Category Archives: Holiness

‘Do you want to be healed?’

John 5:1-9a (ESV) After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids – blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who

“I don’t live there anymore.”

According to some sources, it was British Labour Party politician Andrew Francis Bennett who coined the popular – and thoroughly biblical – assertion that, “The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.” It’s helpful to me, whenever I encounter a truly vivid and memorable word picture

Happily Falling for the Greatest Swindle Ever

Everyone – and in this one instance I really do mean absolutely everyone, myself included – tends to respond to personal moral failures by seeking the false comfort afforded by listening to the relentless inner voice that stubbornly insists, “Come on! You’re a pretty good person!” And once we accept the proposition that we are,

The Best Exercise for You

Walking? Okay, maybe lifting weights.

Hmmm . . . Those were my best guesses as I started listening to the Freakonomics podcast, “The Best Exercise For You.” Surely it has got to be one of those. This podcast was incredibly entertaining partly because of the building anticipation on whether my guesses where going to be confirmed as right (they weren’t).

The more I thought on this question, I realized they might be right if your goal is to live a long life, but is this the best exercise from an eternal perspective? The apostle Paul reminds us that “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). In that light, I think the following exercise might arguably be one of the best, not just for our earthly body but for our soul.

Had Sex And Forgot About Jesus

A friend of yours, who by all accounts is a Christian, begins to have serious doubts about the faith and drifts away from church and his small group. How should you react? When you get lunch to ask him what’s going on he says that he’s not sure whether Christianity is really true. Is the Bible reliable? Are we sure that Jesus is the only way to God? How do we even know there is a God?

I think that our initial reaction is to try to answer our friend’s intellectual questions by offering intellectual answers. And if we don’t feel equipped to do so maybe we tell him to read a book on the subject. But is that the right response? Are his questions truly intellectual? Maybe. Perhaps he has encountered the “new” atheists or another group that is attacking the validity of Christianity and what he needs is some good answers from Christians who have thought deeply about these issues. But maybe not. Maybe he just had sex and that’s led to the questions and the doubts.

Helping Each Other Fight Sin

On Sunday Keith preached an excellent sermon on 1 Corinthians 5 called “Fighting Sin is a Community Project.” He gave four motivations for fighting sin: because it damages people, the church, the reputation of Christ, and because the sin inside the church is a bigger problem than the sin outside the church.

If you were like me, you walked away with a renewed desire to fight sin in your life as well as to help others fight sin. The question is how best to do it?

Downton Abbey, Prostitutes, and Contagious Holiness

I love me some Downton Abbey. The slightly over the top storylines, the historical setting, the upstairs-downstairs dynamic—my wife and I really enjoy it. The storyline of Ethel, the housemaid turned prostitute, has intrigued and frustrated me. Forced to leave Downton after being caught having sex, she ended up a single mother unable to support