January 7, 2021

[GUEST POST] I was in hiding. My friends had begun to wonder if I was a vampire. I was only going out at night with the dogs. No more morning walks, no more visiting with my neighbors in the yard, no more grocery shopping, or eating out. My doctor had recommended that I apply Fluorouracil, a topical chemotherapy solution, for 21 days to treat the sun damage on my face. My skin was red and tight, flaky and crusty. Like… Read more

January 5, 2021

It’s always surprising to find something brand new in a verse you’ve read, and re-read, and studied, and re-studied dozens [if not thousands] of times before. But that’s exactly what happened a few days ago when I was looking at the Prodigal Son parable with a few students in my Square 2 course. Here’s what happened: I was reading the parable from the Gospel of Luke and we were talking about how this famous illustration of the Father’s love actually… Read more

December 31, 2020

Like everyone else, I am gleefully anticipating the end of this year from hell. Lots of bad things happened. That’s a given. For me, the worst thing was losing my Dad unexpectedly after a 10 day battle with pneumonia. But, in spite of all of the bad things we endured this year, I have to say that there were several highlights too. So, even as I pause to count my blessings in 2020, let me remind you [and myself] that… Read more

December 29, 2020

  Back in the day when I was licensed and ordained as a Southern Baptist Minister of the Gospel, one of the main doctrines I was taught to embrace was “Once Saved Always Saved” which is short-hand for “You cannot lose your salvation once you’ve accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.” But fast-forward a few decades and that doctrine has been replaced by what I might call “All Saved Always Saved” which is what the earliest Christians believed and taught… Read more

December 24, 2020

  [GUEST POST]   The Incarnation – by which we mean “God coming to dwell with us in the person of Jesus” – is God’s radical act of peacemaking. God subverted every expectation humankind had for what peace would look like; what the Messianic expectation was. The people of Israel were expecting a warrior King. Someone who would come to save the people through a military victory over their enemies and rule as this righteous warrior King. God subverted their… Read more

December 22, 2020

The beautiful paradox of the Incarnation – which Christians the world over celebrate every December 25th – is that when Christ took on flesh, it also meant that all flesh took on Christ. This miracle convergence of humanity and Deity is embodied in Christ, and because of this, everyone alive is now also infused with the living spirit of Christ. This is why the Apostle Paul could say things like this: “For since death came through a man, the resurrection… Read more

December 10, 2020

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with Father Kenneth Tanner. During our talk, he referenced a quote from Athanasius that got my wheels turning. What he mentioned was that the early Church Father had taught something about the Incarnation of Christ being a journey, not an event in time, where Jesus became fully human only when he died on the cross. That really got me thinking and so I started to dig into this quote, and into what the early… Read more

December 9, 2020

People constantly point to the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus in the Gospel of Luke as “proof” that Jesus taught the doctrine of Hell. But, that’s only because someone told them that this was what the parable was about. Anyone who actually reads the parable itself will notice that it’s not teaching about endless torment, and the point of the story isn’t about where anyone goes after they die at all. It’s actually about something much more practical…. Read more

December 8, 2020

The first thing I did when I got back from the war was to bury my gun in the back yard. I planted the 9mm pistol in the ground just next to the Oleander, beneath the shadow of the dying Mesquite tree my Father had planted over a decade ago. Not that I expected it to grow. Quite the opposite. I hoped to lay all my memories of blood and death to rest once and for all. It didn’t work…. Read more

December 4, 2020

  In our sin-obsessed version of Modern Christianity, there’s almost nothing more important than answering this question: “What is sin?” Because we’ve made the Gospel an atonement theory that specifically says the “Good News” is how Jesus suffered the wrath of God as our substitute, and that wrath and punishment was centered on one thing – the fact that we are utterly, hopelessly sinful creatures. Sin, therefore, is a very important thing. Perhaps, in this brand of Christianity, even more… Read more

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