December 7, 2021

  “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”[1] It was 739 BC when the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a throne: “lofty and exalted” (Isa 6:1). One of the Seraphim cried out, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory” (Isa 6:3). When the Seraph does so, the foundations of the temple shook (Isa 6:4). Not sure about you, but if I were in Isaiah’s shoes, I might… Read more

November 30, 2021

The Old Testament is full of stories of less than perfect people. Daniel, however, is one of the rare exceptions. He is consistently portrayed in a positive light. He rejects the king’s choice food. He prays to the Lord in open defiance of the king’s edict. He faithfully endures the lion’s den. Ezekiel calls Daniel one of the “righteous” (Ezek 14:14). Thus, it may seem strange to see Daniel repenting for his nation’s sins. Surely, the nation has been faithless,… Read more

November 23, 2021

Spanish philosopher George Santayana famously said, “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Every country has a history that needs to be remembered lest it be repeated. Rwanda demands that its people never forget the massacre led by Hutu extremists. Germany is committed to remembering the evils of the Holocaust. Systemic Racism? This is my 17th post on racism (I’ll finish this series next week). Though there is always more that can be said, I… Read more

November 16, 2021

Biblically speaking, the ideal form of government is a benevolent monarchy. But until Christ returns and establishes such, we will have to do with the human governments with which we have. We do so, while at the same time recognizing that no form of human governing is perfect. All are subject to the abuse of power and the oppression of the powerless. Democracy One of the most trumpeted attributes of the US is its democratic system.[1] Democracy can work well… Read more

November 11, 2021

One of the better parts of being a pastor has been the opportunities to sit in people’s homes and get to know them. I had an older widow in one of my churches that was always a joy to see. Every so often she would ask me: “why don’t we honor veterans during our services?”—recognizing that I never actually answered her the last time she asked. I assume that last Sunday many churches throughout the US included a moment in… Read more

November 9, 2021

An astronomical rise in the US prison population began in the 1970’s during the Nixon presidency. The rate escalated even more during the tenure of Ronald Reagan. All of this was the result of a carefully orchestrated all-out assault by the US government (i.e., “the war on drugs”).[1] What is too often overlooked, however, is that this “war” intentionally targeted communities of color. Mass Incarceration in the US No other nation incarcerates people at the rate of the US.[2] And when… Read more

November 2, 2021

Perhaps the most egregious evidence of systemic racism in America has to do with the issue of mass incarceration. The evidence of racial bias in our criminal justice system isn’t just convincing — it’s overwhelming. Tim Keller noted: “It is well-known that Black people in the criminal justice system are far more often detained, arrested, and given greater sentences than White people for the same behavior and the same crimes. There are many efforts from the top to reform police… Read more

October 26, 2021

Have you ever considered: “what causes people to riot?” What comes to your mind when you think of “riots”? Do you realize that how you answer the latter question radically influences how you answer the former? Our biases are always at work. When I asked, “why do people start riots?”, some of you may have immediately harkened back to the capital riot of Jan 6, 2021. After all, at the time of this writing, it is still somewhat fresh in… Read more

October 19, 2021

If we can read Paul, Isaiah, and Jeremiah and not be challenged by their words, if we can read them and never feel a great sense of uneasiness or discomfort, then are we really reading them well? Or are we just skimming their words in the same way that we scroll through our TV programming guides until we find the channel that says the things we like? (or maybe it has the Patriots game on!). There are plenty of prophetic… Read more

October 12, 2021

Let me begin by noting that the Church is a marvelous thing. The Church has been the arm of God’s work in this world. The Church has brokered peace and ended wars. The Church has transformed cultures. The Church has fed the hungry, housed the homeless, visited the lonely, healed the hurting, and comforted the afflicted. I believe in the Church. I am writing this post because the church I just wrote about is not the Church that most people… Read more

Browse Our Archives