Where Are the Stars?
Where are they?Read More Where Are the Stars?
Theology for Real Life
Where are they?Read More Where Are the Stars?
In these days
Jesus went out to the mountain
Remove not the ancient landmark,
which thy fathers have set.
Making the Necessary DistinctionRead More “Kind” ≠ “Nice”
The Limits of Human Perception
in the Pursuit of Truth
An Easter MeditationRead More He Calls Us by Name
A Poem for Holy SaturdayRead More On Ocean’s Floor
A Good Friday ReflectionRead More Pierced
Jesus is the Model HumanRead More Behold, the Man!
Trading in Selfish Ambition for Sacrificial LoveRead More Rejecting the Way of the Sword
Scripture’s Promise for All NationsRead More “What Does Religion Have To Do With This?”
Defeating Foes with Cross-Shaped LoveRead More The Myth of Redemptive Violence
Jesus as a Model of Speaking and Living the TruthRead More What is Truth?
Allegiance to Jesus, Even at the Expense of FamilyRead More Anyone Who Loves Father or Mother More Than Me is Not Worthy of Me
Light and Darkness Imagery in The Raven Among the many famous works of nineteenth-century American writer Edgar Allen Poe, perhaps none is more well-known, analyzed, or celebrated than his 1845 work of narrative poetry, The Raven. The poem tells the story of a nameless narrator as he laments the loss of his lover, Lenore. As […]Read More Darkness, Despair, and the Futility of Lamp-light
The Moral Limitations of EmpiricismRead More Morality is Metaphysical
The Bible is an incredibly profound book. Through the texts included in the Bible, we can gain wisdom for life, come to understand ourselves and others better, and – most importantly – come to know the living God on an ever-deepening relational level. However, if we’re being honest, the Bible is hard to read, and […]Read More 4 Free Resources for Studying the Bible
John’s Vision of Church Unity The Gospel of John has been one of the most famous and widely-read books in the Christian Church from the time it was written and first circulated almost two thousand years ago, all the way up to our present day. John contains probably the most famous verse of the Bible,1 and some […]Read More That They May Be One
John the baptizer had gained a sizable following among the people of Israel. He was regarded by many to be a prophet, and indeed, to this day there is still a group known as the Mandeans, who revere John as the greatest prophet of God.1 His long-lasting legacy is a testament to the fact that […]Read More Security in Obscurity
“Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” 1 For many Christians, prayer begins as a monologue, in which the believer talks to (or worse, at) God, and not much else. O what great a tragedy this is! While this first step is great (and certainly better than not praying at all), there is more to […]Read More Listen
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”1 What comes to our minds when we think of the character of God? Do we realize that He is joyful? As Dallas Willard puts it, God is “…the most joyous being in the universe.” 2 Jesus is joyful. He turns water into wine at […]Read More Joy
Overview of Verses 12-17 This is a continuation of the flow-of-thought from the previous passage (3:1-11). Paul is still teaching the Colossian church to live as their new selves. The previous passage focused primarily on the old ways of life Paul is calling the Colossian Christians to leave behind. Now, the apostle paints the church […]Read More One Another: Colossians 3:12-17
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”1 Worship is an appropriate response to seeing your recently-killed Rabbi standing before you, alive. But some of those eleven men on the hilltop doubted what they saw, and […]Read More Doubt.
The Transforming Power of Mercy In C.S. Lewis’ novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,1 one of the characters, a boy named Edmund, betrays his siblings and is complicit with evil, having been manipulated by the book’s antagonist, a villainous character known as the White Witch. This treachery persists until a moment late in […]Read More It Didn’t Seem To Matter What The Witch Said
I would contend that in our modern English, the word religion is not a helpful word and we should avoid using it. To take groups of people with such vastly different ways of thinking and living in the world and put them all into the one bucket of religion is not respectful to any of […]Read More “Religion” is a Useless Word
We have come to our fifth and final movement in Paul’s letter to the Colossians (3:1-4:18). Up to this point, the letter has been dense and deeply theological. However, at the beginning of the third chapter, the apostle pivots and the remainder of the letter is very practical in nature. In these last two chapters, […]Read More Put On The New Self: Colossians 3:1-11
Disease, Decay, and the Promise of a New Creation This topic needs no introduction. The pandemic that is COVID-19 (meaning coronavirus disease 2019, also commonly referred to simply as “coronavirus,” which is the term that will be used hereafter in this article) is impacting every facet of life in the Western world. At the time […]Read More Where The Gospel Meets COVID-19
Following Jesus When it’s Costly Jesus revealed the radical dedication expected of his disciples when he declared, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”1 Jesus asks his followers to abandon their ambitions and follow him wherever he calls them to go. For those who seek […]Read More A Tale of Two Rich Men
Overview of Verses 16-23 Paul’s tone in this passage is urgent; the apostle wants to make it abundantly clear to the Colossian church that the false teachers among them have no connection to Christ or his body. The Colossians do not have to listen to those who would try to tell them they must observe […]Read More Shadow and Substance: Colossians 2:16-23
Answering the Call with Conviction To be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, we must hear His call and pick up our cross and follow Him wherever He calls us to go.1 Let us hear His voice assuring us, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go […]Read More Running Away from God
The Identity of Jesus in the Scriptures Who is Jesus of Nazareth? This question has been starting heated debates since the days of Jesus’ ministry nearly two millennia ago. The Scriptures give us a surprising portrait of us Jesus as the one eternal God who has become human and show us that the earliest Christians […]Read More Who is Jesus?
