faith.” Brotherly unity is elevated in Psalm 133. Yet the impulse for unity is more than a Bible theme. We love to be part of something bigger …

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It’s all OK

“Nothing is too hard” for God. God reminded Jeremiah of this just after he warned his prophet of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, where Jeremiah lived and ministered (see Jer. 32). And with this warning God also promised a time to come when Jerusalem would again be restored. Then everything would be OK. God, after …

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