From fear and trembling to refuge (Psalm 2)

I have always had a particular attraction to Philippians 2:12, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling," partly because it creates a crisis for evangelicals with a formulaic "decision for Christ" account of salvation. I do believe that justification by faith is a core part of our salvation, but I also think that δικάιοω (justify) means "make just" more than "declare just" in a way that the English language screws up with the word "justification." Though we need to have Christ's justif … [Read more...]

A Call to Humility and Repentance

My buddy Derek wrote a post yesterday about how it's not inappopriate for Christians to either mourn or celebrate in response to a presidential election. I agree with what Derek had to say; it was a legitimate reminder to be gracious in responding to the emotions of our friends. I do also think that all Christians regardless of our political views need to be called to humility and repentance. We have just been through a very acrimonious campaign season in which we have all sinned by saying hurtfu … [Read more...]

Why I hate doctrine but love Jesus (response to a similarly named video)

Over the last two days, a video by spoken word artist Jeff Bethke called "Why I hate religion but love Jesus" has gone viral on youtube. … [Read more...]

“I am not the messiah!”

So how many of you know something about John the Baptist? If you had to describe him in one word, what would it be? What about humble? Well it’s not the first word that comes to my mind either. Some of you know that Pastor Larry and I try to preach on the same passage each week. So when Pastor Larry told me the topic for this week was humility and the model for humility was John the Baptist, I was perplexed. John the Baptist was loud and rude and judgmental. He was a fire and brimstone sidewalk p … [Read more...]

"I am not the messiah!"

So how many of you know something about John the Baptist? If you had to describe him in one word, what would it be? What about humble? Well it’s not the first word that comes to my mind either. Some of you know that Pastor Larry and I try to preach on the same passage each week. So when Pastor Larry told me the topic for this week was humility and the model for humility was John the Baptist, I was perplexed. John the Baptist was loud and rude and judgmental. He was a fire and brimstone sidewalk p … [Read more...]

May the Arrogant Be Put to Shame: Monster-Psalm Meditation #10

Psalm 119:73-80  Your hands made me and formed me;    give me understanding to learn your commands.  May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,    for I have put my hope in your word.  I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous,    and that in faithfulness you have humbled me. … [Read more...]

Jesus: the Hood Ornament for Our Self-Importance

Viridiana Martinez shared the following photo on her facebook page this past weekend:If the bottom text is too fuzzy for you to read, the whole billboard says, "We follow Christ, so it's basically a win/win for you to follow us." The arrogance of this advertisement is astonishing. I get that this particular church is trying to make a play on words since the word "follow" probably refers to following the church's actions online on twitter or some similar network. But this sign captures an … [Read more...]

Betrayal and Self-Righteousness

Walking in the Valley Lenten Series #3, 3/26/2011 Text: Mark 14:1-11During my sophomore year at UVA, I betrayed my school. Some of you may remember Steve Wojciechowski, the most hated point guard in Duke basketball history. In Wojo’s senior year, the Blue Devils came to play at UVA and I went to the game wearing a Duke sweatshirt. UVA was up by 1 with less than two seconds remaining. Wojo got the ball and dribbled it quickly down the court, but mysteriously the game clock didn’t start. When a U … [Read more...]

Anger: Deadly Drug or Zeal for God

Deadly Sins Sermon Series, 1 out of 7 -- 10/16/2010 Text: selections from JonahIn the late nineties at the University of Virginia, we had a hellfire preacher who would come out every fall to verbally abuse people in the amphitheater. He sent all of us to hell, Christians and non-Christians alike. He would always wear a suit that was very wrinkled and sometimes soaking wet. He usually drew quite a crowd. The frat-boys loved him and did their best to make the event entertaining for everybody … [Read more...]


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