Day 7: Advent, the Incarnation and Prayer

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and grace to help in time of…

Day 6: Advent: the Wonder of the Ordinary

Have you ever been struck by the nondescript, matter-of-fact telling of the Christmas story in Matthew 1? I could only imagine my response if one of my students handed in story with similar lines: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.” “Now the birth of Jesus came about in this way.” “And they returned…

Day 5: Advent, Waiting and Coming Hope

There is a distinct difference between waiting and apathy, hope and cynicism. Throughout the Bible, the motif of waiting, expressed most beautifully in the Psalms: “My soul waits for the Lord, more than they who watch for the morning.” “Wait for the Lord, be of good courage, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait, I…

Day 4: Advent, The Beauty of Waiting

No one likes to wait. In this instantaneous society, we live off microwavable food, 5G data, and same-day delivery. Businesses are continually coming up with solutions to our longer-term “problems” of waiting: dating apps so we don’t have to wait the meet the right partner or new mortgage options so we don’t have to save…

Day 3: Advent and the Gospel pt 2

A phrase from a song my sister’s been singing around the house has been floating around in my mind lately: “I preach the gospel to myself, that I am not a man condemned.” That is exactly what advent is intended to do—to remind us of the applicability of the gospel to all of life. It…

Day 2: Advent and the Gospel

The Christmas story—the overflowing inn, the manger, the shepherds—would be just another historic tale if it weren’t for the message of the gospel it embodies. The gospel is a reality that is an actual event in history, a birth, life, death, and resurrection that occurred in real space and real time. But it is also…

Day 1: Advent, A Call to Ponder

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6) Thanksgiving is hardly over, and I’m already seeing new Christmas lights set up daily. Already, I’ll spot…

Why the Reformation Matters Today

Exactly 503 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany, launching the Protestant Reformation. The act was far less a public press release as it was an invitation to an academic debate, much like publishing a controversial article in an academic journal. But thanks to the recent…

2020 Recommended Books (Video)

Here’s my fall book review. Comment below if you have any great books you’ve read this year you’d like to share!

Highlights from Hudson Taylor

“Immediately the words ‘It is finished’ suggested themselves to my mind. ‘What is finished?’ And I at once replied, ‘a full and perfect atonement and satisfaction for sin. The debt was paid for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ Then came the further thought, ‘If…