There is a repentance that is anti-repentance, for it clings tightly to the sin over which it sorrows, because in that sorrow is its consolation. In this warped spiritual scheme, our anguish is atonement; shame is our absolution; tears are our baptism. We feel better knowing how bad we feel about our wrongs. But there is a much better way.
The Unexpected Gospel of the Fiery Furnace
The well-known Sunday School story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is far from a simple account of three brave and faithful Israelites. It’s a mini-story with a mega-story tucked inside it—a story that links it (backward) to Exodus and (forward) to the Gospels.
The Number 666 and God’s Merciful Math
The number 666 is Revelation has been interpreted in a myriad of ways. To whom does it apply? Is it a reference to a particular man or humanity in general? In this article, Chad Bird describes how 666 is related to God's math of mercy in the Messiah.
Hashtag Preaching and Whack-a-Mole Worship
When the direction of preaching is dictated by the hashtag issues of the day, the pulpit becomes the perpetual servant of CNN and Fox News. The news and social media cycle, with its chameleonic alterations from this all-important issue (this week) to that next-all-important issue (next week), does not create a rhythmic dance for the church but a sort of…
The Old Testament Pentecost: Why Did Jesus Pour Out His Spirit on This Particular Day?
At the foot of Mt. Sinai, God told Israel how to celebrate Pentecost once they reached the holy land. Generations later, on the day of this Old Testament festival, Christ poured out his Spirit in Jerusalem. What made Pentecost the ideal day for this gift to be given?