THE GOSPEL WAS ALWAYS PLAN A: GALATIANS 3:6-14

From the foundations of the earth, God’s eternal purpose was the gospel. One might wonder, however, what was the function of the Old Testament in general and the law specifically. After all, aren’t we to live good and moral lives according to the 10 Commandments and all? Good people go to heaven, right? Sure, good people go to heaven. The problem is, there is only one who is good. Jesus says plainly to the rich young ruler whom asked him on how... Read More

Are You Really A Sinner? Why There is No Place for Guilt in the Church

“Descent from the Cross” by Rogier Van Weyden—Women on the left Like a constant barrage of blows to the brow and back, splitting flesh, spilling blood, and enjoying the pain, many Christians have convinced themselves that self-abuse and guilt should be the constant mindset. Proverbially sitting at the cross for their entire lives, they refuse to let Christ die and put an end to their sin, suffering, and guilt. And while this peculiar state of... Read More

Flirting With the Fine Line of Sin: Restoring Holiness in an Age of Rebellion

I am guilty…I am so guilty. I am guilty of sometimes doing exactly what I know God doesn’t want me to do. I don’t mean in a birthed-out-of-confusion or deception way—I mean, a true and genuine rebellious spirit. A spirit that looks pleasure dead in the eye and says yes. Even in the midst of conviction, my rebellion finds a way to settle with lame and gross excuses… A few months ago I really started to question some things. If I am... Read More

Why You Might Be A Bible Shredding, Gospel Contorting Christian: A Few Key Ideas on Reading the Scripture Well

With fine precision and delicate care, the paper of this ancient tome gently separates. Slivers of verses are stripped from those which it is surrounded by, robing them from the context in which they were written. And while few would intentionally dissect the scripture, putting scissor to paper and creating a confetti of spiritual insights, we do just that. What young Christian hasn’t played popcorn Bible reading. Someone calls out a page and... Read More

The Spirit of the Pharisees in and Among Us: The Ordering of Greater and Lesser Sinners

Image by Eddie Moy We like to stack and sort, ordering things into categories that make sense. We create hierarchies of lesser and greater values of everything—of people, places, jobs, and sin. The guy working at the corner McDonalds shoveling fries into oversized containers downtown in the ghetto uses all he has to get his next fix. But just uptown in the north end of this same city, a middle-aged man living in his middle-class home with his wife,... Read More

The Wonder of the Cross: Reflections on Nails, Wood, and Blood

Good Friday, a day when Jesus was nailed to the cross for us and our sins. Many wanted nothing to do with Him, His teachings, or the life to which He called others. His price was high. Long before crucifixion even was a possibility in the disciples minds, Christ asked them to take up their crosses. He wanted them to serve and sacrifice in such a radical way that society would either embrace or expel them. Such is what Christ endured and what we should... Read More

Why Do We Suffer? Rethinking Pain’s Role in the Christian’s Life

Image by Jade Hewitt Guest Post by Andy Scott Suffering. Our world is full of it. From the single mother who is trying to feed her five children on a minimum wage job, to the little girl who is lying on her deathbed as a result of a losing battle with leukemia. The world in which we live is inundated with anguish. But where did suffering originate? To put it simply, suffering is a result of sin entering the world, a ramification of the fall. Since... Read More

Is Smoking Sinful? Rethinking Christian Liberty and the Body as a Temple

Billows of smoke in all shapes and sizes poured out of our mouths. It was a brisk night.  All of us sat around the fire, staggered here and there is lawn chairs, rocks, and logs taking in the fresh mountain air. The sound of the crackling logs and the tasty flavors of our cigars was intoxicating. This was my first time smoking. I had never really been in the crowd of kids smoking cigarets or the pungent marijuana, which in my mind smelt of putrid... Read More

Feeling the Monastic Call: Deploying Ancient Practices of Christ-Following

Image by Chris Dessaigne Sometimes the right thing to do is retreat. Battle torn, bloody, and beaten, those defending a city surrounded by her enemies and suffering defeat and defeat are demoralized and ill. And with a great blast of a horn from one of the battlements behind, the retreat is sounded. This is no permanent defeat but a temporary stay of fighting for the health and benefit of those feeling the constant barrage of the enemy. As this is... Read More

Confessions of an Over-Consuming, Gluttonous, Squanderer of God’s Wealth: Rethinking How the Church Handles Food and Finances

Image by Taylor Summach When one thinks of gluttony, images of some morbidly obese person stuffing himself with five cheeseburgers while sitting in a car is the sort of image one gets. Because very few people see this sin in themselves. Most look past the sin of gluttony in the various lists of damnable sins which if practiced cut one off from the kingdom of God. But the reality is, gluttony is a very major problem for most if not all people in America.... Read More

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