Category Archives: Salvation

Faith Comes By Hearing … reexamining a familiar text

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Rom. 10:17, KJV) So reads a popular text that is often used by Christians for various variations on a theme that usually centers around listening to the preacher.  The usual interpretation is best distilled, actually, by the rendering in the New International Version (2011, not 1973 or 1984): “Consequently, faith comes from … Continue reading Faith Comes By Hearing … reexamining a familiar text »

How Should We Respond? When non-Christians ask us about faith …

Last week Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times reporter for whom I have a great deal of respect, published an interview he had with Tim Keller, a theologian and pastor I also respect greatly.  In it, Kristof says “… I deeply admire Jesus and his message, but am also skeptical of themes that have been integral to Christianity — the virgin birth, the Resurrection, the … Continue reading How Should We Respond? When non-Christians ask us about faith … »

Why do I believe? Part 13 — Not for Heaven’s Sake

Lots of folks, when they discuss the truth (or not) of faith, or when they try to sell Christianity to outsiders, spend a great deal of energy on issues surrounding the afterlife.  The crassest version, but one many of us have encountered, is encapsulated in the question “do you know where you’d be if you die tonight?”  The core message, of course, is that we’re … Continue reading Why do I believe? Part 13 — Not for Heaven’s Sake »

The Lamb That Was Slain – A Passover/Easter Reflection

This Holy Saturday, between Good Friday and Easter, I was reflecting on the idea of Jesus as the slain Passover lamb.  The association is certainly Biblical, not only in the obvious context of Jesus’ death taking place on Passover, but also in the testimony of the Apostle Paul in 1:Cor. 5:7.  Paul doesn’t go into detail what he means about Jesus being the Passover lamb, … Continue reading The Lamb That Was Slain – A Passover/Easter Reflection »

“Speaking of Jesus – The Art of Not-Evangelism” by Carl Medearis (book review)

This is a review, but mostly a recommendation, of Carl Medearis’ book Speaking of Jesus – The Art of Not-Evangelism.  I’ll get to the review in a minute, but I’ll start by saying up front:  seriously, this is a book you should buy and read.  If you’re a Christian who’s interested in evangelism, you should read it.  If you’re sick to death of Christians trying … Continue reading “Speaking of Jesus – The Art of Not-Evangelism” by Carl Medearis (book review) »

More thoughts contra Penal Substitution

My blogging friend Morgan Guyton recently published a post in which he took on Four cringe-worthy claims of popular penal-substitution theology.  I heartily commend the post to all, and I cringe right along with Morgan each of the points he highlighted.  Nevertheless I find myself pushing back in some regards, and pushing further in others.  My intent here is to interact directly with Morgan’s article, … Continue reading More thoughts contra Penal Substitution »

The King Jesus Gospel – Book Review

Scot McKnight’s latest book The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited, is a worthwhile read and I commend it to all who believe that the message of Jesus is, can be, or ought to be genuinely “good news.”  McKnight has done an excellent job of analyzing what Jesus and the first-century Apostles meant when they spoke of the “gospel” (gospel being derived from … Continue reading The King Jesus Gospel – Book Review »

Understanding the Wrath of God

Although I read Love Wins back when it first came out, I have recently wanted to see and experience the enhanced E-book version that includes video and a study guide. That’s not the point of this post, what I would like to focus on is more on the thread of Rob Bell thrashing and a common theme he is hit with in God’s wrath. As … Continue reading Understanding the Wrath of God »

What IS a Christian, anyway?

I had a friend ask me today what my definition of a Christian is.  I resisted the question to some degree, as I remain extremely troubled by the obsession many have, with drawing lines to delineate who is “in” and “out” of fellowship, orthodoxy, or whatever.  I am not taking anything back that I said in my Word About Creeds.  Nevertheless, if I claim to … Continue reading What IS a Christian, anyway? »

The Way is Narrow

Several years ago I made an observation which led to a question: “Why don’t Christians stand out in culture?” My observation was that so many Christians, particularly in the US, blend in with everyone else. With that observation in mind Matthew 7:13-14 when Jesus states that “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, … Continue reading The Way is Narrow »