In his classic book on sanctification, Holiness (1877), J. C. Ryle, an evangelical Anglican bishop, penned a profound paragraph on the importance of Christ being both divine and human. It is rare to encounter such devotionally-rich reflections in modern Christian literature, so I offer it to you for your meditation today.
Here’s a bit of history that can help you understand something important about Paul's Letter to the Romans. The earliest house churches in Rome would have been primarily Jewish and would have culturally felt Jewish, but in A.D. 49 the Roman Emperor Claudius kicked the Jews out of Rome. Jewish Christians, of course, would have … Continue reading Something About the Book of Romans that will Help You Read it Better
Word meanings sometimes shift. I have begun to wonder whether one commonplace word has begun to shift recently—aiding certain contemporary Christians who want to minimize their sin and justify ongoing sin patterns. There’s nothing new, of course, about Christians searching for ways to avoid feeling bad about sinning. But modern Christians have become remarkably adept … Continue reading “Broken” as an Excuse for Repetitive Sinning
When I reach for a book from my reference shelf, which books do I reach for most often? Apart from biblical commentaries, here is a list of the 20 books I am most likely to pull off my shelf (in no particular order): A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, … Continue reading When I Reach for a Book from my Reference Shelf…
Where might God want you to serve in ministry? I have just added a Spiritual Ministries Guide to my Resources Page. The Guide can help you think through various ministries God may have for you to build up his church and extend his kingdom work in the world. The Guide is an alternative to spiritual abilities … Continue reading Spiritual Ministries Guide
I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from … Continue reading Is the Bible Clear?
The key insight of the Enneagram that Christians seem most attracted to—and that, in many people’s opinions sets it apart from other personality and strengths-finding tests—is its diagnosis of people’s sinful tendencies (what some Enneagramites refer to as “passions” and “fixations”). In other words, the Enneagram is supposed to help us identify nine detrimental paths … Continue reading Rather than the Enneagram: Let the Bible Highlight Your Sin Tendencies
As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen. Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well: “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” … Continue reading Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit
About four years ago, politically conservative news commentator Dennis Prager (Jewish in his faith) posted 11 short videos about the Ten Commandments. Since then Prager has received an astonishing 2-4 million views on each video. A friend at my church recently asked what I thought of these videos. So, for his sake I listened to … Continue reading Dennis Prager on the Ten Commandments: A Few Reflections
I recently participated in A Call to Fast and Pray at Biola. This event was the vision of Peter Brown (a current graduate student at Biola). Fifty or so Biola students gathered to eat dinner together at the start of the fast and to listen to a message by Biola professor Jon Lunde. At evening’s … Continue reading A Liturgy for Fasting and Prayer