Pastor Note #69: Death and the Victory of Christ

DEATH AND THE VICTORY OF CHRIST: Living and Dying Well You are going to die.  So am I.  This is a fundamental and unavoidable truth for all human beings, and how we deal with that great truth can have a profound impact on how well we live and on how well we die.  Sadly, many … Continue reading

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

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

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 #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

Quotes of Note #3 Cooperating with God

“‘The first thing to do in responding to God’s presence and Word,’ Basil Pennington repeatedly told me, ‘is to notice what God is doing and to keep out of God’s way.  The second is to align ourselves with and participate in God’s transformational actions in the world.’  God is active and present in the world. … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #2 Discipleship

“The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue but of life.  It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart.”  John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, … Continue reading

Sermon #60 — Power to Change the World, a Pentecost Sermon

Pentecost, a holy day that Presbyterians, my clan, have work hard to trivialize over the centuries, ought to serve as an antidote to the demoralizing conception that the Christian faith is at its heart a set of ideas and a moral code.  Christianity is rather a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through the … Continue reading