Pertinent to any discussion regarding justification and sanctification is the question of effort. Any talk of sanctification which gives the impression that our efforts secure more of God's love, itself needs to be mortified.
There is, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do, or basically about what he has done?37 comments
When it comes to engaging and influencing culture too many Christians think too highly of political activism. After decades of political activism on the part of Evangelical Christians we're beginning to understand that the dynamics and complexities of cultural change differ radically from political mobilization.39 comments
The world tells us in a thousand different ways that the bigger we become, the freer we will be. The richer, the more beautiful, and the more powerful we grow, the more security, liberty, and happiness we will experience. And yet, the gospel tells us just the opposite, that the smaller we become, the freer we will be.8 comments
Contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not about good people getting better. If anything, it is about bad people coping with their failure to be good. That is to say, Christianity concerns the gospel, which is nothing more or less than the good news that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."86 comments
There's no doubt, the Why questions of suffering are utterly perplexing. And as we search the Scriptures and consider stories such as Job's, we are tempted to see those as worst-case scenarios designed to help us get our heads straight in relation to our comparatively small "first world" problems.50 comments
It is ironic that one of the most beautiful and encouraging verses in the Bible is also one of the most dangerous. You probably know which one I'm talking about. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"14 comments
Our church was recently hit with a high-ranking moral tragedy. It was discovered that a staff member (and close friend) was engaging in marital infidelity. How do you handle something like this? What do you tell people?16 comments
Have you ever felt like you couldn't share the details of a difficult situation without someone immediately offering a solution or a spiritual platitude? Have you ever responded that way yourself? The required cheerfulness that characterizes many of our churches produces a suffocating environment of pat, religious answers to the painful, complex questions that riddle the lives of hurting people.24 comments
There are two ways we can miss the mark of righteousness before God, two ways the relationship can be destroyed. One is more or less obvious: outright sinfulness. The other is much less obvious and more subtle, one that morally earnest people have much more trouble with.1 comments
To conclude that suffering people have somehow heaped up trouble for themselves on the Cosmic Registry and that God is doling out the misery in direct proportion would be more than mistaken; it would be cruel.66 comments
It is not exactly breaking news to say that our culture has an aversion to suffering, regardless of how inescapable it may be. This is because we—you and me—have an aversion to suffering. Who wants to suffer? But the conscious avoidance of pain is one thing; the complete intolerance, or outright denial of it, is another.
A religious approach to marriage is the idea that if we work hard enough at something, we can earn the acceptance, approval, and life we think we deserve because of our obedient performance.
Jesus shows unambiguously that the greatest obstacle to getting the gospel is not "cheap grace" but "cheap law" – the idea that God accepts anything less than the perfect righteousness of Jesus.38 comments
There's an equally dangerous form of self-righteousness that plagues the unconventional, the liberal, and the non-religious types. We become self-righteous against those who are self-righteous18 comments