Pastor Note #68 — Franklin Graham Has Abandoned Biblical Authority

The wholehearted embrace of the candidacy of Donald Trump by evangelical Christian leaders has troubled me deeply.  And in many respects, their embrace of Mr. Trump mystifies me.  He is precisely the sort of man whose character these evangelical leaders should have been expected to denounce out of hand. In light of how the genuine … 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.

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 #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 #59 — The Resurrection Mission

The Resurrection Mission John 20:19-23 A Sermon Preached on April 19, 2015 at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PA There is room for only one priority in the life of a disciple of Jesus: namely, loving Jesus by living our his calling on our lives.  This priority is quite imperialistic.  It will tolerate no … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Purpose for Being What is your church’s purpose at this period of our history? What is its reason for being at this particular moment in its life as a congregation? These are important questions that churches can easily get out of the habit of asking. In fact, … Continue reading

Sermon #57 — The Act of Discipleship (A Good Friday Sermon)

“The Act of Discipleship” Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning Preached at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PAon Good Friday, April 3, 2015 Some of the most moving and powerful examples of discipleship found in the Bible are often not the “big names” but are rather “minor” players.  Two such people figure at the heart of … Continue reading

Sermon #55 — The Victor’s Battle Cry and our Easter Victory Gift

AN AUDIO SERMON [see link below] By rising from the dead — raising us up with him — Jesus Christ has won the great victory and has, thus, restored to us our eternal significance which death had stripped us of. Death is a powerful and ever-present reality for human beings.  And for us death doesn’t … Continue reading