The Lenten season has historically been a time of solemn reflection on the human condition. Ash Wednesday reminded us that human life is fragile — for dust we are, and to dust we shall return. But we learn quickly that the human condition is marked not merely by fragility, but by depravity. In fact, by the time of Noah, human corruption and violence had become so pervasive that God was said to be grieved to his heart and filled with regret. That the all-powerful God could be portrayed as regretting the creation of man powerfully conveys the sinfulness of sin.Read More
The Bible is the best selling book in history. It's also one of the most questioned books of all time. If people question its reliability, how can someone put their trust in the Bible? The Curiosity Collective brings together thought leaders, authors, philosophers and theologians to explore this difficult question.Read More
We study what we love, don’t we? When I was a kid, I studied Michael Jordan statistics—not because I loved stats, but because I loved basketball and I loved Jordan.
Or picture this scenario. Imagine you asked me about my wife and I responded, “Oh, she’s incredible—the most amazing woman I’ve ever known! She’s from Oregon, has beautiful red hair, and hates chocolate.” In reality, my wife is a chocolate-loving brunette from Virginia. Would she feel honored and loved by the previous description? Of course not. I can gush about her all day long, but unless my words reflect who she really is, she’ll be insulted.
Does it make sense, then, to operate with carelessness when it comes to how we think and talk about God?
The study of God in the pages of the Bible is both intensely practical and the joy of those who cherish him. “Great are the works of the Lord,” the psalmist exclaims, “studied by all who delight in them.”9 There is the key: study anchored in delight.Read More
We hear a lot about Christian marriages being different, but what is it that makes a marriage "Christian"?
A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.Michel de Montaigne1
Marriage has gotten quite a bad reputation over the years. The butt of a seemingly infinite number of jokes, matrimony is a source of endless social commentary, gender politics, and governmental debate.Read More
Christians often speak of the “Good News”—the gospel. What is this good news?
What’s the best news you ever heard?
Maybe it was a disease healed, a relationship restored, a child born. Whatever it was, something happened, that something was told to you, and that something changed everything.
Would it surprise you to learn that the heart of Christianity is good news?
Not good advice—good news. Good advice would be me telling you to stick to your budget, save every month, and invest wisely. Good news would be me telling you that someone opened up a bank account for you with 10 million dollars in it—and all you need to do is sign the papers.Read More
So should Christians obey the Old Testament law? An answer to that question is extremely complex depending on how we define our terms and nuance our answers.
In general, we can say that Christians are free from the demands of the law, not in such a way as to imply that there are no longer certain moral boundaries and explicit obligations which are in some sense even more demanding than the letter of the Old Testament.
Christ has freed us from the Mosaic Law but has given us a new law, a law of love founded upon a gracious gospel beckoning for our entire lives. In Christ we are no longer under the law as slaves, but are under grace as sons – sons who are indwelt and empowered by the Spirit. In Christ we respond not to demands of the law but to the promises of the gospel.Read More
There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
for God is so very great, and asks all of us;
and these people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled
for the old life, they have seen too much:
once taste God, and nothing but God will do any more.
Over the past three weeks at Sampa Church we have been talking about some difficult prayers that can help us take the next steps in our spiritual journey. These prayers can help was move towards God. They are not magic prayers but they do put us in a position to hear from God and to grow spiritually.
David's prayer was for God to search him. We are asking God to point out sin in our lives. It's not always fun asking God to point out the areas where you are missing the mark but It can...Read More
“It is a believing heart that will allow you to take one step, which turns into another, which turns into another, until at some point you find yourself in a place where there is no going back, and the only way to keep moving is to experience the miraculous intervention of God. Believing doesn’t make for an easy life; it doesn’t make difficulties go away. It simply...Read More