September October 2019

A Beautiful Witness

Cosmos and cosmetic — two words that don’t seem to have much in common but share a common Greek root. The Greek word has two primary meanings: order and beauty. While these ideas might seem disparate to us, in Greek they were closely related. Things in proper order, like the cosmos, were beautiful. Beautiful things […]

Moving Beyond Information

Chalkboards, classrooms, and open books dominate web search results for teaching-related imagery. When we include the word Christian, then pulpits, pews, and Bibles join the mix. Because we are heirs of the Enlightenment and citizens of the Information Age, our concept of discipleship and teaching is often conflated with the notion of sharing information. We […]

The Gospel’s Proper Order

“I’d like to be baptized someday, but I don’t think I’m ready yet. I need more time.” I’ve heard statements along these lines several times. Those who speak them wrongly believe that they must first be good enough before receiving the salvation that Christ offers them. Some have parents imposing this false belief on them. Others […]

A Friend to Jesus

In Luke 7:36-50, two people befriend Jesus. The first is Simon the Pharisee. Though the other Pharisees want to kill Jesus, Simon realizes He could be the real thing; He can heal and even raise the dead. So Simon invites Jesus home for a meal, and He accepts. Soon after they sit down to eat, […]

Empowered Witnesses

Jerusalem, ad 33. The fledgling church had been given a mission, a call that would challenge social norms, upend religious traditions, and identify her members as a group of radicals. It was a call they ran from. Yes, the disciples had seen Jesus resurrected. They had heard Him speak and watched Him ascend. But that […]

Taking Jesus to Jail

I’ve often thought I should visit women in jail and tell them about Jesus, but it never worked out. My excuses seemed legitimate. I had a young family to care for, we often moved for my husband’s career, and I was barely meeting deadlines on the four books the Lord led me to write. One […]

Why Holiness

We are besieged in our culture with messages about situational ethics and moral relativism. “If it feels good, do it,” we have been told for decades. And where did that get us? What if God has a different message for His children? Peter emphasizes that God’s plan for us is holiness. Quoting Leviticus, Peter reminds […]

A Call to Obedience

Is it possible to experience a church environment with singing, reading Scripture, preaching, and celebrating every Sabbath, without fully experiencing the lordship of Jesus Christ? “Really?” you say. “How could you not know the Lord Jesus?” Jesus on the sidelines isn’t so far-fetched! Did you know that happened in the first century? The church community […]

How do we know what is abolished from the old covenant?

How do we know what is abolished from the old covenant? Is Leviticus 19:19 still binding?   We should recognize a basic tension in the New Testament. On one side, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable . . . for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). And Jesus says, “It […]

a church in the woods

Learning to Love the Church

I used to think Christianity was a religion full of rules and regulations, all designed to determine if you were a Good Christian or a Bad Christian. But all of that is wrong; none of it is in the Bible. All of that “do good, get good” stuff is mere religiosity, cannibalized Christianity. The truth […]