Imitate me

It is a simple, eight-word statement by the apostle Paul, but it sounds bold, brash, and arrogant to our ears: “Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.” (1 Cor 4:16) Yet there is a sound biblical reason Paul offers this command:  he was given to them by God as their earthly spiritual father to […]

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Grab bag

Some helpful articles and blog posts I’ve spotted recently: Mike Riccardi [“Learning to Suffer Well: Trusting God’s Absolute Sovereignty”] writes, “…when we suffer, we should not seek to save God from His sovereignty. If we do that, we cut the legs out from under the solid, robust theology of God’s absolute sovereignty that we depend […]

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The Old Guys

Many years ago, another pastor challenged me to find a mentor:  “You need someone ten or fifteen years older — someone who has been through the next phase of life — to build into you.” Sometimes it’s hard to find a man like that. That’s when “old guys” can step in.  Those are men who […]

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Discipleship and grace

Here are two statements worth contemplating that hit my inbox this week.  The first addresses the cost of nondiscipleship.  We rightly talk about counting the cost of following Christ, and that is obviously wise and biblical to do.  But we also are wise to count the cost of not following Christ: This is the picture […]

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Who’s imitating you?

I remember the first time that I really noticed my first-born copying me.  It was a seemingly insignificant activity — it was the way she put a coke can on an end table — but it had the markings of her father all over it.  At that moment I not only thought to pray for […]

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The cost of discipleship

The benefits of salvation are great and wondrous and are and should be spoken of in glowing and rich terms.  The privileges accrued through the cross ought to be of our greatest happiness. Yet there is also a corresponding truth that since by the gospel God means to change our lives from fleshly and earthly-minded […]

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Book Review: Bitesize Theology

Title:  Bitesize Theology:  the ABC of the Christian Faith Author:  Peter Jeffery Publisher:  Evangelical Press, 2000; 110 pp. $5.99 Recommendation (4-star scale):   When I was in seminary, one of my Hebrew professors, who not only had a doctorate in Semitic languages from a prestigious university, but whose wife also had a doctorate in biology […]

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Today’s Quote – Cheap Grace (Bonhoeffer)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship: Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.…The only man who has the right to say he is justified […]

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Sunday Leftovers (6/7/09)

After a sweet morning of worship in the renovated sanctuary, two ideas continue to roll around in my mind — the cruciality of entrusting the gospel to others (discipleship) and the means of suffering to accomplish discipleship. As was said Sunday, too often we tend to think of discipleship as the responsibility of someone else, […]

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Sunday Leftovers (7/27/08)

One of the reasons there is so much confusion about the gospel is that we have misunderstood and misapplied the intent of the gospel. We (in the American church at large) have come to believe that the gospel is all about a decision instead of a lifestyle. Our efforts are predominantly decision-oriented. We encourage people […]

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