**Recent Update: Apparently the leadership of Crossway, the publishing house of the ESV, has come to its senses. They’ve recently decided to change course and make the ESV translation not-so-permanent. They write this on their website: In August 2016, we posted on our website that “the text of the ESV Bible will remain unchanged in all future editions printed and published by Crossway.”…We have become convinced that this decision was a mistake. We apologize for this and for any concern… Read more

While explaining his understanding of the Atonement in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis acknowledges the fact that the only way Jesus could serve as a substitute for sinners is if he was himself both God and man. He then addresses a common objection. He writes: I have heard some people complain that if Jesus was God as well as man, then His sufferings and death lose all value in their eyes, ‘because it must have been so easy for Him.’ Others… Read more

Alex Garland’s Ex Machina is a smart, sci-fi thriller starring Domnhall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander. Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson), a prodigious programmer is chosen by his employer Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the creator of Blue Book, the world’s most popular search engine, to administer a Turing test on an artificial intelligence prototype (played by Alicia Vikander). That prototype has a name, Ava, and she is the most advanced AI ever designed. She was secretly created by Nathan in his secluded… Read more

This poem by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894) is my favorite poem I’ve read in a long while. Raised in London, Rossetti was the daughter of exceptional parents. Her father, Gabriele Rossetti was an Italian poet, Dante scholar, and professor at Kings College. Frances, her very sharp mother, devoted herself to her children’s intellectual formation, steeping their imaginations with the words of the Bible, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and Augustine’s Confessions.  She was a Victorian poet whose poetry reflects her deep and abiding… Read more

This is the manuscript of a sermon preached at Stone Hill Church in Princeton, NJ. After the sermon, I led the congregation in a time of prayerful reflection of the center panel of Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (a cropped version is above). If I were brave (and perhaps wild) enough to be a part of that wandering band of men and women that constituted his initial followers, I never would have expected to see Jesus hanging on a cross. And yet… if… Read more

READING (PRAYING?) FOR SPRING Lectio Divina is Latin for divine or sacred reading. The contemplative practice dates back to at least the fourth century where we have the first recorded mention of it in The Rule of Saint Benedict. For over 1600 years, lectio divina has served as a tool in the church’s toolbox enabling the church to encounter the living God in deeply personal and profound ways. Lectio divina may best be understood as a particular mode of reading… Read more

In addition to buying loads of diapers and attending birthing class with Ursula, our German midwife, the primary way I prepared for fatherhood was to design a family crest. I spent the better part of gestation considering what parts and pieces, characteristics and virtues I most want my progeny to embody. After many hours of prayer, reflection and hand drawn concepts, our graphic designer friend, Weylon Smith, put it all together in a way that captured exactly what we dreamed… Read more

1. NICKEL CREEK: A Dotted Line Perhaps my most anticipated record of the past few years, this is a reunion album. After nearly a decade since the release of Why Should the Fire Die? (2005), Chris Thile (mandolin) and brother and sister duo, Sara (wicked fiddle) and Sean Watkins (guitar) joined forces once again after years apart doing their own thing musically. The mandolin virtuoso, Chris Thile, is a MacArthur Fellow and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship or “Genius Grant.”… Read more

This is the fourth and final installment of my series on the great hymns of Advent. To learn more about Advent, you can read the introductory post: On Advent: What It Is & Why You Need It. Part 1 on the hymns of Advent can be read here: O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Part 2 can be read here: A Hymn of Advent. Part 3 can be read here: Savior of the Nations, Come. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by… Read more

“Savior of the Nations, Comes” by Holy City Hymns from Advent No. 2 (2014) Savior of the nations, come, Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home. Marvel now, O heaven and earth, That the Lord chose such a birth. Not by human flesh and blood, By the Spirit of our God, Was the Word of God made flesh Woman’s Offspring, pure and fresh. He will come, he will come, He will come down and rescue us. Brightly doth Thy manger shine,… Read more

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