December, 2014

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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Freedom from Self-Perfection

At this time of year, it seems totally normal to reflect on the year gone by and make plans for the one to come. Invariably, those plans include at least a few efforts at self-improvement. Whether it’s losing weight, shaving points off your golf average or mending a deeply-fractured relationship, the run-up to New Year’s

Can You Legislate Morality? MLK Jr. Responds.

The assertion that “You can’t legislate morality” is often used as a reason that Christians (or anyone else for that matter) shouldn’t seek to create laws that are based on moral values. But is that true? If you think about it for just a moment, you realize that it’s a ridiculous statement. We legislate morality all the time. For example why do we have laws agains stealing? Because taking another person’s property is immoral.

When people say, “You can’t legislate morality,” sometimes they mean that laws can’t change people’s hearts. I think that’s what President Eisenhower meant when he used the phrase in 1957 regarding race relations. With an uptick in violence including the bombing of houses of black leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. asked Eisenhower to come to the South to make a speech urging law and order. Eisenhower refused and in response King and his associates sent the White House a telegram that said in part…

A Modest Defense of Gift Giving

You’ll get no argument from me about the fact that Christmas has become increasingly commercialized here in the Unites States. There’s certainly a danger for all of us to spend more money than we should to populate the space around our Christmas trees. And in the face of this reality, Christians rightly warn against the focus shifting away from the miraculous incarnation of Jesus to discount deals and consumer spending statistics.

Even so, I personally hope that appropriate warnings don’t give rise to a full-throated “bah humbugs” or the notion that Christmas presents somehow cut against the grain of the holiday itself. And so I offer a brief and modest defense of gift-giving.

The Main Thing: ‘Prepare Him Room’

Stuart McAllister is a big, burly Scotsman with a thick accent who previously made his living beating people up. If you know anything about me at all, you will correctly surmise that I took to him immediately. I was first introduced to McAllister through the radio ministry of RZIM.org, where I heard him preach and teach. I

Top 12 Old Testament Verses That Shape My View Of God

The opening line in A. W. Tozer’s Knowledge Of The Holy has stayed with me since I first read it years ago: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Because it affects every choice we make and everything we do, he compared a right concept of God to a foundation of a building. “Where it is inadequate or out of plumb,” he wrote, “the whole structure must sooner or later collapse.” Do you have an accurate view of God?

I have been reading a lot in the Old Testament lately. That’s easy for me to do because I love the Old Testament. The stories are rich, the people interesting, and the spiritual truth life changing. So I thought that I would make a list for myself (and share it with you) of the verses in the Old Testament that most shape my view of God.

Point of Focus: Christmas and the Big Story

How does Christmas fit into the larger story of God’s redemptive work? This month’s Point of Focus takes a look:

Obedience, Finitude and Rest

Hebrews 4:11-12 (emphasis mine): Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the