Sermon #63 — A Troubling Election and A People of Hope

The U.S. presidential election of 2016 is surely one of the most spiritually destructive of the ten presidential elections in my voting experience. I have been deeply troubled by the extent to which many prominent evangelical leaders have stirred up and played on the fears of their people.  This has not been American evangelicalism’s finest … Continue reading

Pastor’s Note #67 — An Evangelical Pastor’s Concerns about Donald Trump’s Effect on the Spiritual Life of Christians

In my judgment, this is an almost impossibly difficult presidential election for American Christian voters.  I do not believe there is any clearly acceptable candidate for Christian voters to support in 2016.  Christian voters can in good faith make different decisions about which candidate to vote for.  But as I have observed this election season … Continue reading

Pastor Note #66 — Election Thoughts 2016 –the Supreme Court

A Trump presidency will not result in a strongly conservative Supreme Court as some prominent evangelicals been arguing.  Franklin Graham and others insist that the key issue that evangelical Christian voters should keep in mind in this presidential election is the matter of filling the current opening on the Supreme Court and probably more in the … Continue reading

Prayer Note #56 — A Prayer for First Responders

A Prayer for First Responders “You must not go about as a slanderer among your people.  You must not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the Lord.  You must not hate your brother in your heart.  You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #7 — Reason

“Oh, how greatly has the man advanced who has learned not to be his own, not to be governed by his own reason, but to surrender his mind to God.” John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2004, page 26.

Prayer Note #55 — Prayers for Memorial Day

Invocation for a Memorial Day Ceremony God of heaven and earth, in life and in death we belong to you.  Our lives and the life of our nation are in your hands.  You are the foundation of all that is right and good and just. Today especially we gather to remember with gratitude those who have … Continue reading

Bible Note #19 — Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11

I am always torn by this story—by the inherent social tension in the story.  This passage and the accounts in the other Synoptic Gospels (Matthew/Mark/Luke) see this event as taking place on the first day of the same week in which Jesus would be crucified.  And I see no good reason to argue with that … Continue reading

Sermon #62 — “Our King: An Ash Wednesday Sermon”

All of the gospel writers note that Pontius Pilate, the military governor of the Roman province of Judea, posted a placard over Jesus’ head on his cross.  This practice was quite normal and usual for a Roman execution.  On that placard, called in Latin a titulus, the Romans would write out the crime for which … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #6 — Humility, Self-Examination, and the Grace of God

“It is only our exaggerated sense of self-righteousness that prevents us from looking honestly at ourselves.  As Christians we know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, but we must also become aware of where we are tolerating sin if we will be successful in our war against the devil.  Therefore, be specific when you … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #5 — Baptism with the Holy Spirit

“I take it that that is abundantly clear — you cannot be a Christian without having the Holy Spirit in you.  But — and here is the point — I am asserting at the same time that you can be a believer, that you can have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and still not … Continue reading