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 …

Read More A Christian’s Charter

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, …

Read More Heart Talk

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 …

Read More Marriage Coaching

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 …

Read More Optimistic or Alive?

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 …

Read More Unity

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 …

Read More It’s all OK

A new view of life

Last week I was with a church outreach in Guatemala. We used an autorefractor supplied by Global Eyeglass Ministries to examine eyes of hundreds of local Guatemalans. And with that we also had many used and donated eyeglasses to match needs through a computer program. Once we had a match we gave the eyeglasses as …

Read More A new view of life

The Reunion

Yesterday I hosted a reunion for some Bible college friends from my undergrad years. We shared stories that only old and dear friends can enjoy. We also laughed and had some near-to-tears moments. But what have we learned over the years? Two things stand out. Humility. And values. Let me start with the values. Years …

Read More The Reunion

Above and Below

I often watch Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) shows like Nova and American Experience. Or in the UK I’ve turned to BBC Four for similar programming. And in both settings I expect to find droves of programs with one common quality: a view “from below.” It’s also true of public education. We don’t find teachers today …

Read More Above and Below