Cross, Atonement & Paul Peter Waldenstrom

“Oh! How dear and precious to your heart you will find God to be when you thus behold him in Christ. Because in Christ you have the true manifestation of him.” P. P. Waldenstrom (1838-1917), Swedish Covenant Pastor & Theologian I’ve been exploring the meaning of Jesus’ death and atonement theology recently. We just watched…

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…

QUOTABLES: God’s Sovereignty

“If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, …then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled. Perhaps that one maverick molecule will lay waste all the grand and glorious plans that God has made and promised to us…” -R.C. Sproul, Calvinist “There is, I…

On Wrestling with Books: Luther’s Tower Experience

Have you ever argued with an author, or wrestled with a book? Has an idea ever so overwhelmed you that you gasped audibly and threw the book down in either disgust or delight? Have you ever returned to a section,  re-reading a sentence over and over hoping to find some other way to interpret it?…

Preaching Luther

We are celebrating “Luther Week” at MainStreet as we honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We watched the 2003 Luther movie on Wednesday night, and we will be discussing the movie and Reformation this Wednesday night at Three Taverns. This Sunday I also spent time introducing this truly one-of-a-kind flawed heroes of the faith….

God’s ‘Man-centered’ Gospel & Glory

Human beings glorify God not by curling up in a helpless, hopelessly depraved blob just relieved that God is great enough for the both of us. Rather, God is most glorified in us when we, God’s image-bearers in the world, are living most in tune with God’s purposes for our lives, utilizing our God-given gifts and passions, flourishing in our God-directed pursuits, and accomplishing great things in the name of God and for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. 

Going Green 4: God’s Junior Gardeners

You may be thinking, “Sorry, I’m not into gardening, so maybe I’ll skip this series.” Not so fast. We’re talking about something far more central to our humanity than growing vegetables and flowers. God the Creator made human begins in his divine image and likeness, and part of this likeness is our ability to join…

Loosening the Helmet: Narrative & Communal Dimensions of Salvation

In this essay from 2004, I seek to expand our understanding of salvation emphasizing the significant roles of both narrative and community in one’s conversion. Many years ago, seemingly in a different life,  I found myself on a bus full of zealous Christians headed to a San Diego music festival to pass out gospel tracts on the street corner. Only after…