A Tale of Two Lunches

Below is an excerpt from my forthcoming book One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World (David C. Cook, October 2013) I was sixteen when my parents kicked me out of the house. What started out as run-of-the-mill adolescent rebellion in my early teens had, over the course of a few short years, blossomed […]

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Who is the Good Samaritan?

For every good story in the Bible there’s a bad children’s song. This is the one I remember for the Good Samaritan: The man who stopped to help, right when he saw the need; he was such a good, good neighbor, a good example for me. On the surface, this little ditty may seem harmless. […]

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It’s Not Me It’s You

The Bible makes it clear that self-righteousness is the premier enemy of the Gospel. And there is perhaps no group of people who better embody the sin of self-righteousness in the Bible than the Pharisees. In fact, Jesus reserved his harshest criticisms for them, calling them whitewashed tombs and hypocrites. Surprisingly to some, this demonstrates […]

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Grace and the Summer of George

For many Americans of a certain age, the college admissions process is an oppressive and extraordinarily stressful area of life. It is performancism writ very, very large. One’s entire worth and value as a person is boiled down to a short transcript and application, which is then judged according to a stringent and ever-escalating set […]

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The Fruit of One-Way Love

Hollywood is not known for being a culture of grace. Dog eat dog is more like it. People love you one day and hate you the next. Personal value is very much attached to box office revenues and the unpredictable and often cruel winds of fashion. It was doubly shocking, therefore, when one-way love—and its […]

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Does Grace Make You Lazy?

The gospel doxologically declares that because of Christ’s finished work for you, you already have all of the justification, approval, security, love, worth, meaning and rescue you long for and look for in a thousand different people and places smaller than Jesus. God does not relate to us based on our feats for Jesus but […]

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Inexhaustible Grace

A few years ago, I read something astonishing. Dr. Richard Leahy, a prominent psychologist and anxiety specialist was quoted as saying, “The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.” It turns out the problem wasn’t limited to an age group; in 2007 […]

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Give Me Law or Give Me Death

Les Miserables profoundly pronounces the contrast between law and grace. The most powerful scene in the 2012 movie release is Inspector Javert’s song right before he kills himself. Javert embodies our natural addiction to law and our natural aversion to grace. Committed to the rigorous inflexibility of the law, Javert has been given grace time […]

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Grace: Law Without Gospel Leads To Sin

I received this letter a few weeks ago from someone I’ve never met. He sent it to me as a word of encouragement regarding how the message of grace has revitalized his love for God. I hesitated to post it because, given the kind things he says about my work, I didn’t want to appear […]

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A Barrier to Honesty

One of the chief vehicles for dishonesty in my own life has been my involvement in “accountability groups.” For those who have been spared them, an “accountability group” is a single-sex small-group Bible study on steroids. A group of friends arrange for a time each week to get together, ostensibly to encourage one another by […]

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