How can I be glad in God’s anger?

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Question: "How do you reconcile the angry, wrathful God of the Old Testament to the loving, good God of the New Testament?" It's a question that I've wrestled with and am often asked about so I've decided to compile a small list of resources to address it. These are sermons I've preached to our assembly. I pray they will be of assistance to you.   Series: The Gospel of God: Paul's Letter to the Romans

Why I still believe in the local church

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An old friend recently asked my thoughts on the local church and it occurred to me that I'm odd. If anyone should hate the local church, it's me. I grew up in an extreme wing of Christian Fundamentalism. My childhood pastor—my Dad—is currently in prison. My world is full of casualties of the unspeakable evils that occurred, not just in the church, but because of the church. And I can honestly say that the greatest

What’s so good about being nice?

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Nice isn't good; mean isn't bad. There. I said it. You've long suspected my heresy. Now you have proof in black and white. But it's true. Nice isn't good and our unshakeable conviction that it is, is making us bad. Let me explain what I mean. Imagine you're walking down the street and you see a guy manhandling a woman. You have several options. One of your options is to be nice. Nice might do

What is marriage?

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I sat down this afternoon to consider a question of increasing importance in modern life. What is marriage? What exactly is marriage? What follows is a collection of my thoughts on that question. It is not my goal to outline what a marriage should look like. Or what is Christian marriage per se. But rather, my goal is to get to the very fundamental core of what constitutes a relationship as a marriage. Biblically. These

The Jesus who was and is

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Resurrection! Life! He is risen! These are the joyous exclamations of the season. The realities we celebrate during the holy week are truly glorious. Stunning. Even staggering. So staggering, in fact, that we can easily sail straight past such stupendous outcrops without taking the mental energy to notice their sheer magnitude and grandeur. If you'll allow me, I'd like to point out a few of these landmarks we know so well we sometimes forget to

The honest epitaph

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Funerals are awkward things. At a time when people are most attuned to the hard realities of truth, we often sigh as speaker after speaker tries desperately to make a halo fit around the horns of the dearly deceased. I've often thought, therefore, what it would be like if someone could invent a tombstone that gave an honest epitaph. You know, the real one. Such an innovation—alas, a mere invention of my fancy—would be at

Good change is not inevitable

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My friend, Good change is not inevitable. It seemed for years that the battle against slavery in the British Empire would be lost. Those who fought to abolish the evil of slavery—men like John Newton, William Pitt, and William Wilberforce—felt at times a sense of the impossibility of the task. They knew that this change would not happen by accident. It must be fought for. And there would be a price to pay. William

How “(500) Days of Summer” could help you make sense of the gospels

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It may be classified as a "romcom," but the subtitle corrects any such misconception: "This is not a love story. This is a story about love." The 2009 film, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, is indeed an odd commentary on love. I say "odd" because the "(500) Days" of their relationship that the film covers aren't in order. The film starts on day 290 when [SPOILER ALERT!] main characters Tom and Summer break off

Did the Jesus of the Bible exist?

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My earlier post asked the question did Jesus exist? This post addresses a slightly different question. Did the historical figure Jesus whose existence is attested by secular history resemble the Jesus which is described in the Christian Scriptures? We could ask this question in several different ways. Is the New Testament historically credible or is it merely a ragged collection of ancient myths and legends? Were the historical accounts of Jesus' life edited and manipulated

Christians and war: The innocence of horror

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War is hell. At least that's what those who've seen it say. If my vicarious experiences of war via Hollywood are anything resembling realistic, I'm inclined to agree. Many Christians over the years have considered themselves pacifists. I do not count myself among them. Still, there is something fundamentally broken about war. No other human dynamic is so perfectly tuned to bring out the worst—occasionally the best, but usually the worst—in human nature. I remember