Monthly Archives: August 2016

  • Read through the Bible, Part 23

    Psalm 120 – 137; 1 Corinthians 1 – 6

    In last week’s sermon I mentioned weddings as one of the last remaining pageants that we have in our culture. The military has some and so do colleges. But weddings are something everyone can relate to. During these ceremonies significant things of life take place. Commands change hands. Students are conferred degrees and two single people become one. It’s human to mark out really

    worship is the place that God is active in making and re-making us

    important events in this way. One other really important pageant or ceremony that is right under our nose, and one that we may not often think about or even regard as being formative in the way the others mentioned are, is the corporate worship of the people of God. It for this reason that as the … Read More »

  • Read through the Bible, Part 20

    Week 32; Psalm 70 – 87; Acts 28:11 – Romans 4

    Humanity went astray and its departure from God is seen in sexual deviation

    When I was growing up, “queer” was what we called the effeminate boys who always got picked last during the pick-up football game during recess on the dirt lot out behind school. In my lifetime and in my vernacular queer has always been used pejoratively. I cannot think of even one exception to this rule. And it makes good sense because queer, by definition, is a word that is used to describe something that is a bit off kilter. If you look it up in the dictionary you will find it means strange or odd. Synonyms listed are: odd, strange, unusual, funny, peculiar, curious, bizarre, weird, uncanny, freakish, eerie, unnatural; unconventional, unorthodox, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, anomalous, atypical, untypical, … Read More »

  • Read through the Bible, Part 21

    Psalm 88 – 105; Romans 5 – 10

    Some years ago a prominent Christian radio program sent one of their producers to a pastors’ conference to ask attendees if they knew what the theological word justification meant. The answers were tragically revealing. What was so sad was how many who were asked couldn’t articulate an historic or Biblical or cogent definition about the doctrine of justification. And what makes that so sad is that the doctrine of justification is so central to the message of the Bible. And we have been seeing this in our reading of Romans, interestingly enough. When Paul seeks to articulate and define and defend the doctrine of justification he does so by appealing to the central figures of the Bible. He references Adam, quotes David, makes Abraham an exemplar; he takes up all of Israel’s history … Read More »

  • Read through the Bible, Part 22

    This week we finish our reading of the book of Romans. One of the topics taken up in the latter chapters (13:1-7) is the Christian’s relationship to the state: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities… Just as God has given us ministers in the church and parents in the home, so too, the state is ordered in a hierarchical structure, one to which we are called to submit. Our Confession puts it this way:

    …It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held … Read More »