Paul’s Easter Sermon from Prison

I took a chance and did something new this Easter with my sermon. I wanted our church to hear what I think an Easter sermon and gospel message would have sounded like in the first century church. So, we heard an Easter sermon from the Apostle Paul as I preached (or dramatically read) the first…

Me & Billy G – A Pilgrimage

A repost from May 2012.  Let me tell you about the week I just spent with Billy Graham. Ok, not really with him. But I spent my week in Florida studying the life and ministry of Billy Graham. I read a biography, part of his autobiography, watched a documentary and the movie Billy: The Early Years that…

Life Verses 4: Hebrews 4:12

This series is expounding some of the Bible passages that have been most significant in my own faith journey. –JB 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. From my point of view,…

Deliver Me From Indifference

When God’s Word is unleashed in a room with passion and fervor, let people drop to their knees with conviction, rise up with cheers of excitement, or form an angry mob and try to throw me off a cliff; just deliver me from the spiritual wet blanket of indifference.

Blue Parakeets & the Bible’s Big Story

I’m rereading the great book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by my teacher, Scot McKnight. I can’t believe its already been nearly 10 years since I first devoured the book (half of it in the bookstore!), and now am studying with Scot! I’m preparing to preach on the importance of grasping the…

Jesus, Rabbinic Judaism & Personality-Driven Ministry Today

This is the concluding section of a research paper on “Rabbi Jesus & the Embodiment of Torah” exploring the Rabbi-Pupil relationships and dynamics in the ancient world — especially the role of charisma and personality in church teaching.  At First Church, Pastor Stern had the difficult task of succeeding the long-tenured and beloved Pastor Slick who…

QUOTABLES: John Calvin on the Word of God

“Let the pastors boldly dare all things by the word of God. . . . Let them constrain all the power, glory, and excellence of the world to give place to and to obey the divine majesty of this word. Let them enjoin everyone by it, from the highest to the lowest. Let them edify…

John Calvin the Preacher

We’re honoring the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation at MainStreet this month by exploring some of the key figures. Last week we focused on Luther, and I preached a portion of a Luther sermon. This week we’re meeting John Calvin! I can’t think of a better place to turn to learn about John Calvin and…