The first seminary class I ever took was THEO 5301: Systematic Theology 2. I’m not sure why I started with the second survey class, but the professor began the lecture by covering the basics. In the first lecture, the professor taught me something so foundational to theology that it changed the way that I understand […]Read More How to Understand Theology
As a pastor, one of the issues that I encounter frequently is people who are afraid that they’re doing the right things for the wrong reasons. For example, a person may want to read their Bible faithfully and have a healthy prayer life. Unfortunately, the person will frequently be immobilized by the fear that they’re […]Read More A Comforting Thought
The writer of Hebrews commands Christians to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.” The word confidence is an interesting word. The Greek word behind it, παρρησία (parrhesia), has several interesting meanings. Obviously, the word means to be bold and to have confidence. However, the word also means to speak plainly, to be blunt, or […]Read More The Shocking Boldness of Biblical Prayer
With Thanksgiving over, many of us are focusing our attention on Christmas. For many of us, Christmas is one of the most hectic times of the year. We have gifts to purchase, family events to schedule, and traditions to keep alive. Though we’re busy, Christians cannot afford to allow Christmas to pass us by. Whether […]Read More Christmas: A Time for Evangelism
Every Sunday, Christians gather to worship the God who gave them new life by the power of the Holy Spirit through the sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross. Though these mini-Easter celebrations look different, the common idea is that we gather to focus on God, challenge our fellow believers to greater obedience to Christ, […]Read More How to Prepare Your Heart for Church
In October 1517, Martin Luther began what we now recognize as the Protestant Reformation in the German city of Wittenberg. Since we’re separated from Luther by 501 years, it’s tempting to discredit the difficulties Luther encountered half a millennium ago. Make no mistake about it, however, Luther’s life was in real danger. His friends and […]Read More Be a Sinner and Sin Boldly: Luther on Following Christ
Different versions of Christianity have different standards a person must meet in order to be called a Christian. A Roman Catholic, for example, may define a Christian as someone who attends mass and participates in the sacraments. However, even the most ardent Catholic probably doesn’t believe their Lutheran neighbor is invariably consigned to the pits […]Read More What Must a Christian Believe?