A Topographical Map of the Gospel of Matthew

Note: I colorized, clarified, and updated the graphic after a conversation with Jonathan.

Just for the record, I am not writing this post in order to toot my own horn. But I wanted to wet your appetite for a soon-to-be-released, can’t miss book on the Sermon on the Mount.

World renowned Gospels’ scholar, Jonathan Pennington, will be releasing his latest book, The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary, on June 20, 2017. Jonathan happens to be a dear friend and I’ve had the benefit of reading an early manuscript.… Continue Reading

Virtue, Vice, & Social Media

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.… Continue Reading

On Parenting & Letting Go

[the juxtaposition of the title of this post and this stock photo is hilarious]

My wife and I (loosely) followed the E.A.S.Y. philosophy when each of our three children were born. Eat, Activity, Sleep, and You time. The gist, or at least my takeaway, of the philosophy is this: resist the temptation to get stuff done while the baby is asleep. Instead, sleep (especially early on), read a book, pray, workout, crochet; whatever activities you most enjoy, do those in your downtime and let the dishes pile up in the sink (and save them for your spouse!).… Continue Reading

The Dishonest Manager, Luke 16, & the Law of Mercy

It’s been far too long, thanks for coming out.

Here’s a popcorn, bullet point reflection on Father Ben’s excellent sermon from Luke 16 yesterday. Some of these “reflections” are from the sermon (especially those at the start). Lastly, I haven’t consulted commentaries or done any rigorous, in-depth exegesis, so these could be quite sloppy.

If you haven’t read the parable in awhile, read it first.

While the manager is “commended” for his shrewdness (v.8), the hero of the story is the merciful master.… Continue Reading

A Continuum of Loving

My day began with a wonderful reflection on love by my good friend Geoff, wherein he talks about the dangerous tendency for Christians in our day to be very busy about loving their enemies, all the while their relationships within the church and at home are malnourished (or wither and die). You really must read his post: “Loving Your Enemies Does Not Preclude Loving Your Friends”

If Matthew 5:43-48 is your only rubric for Christian love, then you might be tempted (as Geoff points out) to only love your enemies, to the neglect of those closest to you.… Continue Reading

Is “Missional” The Answer?

This post is based upon a fair amount of reading I have been doing recently on (and related to) ecclesiology, theology of the Christian Church. Where there’s a church, there’s a problem…

There’s Always A Problem

People are sin-filled, pride-consumed narcissists by nature, and only the gospel can fix this. Those who peddle crisis in our day have many cures for all these never-before-seen problems of our day. The problem is, especially if “crisis” is your brand, there isn’t anything unique about present day problems, especially among the saints (and those who hang out with the saints but really aren’t).… Continue Reading

This Is What Pastoral Ministry Looks Like

The Bible is chalk full of threefold exhortations. From Matthew’s obsession with three’s to Samson’s triple-whammy buffoonery, a wise reader of the Bible will pick up on and pay careful attention to this literary device. Repetition in writing or speaking is necessary both because humans are dense and because it is a time-tested rhetorical technique that works.

But this post isn’t about Delilah or the Sermon on the Mount. I have my eye on the resurrected Jesus and his most stubborn disciple.… Continue Reading

Date Night & The Sin of Communication

I firmly believe that one of the greatest problems in the church, in our families, and in all of humankind is the lack of communication. I don’t simply mean a lack of speaking. Rather, what I mean by a lack of “communication” is (1) a lack of clear speaking, (2) the lack of persuasive rhetoric, and (3) the pervasiveness of deceptive glory-of-self (denigration-of-another) motivated speech.

Ask my wife; in many ways we reverse the “typical” gender stereotypes, that of the closed off silent man and the always jabbering woman.… Continue Reading