“Behold! I Make All Things New”

Go with me back in time. It is 6:17 in the morning, April 6th, the 17th year of Tiberius Caesar. It is a few moments before sunrise. We are in a dark place, somewhere in Judea, a troubled province of the Roman Empire. There is a sudden movement of the earth beneath our feet. We brace ourselves in the darkness. It is an earthquake! Unable to see anything in the darkness, suddenly we hear the low, grinding sound of a heavy stone door being rolled away. Bright light intermittently enters the dark chamber where we find ourselves. The stone comes […]

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The Frail Strength of Humility

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3). Hung on the cross Let’s go back in time and imagine that we have followed the Savior along the Via Dolorosa on his way to Calvary. When we arrive at the hill, we are startled by the two thieves writhing in agony, already nailed to their crosses. The central cross, the place of greatest infamy, is where the soldiers will raise up Jesus to die. We see the two thieves and shudder. Several days before, James and John, […]

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The Glorious Serendipity of the Gospel’s Comic Turn

Read the Passage: Genesis 3:20 Serendipity is a splendid word that captures the essence of the gospel’s movement from suffering to glory (Luke 24:26). Its formal definition is “an unexpected yet pleasant outcome.” It is the familiar “blessing in disguise.” The effect of this unexpected redemption upon our guilty souls is one of deep and profound irony. It astounds us. It amazes us with wonder. When we expect “poetic justice” to be charged against us, we are shocked instead to discover God’s plan for us is “poetic mercy.” The mercy of grace is serendipitous! In the biblical world, where resurrection […]

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Jesus, the Light of the World

(Scroll down to leave a comment on how Jesus is the Light of the World to you) A charming technique of master portrait artists is chiaroscuro, the practice of contrasting light and darkness. Gerard van Horthurst’s The Adoration of the Shepherds (1622) offers a beautiful example of this technique. In the painting, the Christ child in the manger is the sole source of light. His little body, like a frail candle in the darkness, scatters the shadows from all who adore him. Like master portrait artists, the Gospel writers frequently appeal to the idea that Christ is the light in […]

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The Mathematics of the Gospel

(Scroll down to leave a comment on Gospel Mathematics) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This most beloved verse in all the Bible was spoken by the Savior himself to Nicodemus. As we might expect, it contains many mysteries of the faith. One of its great teachings is not apparent to the readers of its English translation, but is very apparent to readers of Greek. The original language is highly inflected, which means that it can communicate emphasis by […]

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Gospel Hope In The Seasons Of Life

Last month we saw how God arranged the sequence of night and day to teach the gospel. At creation he established a sequence of evening followed by morning, of darkness followed by light. This pattern reminds us of our gospel hope that death itself will one day give way to new life. Every day God is faithful. Every day he calls us out of the heavy darkness of night into the marvelous light of dawn. We learn to recognize that when we walk through the shadows of darkness, God is drawing closer and closer to the dawn of redemption. But […]

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Gospel Hope in Days of Darkness

Do you remember when you were a child learning how to tell the time? First, your parents told you the strange news that somehow a clock had “hands.” Next, they showed you that one hand was longer than the other, and based on this odd fact, you could identify the time of day down to the very minute! Then came the wonderful day when you realized you didn’t have to bother with any of this complicated business at all. Digital clocks were far more practical! As children, we don’t just learn to tell time by looking at a clock. From […]

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What is True Religion?

(Scroll down to leave a comment on what makes Christianity a true religion) We have defined religion from its Latin root as our understanding which “ties or binds together” our thoughts about God. In popular usage religion means the web of beliefs that inform how we understand God. Religion “ties together” how we think about God and how we behave as a consequence. Clearly we must know what “religion” is in order to differentiate the true from the false. Where do we begin? In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces,[1] the mythographer Joseph Campbell studied religious “myths” from […]

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Is Jesus God?

This is the third Google high frequency search question we are considering. While the evangelists and apostles are clear that Jesus is God (several citations will be given at the end of the article), it is best to consider the question through the means that Jesus himself used to introduce his divinity to his disciples: he displayed his sovereignty over the Sea of Galilee. We will attempt to display Jesus’ divinity through the same sequence we see him using in the Gospels. But we begin our discussion with a brief explanation of the Scriptural affirmation of monotheism, the great tenet […]

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What is Religion?

The word “religion” is derived from Latin and means “to tie or to bind together.”  In popular usage religion means the web of beliefs that inform how a worshiper understands God. Religion “ties together” how we think about God and how we behave as a consequence. Last month we asked the question, “What is God?”  We asked the most fundamental questions about God.  We asked these questions in a search to identify the most basic theology.  We concluded that the best conjunction of reason and revelation finds expression in the word to Moses on Sinai, “I Am that I Am” […]

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