Christ

What's An Anchor Doing In The Holy Of Holies?

BY CHAD BIRD

Some of the last words our Lord spoke were addressed to a man who stood on the precipice of eternity. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” It was no time to blabber some sentimental nonsense. No occasion for chitchat. The words to a dying man must be words pregnant with life.

What's An Anchor Doing In The Holy Of Holies?

Repentance In Your Name vs Repentance In Christ's Name

BY MARTIN LUTHER

What is repentance in His name? Hereby he singles out the repentance that is not made in His name, and therefore the text compels us to consider two kinds of repentance. First, a repentance not in His name is, when I come with my own works and undertake to blot out sin with them; as we all have been taught and have tried to do.

Repentance In Your Name vs Repentance In Christ's Name

Am I Inside? - A Pastor’s Confession

BY DONAVON RILEY

God has gifted pastors with a terrible privilege. We’re invited to go inside peoples’ pain. A stranger stands emotionally naked in front of us begging, “I can’t get what he did out of my head. Please, help me!” Pastors call pastors to express feelings of guilt and judgment.

Am I Inside? - A Pastor’s Confession

Are We Reading The Old Testament The Wrong Way?

BY DONAVON RILEY

Often, when we talk about the Old Testament, we talk about God's promises and work for his chosen people, Israel. We talk about God's redeeming promise to Adam and Eve. God calls Abraham out of the Haran into Canaan. God sends Moses to Pharaoh with a message of liberation.

Are We Reading The Old Testament The Wrong Way?

Christ Is Enough

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

There are mornings I wake up beleaguered by my past sins. It is almost as though my conscience waits until I am too tired to fight it, and then it wages its war against me. Concerning the battle of the ever-accusing conscience, Horatius Bonar says…

Christ Is Enough

Self-Esteem?

BY ERICK SORENSEN

What do you think of when you hear the term “self-esteem”? I tend to think of two different caricatures: On the one hand I think of Stuart Smalley. He was an old Saturday Night Live character that was supposed to be a motivational speaker type.

Self-Esteem?

Ordinary Joy

BY DONAVON RILEY

She said, “Keep coming back, and you’ll know joy.” He wanted to vomit a rainbow of resentment, bitterness, and loathing all over her faux-leather boots. He already knew about joy. It was horrible stuff. Christians kept trying to rip it out of their hearts to share with him.

Ordinary Joy

Christ’s Gifts For Ingrates

BY RYAN COUCH

Have you ever received a gift for which you were less than thrilled, but you had to pretend you really liked it so as not to offend the giver? It is an awkward feeling, but despite your ambivalence, it is the right thing to do. When Christ gives us his gifts he is not as interested in our response as our human counterparts.

Christ’s Gifts For Ingrates

Seeing Samson's Cross-Eyed Reflection

BY DONAVON RILEY

For the past twenty years that I've been a Christian, I've not found any evidence in my reading of Judges 13-16 that qualifies Samson for the "book of faith" (Hebrews 11). Selfish, manipulative, short-tempered, and homicidally violent, Samson's a borderline-psychotic personality.

Seeing Samson's Cross-Eyed Reflection

Be Counter-Cultural: Preach the Cross

BY ERICK SORENSEN

Right now (and I would add, for quite some time) there has been a debate within Christianity about the whole issue of culture. What I mean is if you open up any Christian magazine or website, chances are you are going to find thoughtful (and unthoughtful) Christians dealing with the question of how we are to deal with the culture around us.

Be Counter-Cultural: Preach the Cross

A Walk In The Woods: Enchanted by Christ

BY BRUCE HILLMAN

A few minutes from where I live there is a flat trail that leads for miles through a thick forest. I like to take my dog Winston there for walks, often over my lunch break, the sprightly excursion a nice respite from the office, meetings and other tasks that usually make up my day. 

A Walk In The Woods: Enchanted by Christ

Flirting With The Law

BY MARTIN LUTHER 

When man, conscious of his failure to keep God's command, is constantly urged by the Law to make payment of his debt and confronted with nothing but the terrible wrath of God and eternal condemnation, he cannot but sink into despair over his sins.

Flirting With The Law

Out of Ammo

BY BRANDON HANSON

So there’s this famous quote that you may have heard in one form or another around the interwebs. I think I finally found the original quote and who said it (but let me know if you think I’m mistaken): “The Christian army is the only army that shoots and buries its wounded.” -Dr. Freddie Gage

Out of Ammo

Clumsy, Messy, Children of the Promise

BY DONAVON RILEY

Whenever I read the Genesis account of Abraham, I’m more impressed that he’s often a clumsy, mess of a man than that it’s “faith that’s accounted to him as righteousness.” Abraham is godless when God comes to him. Terah, Abraham, and their whole family live right down the road from Babel. They worship the goddess Nana.

Clumsy, Messy, Children of the Promise

When Doctrine Becomes Idolatry

BY DONAVON RILEY

I’m a drug addict. Specifically, a recovering drug addict. More specific, a grateful recovering drug addict. And as I sit here now, clear-headed, I can reflect on what it was like just before drug use pushed me over the edge of sanity and I hit bottom. 

When Doctrine Becomes Idolatry

The Unforgivable, Forgiven

BY DONAVON RILEY 

Yes, we confess Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. Yes, he rose from death to justify all who receive his life-giving sacrifice in faith. But, wait. Full stop. Everybody? Is God’s forgiveness really that indiscriminate?

The Unforgivable, Forgiven

I Do Not Complete Me

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

A friend of mine recently expressed to me his rather unique thoughts on Narcissus. Narcissus, if you recall, saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was his own image.  Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, he stared at it until he died.

I Do Not Complete Me

Missing the Point

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

God created Israel to be the vessel into which he would place both his Law and his Son. He gave them, first, his Law, which revealed what it was that God required. The Israelites believed that God had chosen them to demonstrate a life of obedience to his Law, but the truth, which they did not understand, was that they were specifically chosen by God to reveal to the world the reality that they could not obey.

Missing the Point

More in Christ Than Was Lost in Adam

BY KYLE G JONES

All manner of theologians, philosophers, and historians have used more ink and paper than can be weighed to expound upon the incarnation of the Son of God and its implications for humanity. Of those, Johann Gerhard composed, what I believe to be, the most remarkable.

More in Christ Than Was Lost in Adam

The Escape Artist

BY  RYAN FOUTS

You’ve seen the routine, or a variation of it. The components are always the same. A performer willfully puts himself in mortal danger. He manages to escape—but only in the nick of time. The audience feigns a sign of relief, even though they knew the escape artist would be fine all along.

The Escape Artist

The Fog of Fear: Panic Attacks, Anxiety and Being Overwhelmed

BY BRUCE HILLMAN

You can see it far off, looming on the horizon, a thick fog menacing off the coast and swirling in the distance. You know the signs. You’ve been here many times before, but you’ve learned to carry on.  At first you kind of ignore it, you are aware it’s there, but you don’t want to work yourself up...

The Fog of Fear: Panic Attacks, Anxiety and Being Overwhelmed

No Approaching God Without Christ

BY RJ GRUNEWALD

The Law is a powerful word. The Law has the power to kill. The Law has the power to condemn and break down. The Law has the power to crush. And all of those powers are necessary—without the power of the Law, we’d never bear witness to the power of the Gospel.

No Approaching God Without Christ