Much of the Bible is written in narrative form. It tells a story – a true story, but a story nonetheless. There is a lot of information in the Bible to digest, and it’s easy to get lost in the details and miss the big picture. So how does one put it all together? What is the essence of the Biblical story? What is the basic story line from Genesis to Revelation? Various attempts have been to condense the major themes and events in the Bible into a coherent, terse story line. Here is my attempt to arrange the puzzle pieces into a clear picture, such as it is. I hope it will tie together some loose ends that may exist in your mind and offer you a bird’s-eye view of the greatest story ever told: (more…)
February 19, 2016
November 20, 2015
Trying to make Christian morality palatable to those in moral rebellion against God is like trying to make civil law palpable to criminals. They will never like God’s laws no matter how reasonable we demonstrate those laws to be. Defiant children do not care that eating too much candy will make them throw up or give them diabetes. They simply want candy. Likewise, those who want their sexual sin, their abortion, and a myriad of other sins do not care about the wisdom in God’s laws. They want what they want, and they will ridicule and deride those who say otherwise. This is not to say that we should not attempt to explain the reason for and benefits of God’s law. It’s just to say that we shouldn’t be surprised when this fails to change their behavior.
March 3, 2015
Many Christians wonder whether God will forgive them for intentional sin – particularly premeditated and habitual sins. It’s easy to believe God will forgive us for accidental sins, but not for sins that we plan out in advance or choose to do over and over again.
So, will God forgive such sins? Before we answer that question we should be clear about what God thinks of these sins. He hates them because He hates all sin. Sin is contrary to His holy nature. Sin ruptures God’s relationship with us, and this grieves Him. He has given us the power to choose righteousness (Romans 6; 8:1-4), and yet we choose unrighteousness instead. (more…)
February 24, 2015
Now that Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, more Christians are asking whether smoking marijuana is truly immoral. After all, it’s legal. Joe Carter has a thoughtful article on this issue that I found extremely helpful. He argues that smoking marijuana is immoral. Here is Carter’s argument in a nutshell (with some ad-lib on my part at certain points): (more…)
December 5, 2013
Christians often disagree regarding matters of personal holiness. Those defending themselves against the charge of sin for some X will often respond by saying, “It’s not that bad.” Of course, to say something is “not that bad” is tantamount to saying it’s “not that good” either. In such cases, we should be honest with ourselves and others and just admit that X is not spiritually advantageous for us, even if it is morally tolerable. Would we be better off if we abstained? Perhaps. Are we sinning if we don’t? No.
July 29, 2013
We should not confuse permissiveness for grace. Grace says, “I love you and forgive you, so you need to stop this sin,” not “I love you and forgive you, so it doesn’t matter what you do.” We are living in a culture that thinks love and forgiveness mean we should permit people to continue in their sin while we continue in our silence. This is not grace, and this is not love. Grace and love will always confront sin, because grace and love are the remedy for sin, not the license to continue in it.