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Is Forgiveness Conditional Or Unconditional?

In some Christian circles, it has become common to hear people say that forgiveness is conditional. To a new believer who is perhaps not acquainted with the nuances of this argument, that can be hard to square with the seemingly unconditional things…

Should New Testament Believers Practice Fasting?

It is interesting to note that while feasting is a fixed and permanent aspect of biblical religion, fasting is occasional and provisional. We see that very clearly in two passages, one in the Old Testament and one in the New. In the Book of…

Should a Christian Get Cremated?

We recently did a 16 week series on Biblical Anthropology in which we talked a lot about what it means to be a human being, what it means to have a body and what it means to be resurrected. The material covered in the series gave rise to a number of…

Do I Have to Forgive Someone Who Has Never Repented of What They Did to Me?

Do I have to forgive someone who has never repented of what they did to me?  This question usually comes up when a person has encountered what Jesus says in Luke 17:3-4: “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he…

Can a Christian Get a Tattoo?

Can a Christian get a tattoo? I get asked this question a couple of times of year, usually after a relatively new believer has successfully read through the Book of Leviticus for the first time. Leviticus 19:28 says: “You shall not make any cuts on…

The Role of Editing in the Sermon Writing Process

I can’t remember the last time I preached my first draft of a sermon. I’m sure that I’ve done it, but I’m also sure that it isn’t my ordinary practice. This past Sunday I preached D4 of a sermon on Genesis 3. The Sunday before that I preached D4b of…

3 Reasons Why the Resurrection Matters

There are certain events that can change the course of an entire generation. Historians often speak about how the Great Depression in the 1930’s and the Second World War in the 1940’s worked together to forge what we call now the Greatest Generation.…

You Can’t Always ‘Maintain the Relationship’

Every pastor has been asked some version of this question: “My son/daughter is doing X which of course, as a Christian, I don’t approve of, but they want me to do Y; should I compromise so as to maintain the relationship?” I’ve been asked that…

How (And Why) To Read Through The Bible in 2024

Last year around this time I retweeted something the late Tim Keller had posted that raised a bit of a ruckus on the interweb. I thought the tweet itself was innocuous: A surprising number of purportedly literate people seized upon the phrase…

Is Transfer Growth ever Good for the Church?

Early on in my ministry I learned that sheep stealing is very baaaaaaaaaad. (Do you see what I did there?) Classic dad jokes aside, everyone knows that trying to lure sheep away from one flock in order to have them join your flock is a major no no.…

Is It Time to Shut Down the Livestream?

The loss of large group worship gatherings over the course of the recent pandemic was undoubtedly a hardship for the church, but in the Providence of God, it may have been the catalyst for the development of some much-needed tools and resources.…

How to Speak to Friends and Loved Ones About the Situation In Israel

Many of us are finding ourselves engaged in conversations about the crisis in Israel, therefore, I thought it might be useful to offer some pastoral advice as to what you might wish to say in that situation. Your first couple of sentences should…