Just out: Between 81% and 90% of U.S. adults are either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with their life. And a large swath of them feel that way without Christ. Our evangelism should take into account that in a growing secular society, the majority of the population do not cry themselves to sleep in spiritual despair.... Continue Reading →
My favorite books of 2022
I just visited our seminary in Costa Rica and gave an address on "Christian Leaders and LifelongLearning." I suggested that "reading" was one of the best tools for building up brain power. And that reading broadly, including books we disagree with, will help rescue us from our social media echo chambers. Just on the level... Continue Reading →
Before criticizing Calvinism or Arminianism, KNOW WHAT THEY REALLY THINK!
Isn’t it annoying when someone insists they know what you believe, and won’t take your word that you do not? A friend of mine who worked in a Muslim setting often heard, “You Christians believe in a trinity of Father, Son, and the Virgin Mary!” In this case, the Christian should have the first say,... Continue Reading →
Really?? I’m “ONLY a sinner saved by grace?”
I grew up with that gospel chorus (by James M. Gray, president of Moody Bible Institute) and I think I know where he was coming from. But let’s carefully unpack its repeated motif: I 'm only a sinner saved by grace or we could say - I am [present tense] only [no more than] a... Continue Reading →
The Cross and the Nails
Paul said in Colossians 1:19-20 - “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” The nails in Jesus’ time were handmade. And so, after... Continue Reading →
“Simple Christmas” Advent Devotions
Our mission, WorldVenture, has produced a package of daily Christmas devotionals, meant to help during times of pandemic. It's a free download. One of them is mine, for Day 17. Please download and enjoy! Where, O Death, is Your Sting DAY 17 My favorite Christmas book was written in the early 300s. No holly, ivy... Continue Reading →
What if Jesus were in your small group Bible study?
When I was in Israel, we got on the bus and went west from Jerusalem, and in a short while the guide said, “By the way, there is the location of Emmaus.” Today it’s just a stop on the highway outside our bus window. In fact, one of my favorite Bible passages is from Luke... Continue Reading →
The New Testament doctrine of election
I was fresh out of university when the editors of the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary asked me to write the article on election. My starting point is exegesis of texts, not systematic theology. You can read the original article in volume 2:441–444; the following is slightly paraphrased. The nature of this article is a panoramic... Continue Reading →
Paul agrees: Christ is Immanuel, God with us
According to Matthew 1:21, "Jesus" (in the form Iesous or Yeshua) means "he shall save." Matthew also states that Christ fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 - "And you shall call his name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us." In 1-2 Thessalonians, Paul also reveals how Jesus is the personal manifestation of Yahweh. The... Continue Reading →
Apostasy, Right Ahead!
Now that two public Christians have renounced their faith, some thoughts about the other 99% of us: Apostasy is a possibility for every single Christian. Every single Christian is at risk. Every single Christian is in constant risk. Now: How can I, who believe in eternal security, say this? Aren’t we supposed to tell everyone... Continue Reading →