Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! On this day, I like to post Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation as a reminder of how much we have to give thanks to God for in America: By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation. The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and … Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving!

Gordon MacDonald re: Ted Haggard

Ted Haggard recently admitted to buying sex and meth from a gay prostitute. That might not make the news any other day, but Haggard is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Community Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Or rather, he was. Now he is just another example of evangelical hypocrisy. Surveying the damage Haggard has done to the cause of Christ, pastor and author Gordon MacDonald makes a few soul-searching remarks about how to proceed. Back in the 1980s, MacDonald himself committed adultery. His church discipled him, with help from leaders in the evangelical community, … Continue reading Gordon MacDonald re: Ted Haggard

The Purpose of Theology (Romans 16.25-27)

Listen to The Daily Word online.  What is the purpose of Christian theology?  Since I was a high school student, I have enjoyed reading books about God. Not devotional books, however—much to my mother’s alarm. No, I enjoy reading theology books, and the bigger they are, the better. I enjoyed reading books about God so much, in fact, that I chose a career likely to pay me for reading them.  Over the last twenty years, however, I have noticed something about big theology books. Many of them inform us about God, but they do not inspire us to worship him. … Continue reading The Purpose of Theology (Romans 16.25-27)

God, Satan, Jesus, and You (Romans 16.20)

Listen to The Daily Word online. Today, I want to talk about God, Satan, Jesus, and you.  In Romans 16.20, the Apostle Paul brings all four together when he writes, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Let’s take a closer look at each phrase.  First, the God of peace. What a wonderful description of God, especially in the turbulent times in which we live! How many times have we turned on the TV news lately only to see stories about radical jihadists who are killing innocents … Continue reading God, Satan, Jesus, and You (Romans 16.20)

Spiritual Novelties (Romans 16.17-19)

Listen to The Daily Word online. This past spring, just in time for Easter, the National Geographic Society released a documentary on The Gospel of Judas, along with the text of the gospel and a book about its discovery. That gospel was a fourth-century copy of a second-century text, purporting to describe a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. It did not tell us anything historically valuable about Jesus or Judas, although it did give us interesting information about a small sect of second-century Christian heretics. So why did The Gospel of Judas get so much attention? In my opinion, … Continue reading Spiritual Novelties (Romans 16.17-19)

Names (Romans 16.1-15)

Listen to The Daily Word online. The final chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans seems anticlimactic. Chapters 1-11 teach Christian theology. Chapters 12-15 teach Christian ethics. But chapter 16 merely sends Christian greetings to 26 individuals, 24 of whom Paul names. Those greetings may seem anticlimactic, but in reality, they are the point of the entire letter.  Think of the issue this way. The theology of Romans tells us that God saves sinners by grace through faith. The ethics of Romans tells us that God empowers those whom he has saved to perform good works. But sinners and saved … Continue reading Names (Romans 16.1-15)

“A New Generation of Adults Bends Moral and Sexual Rules to Their Liking”

Are Baby Busters less traditionally moral than Baby Boomers and other older generational cohorts? According to this report by the Barna Group, they are. Do Americans share much common ground when it comes to defining appropriate moral behavior and attitudes? Most Americans say they are concerned about the moral condition of the country and the vast majority of adults describe themselves as moral people. But the nation’s residents have difficulty agreeing on what a “moral” life should look like – much less how to make ethical decisions or how to define moral standards. A new nationwide survey from The Barna … Continue reading “A New Generation of Adults Bends Moral and Sexual Rules to Their Liking”

Struggle by Praying (Romans 15.30-33)

Listen to The Daily Word online. “Life is difficult.”   That is the first sentence of The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, and it is one of the truest sentences I have ever read in any book. We cannot escape life’s difficulties; we can only struggle with them. And as Christians, we struggle first and foremost by praying.  The Apostle Paul knew how difficult life could be from personal experience. In 2 Corinthians 11.23-28, he enumerates some of the hardships he endured in his missionary journeys:  Frequent imprisonment At least five floggings with a whip At least three beatings … Continue reading Struggle by Praying (Romans 15.30-33)