I was listening to a podcast by Paul Zahl entitled “A Disease I Do Not Have the Courage to Name.” The title comes from a now out-of-print book entitled My Son Is a Splendid Driver, set during the Great Depression. In it, the protagonist’s mother is given a deadly STD by her husband, a traveling salesman. She feels ashamed—too ashamed to go to church. “Mother had stopped going to church.
In Romans 6, Paul makes an argument for why Christians should not continue living in sin. Here is his opening question: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2). The Greek word for
“So why did you start coming to this church?” the man asked. “When I moved to Denton, I started looking for a church, and I saw this one was ‘country-friendly,’” I explained. “I figured if I was going to be in North Texas, I should get that country experience. Of course, I asked the pastor some basic questions about what they believed and it
Are you a good listener? Are you a loving listener or a selfish one? When you’re having a conversation, does your flesh show through? I was convicted by this passage from Paul Zahl: A prime example of original sin is the way people listen, or rather do not listen, to each other. When you are on an airplane,
Years ago, there was a popular country song called “I Loved Her First.” It was about a young woman getting married. The song is from the perspective of the woman’s father. He reminds the groom that the father loved the girl first. I also remember years ago that someone in a Bible study said everything we read about in the
Paul’s letter to the Galatians contrasts law-religion and grace-religion. The contrast applies not only to how you are justified before God, but also to how you live the Christian life. One of the differences between law-religion and grace-religion shows itself in the pressures to have a “successful” ministry. What usually counts as a successful ministry? Numbers. Numbers of people. Numbers
If you preach grace—that God saves you through simple faith in Jesus for eternal life, apart from your works (cf. Gal 2:16)—then why do good? What’s the point of all the love commands in the NT (e.g., “serve one another in love,” Gal 5:13), if your eternal destiny in heaven or hell is not on
It is a universal fact of human nature that we all want to love and be loved. We all want to belong. But how will we do it? By law or grace? Why do young men join gangs? Usually because they live at the margins of society where they have little significance in the eyes
At the end of the Parable of the Four Soils in Mark 4, the disciples asked the Lord to explain the parable to them. He does so, but before explaining the parable, He asks them a couple of questions. “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” (Mark 4:13).
Legalists from Israel were corrupting the Galatian churches, teaching them they needed to be circumcised and to keep different laws to be saved. Paul hit back. Hard. Paul’s greeting to the Galatian churches (1:1-5) strongly emphasized that God is the main actor in salvation. God sends the preacher (v 1a). God raised Jesus from the