Imagine a crisis like this: you are a king of a small kingdom and two bigger nations conspire to draw you into a losing battle. They wanted to remove you from the throne and replace you with a puppet king. The coalition was strong. All your political advisers say you are facing a major disaster. What do you do?Continue reading Why It’s Good to Tremble Before God
Have you ever thought what life would be like without atonement?
In one of my previous books I told of Admiral Onishi, who tried to provide his own atonement. Takijiro Onishi was Commander of Japan’s First Air Fleet. It was October 1944 and the war was turning sour for Japan in the Pacific. Onishi therefore proposed desperate measures.Continue reading Takijiro Onishi and Atonement
In Matthew 19, we see the story of the rich young ruler who came up to Jesus to ask what else he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus’ answer was nothing short of explosive. He told the guy to sell all his possessions, give away the proceeds to the poor, and follow Jesus.Continue reading Should We Sell Everything and Give to the Poor?
Studying the history of Christianity provides repeated, concrete demonstration concerning the irreducibly historical character of the Christian faith.Continue reading Why Study History
This NYT post from 2015 tells the story of Justine Sacco, a senior director of corporate communications firm in New York, whose career was ruined after she posted a series of little jokes about the indignities of travel on her way to South Africa.
This is the dark side of social media.
Abraham’s life goes against our own culture today. Our dominant ideology today yearns for settlement, security, and placement. Everything around us tells us to hunker down, save everything, hedge ourselves about with every protection. Our natural desires are for more comforts. Our culture celebrates home and dynastic families. But God’s word says otherwise, instructing us to seek things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears, “Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed, sermon to be written).”
The best kind of life that you could ever have is not in the hoarding of money and in rising to the highest position in your company or in getting prestige for a job well done. They are all good but they are not the greatest. The greatest, according to the Bible, is knowing Christ and living according to his will. So build your life on Christ. This is the only kind of life that has the capacity for real greatness.
—Baccalaureate Address for UE Caloocan
For some reason God always chooses to display his power against the backdrop of human weakness. His remarkable works in the Bible and in history are performed using weak human vessels. I believe he does this on purpose so that we would know that the work of the Lord, the ministries and jobs he gave us, are meant to be accomplished using his power, not ours. J.I. Packer is right. Weakness is the way.Continue reading Weakness is the Way
Paul tied the love-relationship between husbands and wives to the greater theology of Christ’s relationship with the church. You can’t attack the institution of marriage without attacking the theology of the universal church of Christ. And you can’t claim to be a growing disciple of Christ in the church if your marriage do not bear the resemblance of the relationship between Christ and the church.
Herod and Pilate, Gentiles and Jews had together conspired against Jesus (Acts 4:27). More important still, we ourselves are also guilty. If we were in their place, we would have done what they did. Indeed, we have done it. For whenever we turn away from Christ, we are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace (Heb 6:6). We too sacrifice Jesus to our greed like Judas, to our envy like the priests, to our ambition like Pilate. ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ the old negro spiritual asks. And we must answer, ‘Yes, we were there.’ Not as spectators only but as participants, guilty participants, plotting, scheming, betraying, bargaining, and handing him over to be crucified. We may try to wash our hands of responsibility like Pilate. But our attempt will be as futile as his. For there is blood in our hands. Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance). Indeed, ‘only the man who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross’, wrote Canon Peter Green, ‘may claim his share in its grace’.