Musings from the Bal...

“Your love never fails. It never gives up. It never runs out on me.”* I stood, watching a gym full of hundreds of college students, singing these words of praise and truth. Arms-raised, dancing, clapping, and shouting – I admired their passion. The pulsing drums, the rocking guitars,...

Desperation, or True...

Occasionally, I seem to think that I’ve got stuff pretty much worked out. I go through my life thinking that if I just make everybody at work happy, keep my family satisfied, advance myself somehow either in my career or educationally, if I just work hard enough or think long enough or...

God’s Presence...

This summer I am working on my upcoming book on Esther for Wipf and Stock. This has taken me miles away from Galatia (where my doctoral research has largely resided) to the capital of the Persian Empire, Susa. Additionally, I am no longer in the first century, but am thinking about the reign...

How Majestic is Your...

“O LORD our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (8:1-2) Recently I’ve been participating in a Hebrew...

Discipleship Princip...

1.     Discipleship is about a Relationship Michael Wilkins has defined a disciple of Jesus as one who “has come to Jesus for eternal life, has claimed Jesus as Savior and God, and has embarked upon the life of following Jesus.”[1] His very presence in my life and his promise to never...

Straight Idolatry

I admit it. I’ve tried to “pray the gay away.” I’ve spent nights on my knees, asking God to take away my homosexual desires. Any Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction has probably done the same, and rightly so. Casting our cares on God should be the first thing we do (1...

From  Jerusalem  and  the  Olympics  to  Church  and  the  Leviathan (Guest Post) Aug10

From Jerusalem and...

Does the UK (still) see itself as a Christian country? That was the question that popped into my head when I excitedly heard the alternative English national anthem “Jerusalem” sung to open the 2012 London Olympics, followed shortly by the Welsh anthem “Bread of Heaven” [1]. The hymn...

If “Better is ...

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!  My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. “ The rhythmic scrape of your leather sandal griping the rocky soil beneath them continues as you head up another hill. Also...

Orthodox at Heart: A...

Almost two years ago, I married a citizen of the Russian Federation; a daughter of Lenin’s dream for the Russian people—the Soviet Union. Upon learning that I would be living in Russia for an extended period, my knee-jerk reaction was to find an English speaking, Reformed congregation that...

Birthday Resolutions

Today is my birthday. I’ve always considered it my own personal New Year. Billions of people celebrate new beginnings on January 1st, but on June 20th that number drops to mere millions. (Two worth noting: fellow blogger Caleb Johnson and my dad.) So, in honor of another year, here are some...

The Empty Ecstasy of...

Last weekend, numerous people throughout the country collectively invested $200.3 M into 2 hours and 23 minutes of their time. This investment was the purchase of a movie ticket to escape the world of reality to play in the super-hero fantasy world of The Avengers. I’ll confess: I tossed a...