Weekly Thoughts

Rescued from Death: A Poem

One of the great joys of pastoral ministry is discovering the diverse gifts of God’s people. Here is a fine example. After sharing the story of how I nearly died from meningitis at age 19 (you’ll find the story in the first two minutes of the following audio), Mike Hilton described the experience, elucidating how divine grace rescued me[…]

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The Parody of Pokémon GO

To evaluate elements of popular culture from a theological or theoretical perspective sets you up to sound like a jerk.  It’s unavoidable. For example, despite the erudite and winsome manner in which media ecologists analyze the liabilities and relative merits of technology (think of the late Marshal McLuhan or Neil Postman), they often leave you[…]

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Gospel Combustion

This Sunday we will conclude our Sermon on the Mount series at NCC by considering the bedrock on which we’re building our lives. It is also the day when we showcase the conclusions that we have reached in the Sharpening Our Focus initiative. It’s an exciting time! In light of this, I find myself praying according[…]

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It Pleases Francis: The Exoneration of Martin Luther

On January 3, 1521, Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum pontificem (“It pleases the Roman Pontiff”) to excommunicate Martin Luther. This statement prohibited Luther from receiving the Eucharist, which (from Rome’s point of view) deprived Luther of Christ. Three months later, Martin was called to give an answer for his gospel hope[…]

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Faith and Politics Forum

Unless you have just awakened from a long summer’s nap, you recognize that we are in the midst of a most consequential (and ugly) election cycle in recent memory. While our nation is polarized in partisan gridlock, the Church is called to embody and proclaim the good news of the kingdom. How shall we do this? The following[…]

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A Focused Faith

Christians are called to throw off everything that hinders our wholehearted allegiance to Christ, including the accumulation of wealth.

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Politics and Faith: Culture Impact Forum

They say you should never talk about religion and politics. Now I don’t know who “they” actually are, but anyone who is committed to Christ—and to sharing his love with others—knows that sometimes we simply must talk about what the world calls religion. But should Christians also talk about politics? What, after all, does Jerusalem[…]

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In the Interest of Human Flourishing

Perhaps you are like many American citizens today, trying to envision what society will look like in decades to come. After recently conducting such a thought experiment with my wife, Angela, particularly imagining how men and women can work together to realize a common good that enjoys God’s blessing, I went to sleep thinking about[…]

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Justification and Sanctification Contrasted

In his book, Justification by Faith in Catholic-Protestant Dialogue, Professor Tony Lane distinguishes the Reformation doctrines of justification and sanctification: Justification refers to my status; sanctification to my state. Justification is about God’s attitude to me changing; sanctification is about God changing me. Justification is about how God looks on me; sanctification is about what he[…]

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