John’s Invitation to Real Life Many Christians cite the Gospel According to John as a major landmark in their journey to living faith in Jesus Christ.1 This is not surprising, for its author discloses his primary goal: to convince his audience to entrust themselves to Jesus. Near the end of the book, John: 1. Acknowledges […]Read More That You May Believe
Pursuing the Living God Through the Written Word “…our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5 ESV). In the 20th and early 21st Centuries, orthodox American Protestantism has largely consisted of two camps: 1. Evangelical churches focused on […]Read More In Word and Power
We have come to the fourth main section in Paul’s letter to the Colossians (2:6-23). In this part of the letter, Paul addresses the false teachings and cultural pressures that are attempting to infiltrate the church and take the Colossian Christians captive. We are going to look at this part of the letter in two […]Read More Let No One Take You Captive: Colossians 2:6-15
Overview of Verses 1-5 We have arrived at the second chapter of Paul’s letter to the Colossians. It is important to note: when this letter was written in the middle of the 1st century AD, there were no chapter or verse numbers. In fact: 1. Chapters did not appear in biblical manuscripts until 1227 AD. […]Read More Knit Together: Colossians 2:1-5
We have come to the third of Paul’s five major flows-of-thought in Colossians. In this part of the letter, Paul personally introduces himself to the Colossian church. We are going to look at this introduction in two sections: 1. Paul tells the Colossians about who he is, his mission, and his present circumstances (1:24-29) 2. […]Read More The Hope of Glory: Colossians 1:24-29
Claiming the Hope of the Psalmists for the Church The Church has claimed Israel’s Scriptures, Israel’s story, and Israel’s God as its own. If (as we contend) the Church is to see biblical Israel as its “origin story,” we must also appropriate Israel’s hope as we seek to reconcile our house divided.1 The book of […]Read More When Brothers Dwell in Unity
Overview of Verses 9-14 In this passage, Paul shares a prayer that he and his companions have been regularly praying for the Colossians. The apostle prays that the believers would increase in knowledge, fruitfulness, and strength and that they would give thanks to their Father (1:9-12). The prayer ends with a celebratory announcement that in […]Read More A Prayer for Power: Colossians 1:9-14
The Vision of Church in Colossians If you were to take a survey of people living in the twenty-first century western world and ask them what they think church is, a lot of the responses would probably mention something about a building. However, the word church is never used in the Bible to refer to […]Read More What Is the Church?
We will look at the opening movement of this letter in two sections: 1. Formal introduction; Paul thanks God for the Colossians (1:1-8) 2. Paul’s prayer for the Colossian church (1:9-14) Overview of Verses 1-8 The letter to the Colossians opens with a warm, affectionate tone. After his formal introduction (1:1-2), Paul informs the church […]Read More We Always Thank God: Colossians 1:1-8
Exploring Biblical Divisions as Familial Conflicts in the Old Testament The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) often refers to God’s people, Israel, using communal, group language. They are depicted as speaking with one voice, moving as one body and possessing a unified will. Paradoxically, this unity among God’s people is often shown simultaneously alongside a portrayal […]Read More No King in Israel
The Power of Humble Sacrificial Love Setting the Scene The first twelve chapters of John’s Gospel record multiple years of Jesus’ life and ministry. But starting in chapter 13, the story slows down and chapters 13-17 record the night before Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus and his disciples are celebrating the Passover, a dinner […]Read More The Secret to Happiness: John 13:12-17
A Look at Hebrews What is the Book of Hebrews? Hebrews is a letter written to a group of second-generation followers of Jesus (2:3); this letter is specifically addressed to a congregation of Jewish Christians (1:1-2), which is why it was given the name it now has in early Christian tradition. Canonically (meaning, in the […]Read More Follow Jesus Through the Wilderness
Overview of Verses 15-23 Paul’s goal in this passage is to give the Colossian church an accurate picture of who Jesus is and what he accomplished on the cross and to encourage them to remain faithful to Jesus in spite of the pressures they are facing. In verses 15-20, Paul writes the Colossian church a […]Read More All Things: Colossians 1:15-23
Background to Colossians The letter to the Colossians was composed by the apostle Paul during one of his many times in prison for declaring Jesus as the risen Lord of the world. Paul is writing to a community of Jesus followers in the ancient city of Colossae, in modern-day Turkey. Unlike a lot of […]Read More Brief Intro to Colossians