Friday, December 21, 2012

The Christmas Message in a Nutshell

Two Sundays ago someone asked my Sunday school class to sum up the Christmas message in as few words as possible. They wanted the Christmas message in a nutshell, and I immediately thought of the single word, “Immanuel.”

Sunday, December 16, 2012

History of Mary Worship

The Catholic Church acknowledges three types of respect paid to important figures in the Church. The first, “latria”, is worship and adoration reserved for God alone. “Dulia” is the veneration allotted for all of the Saints, and the last form, “hyperdulia”, is especially for the Virgin Mary.[1] The idea of formal veneration for anyone except God is a foreign concept for Protestants, but Mary has held an unique place in the Church since the Church Fathers. This place of honor expanded from a theological side note to the throne of Heaven during the era prior to the Reformation. This paper will seek to examine the rise of Mary's importance in Western Church doctrine and practice specifically from the second century until the twelfth.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Romans 3:21-26 Does the Church need Gospel?

I grew up in Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Up here in New England you all also have some mountains in the area. I hear Mount Washington in New Hampshire reaches over 6,200 feet high. That is really high—only about a thousand feet lower than my home town. Growing up in Estes Park I used to go to church every Sunday. When I was a teenager one of my favorite “church times” was youth group. One of the most interesting aspects of our youth group was the variety of kids who came. And how those kids would clump up and form groups of friends.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Covenant vs Dispensational Theology - History and Differences

            Today’s average dispensationalist and covenant theology adherents know little to anything about their own theology or that belonging to the other system. Adherents of the covenant of grace system are too quick to accuse dispensationalists of believing in two distinct planes of salvation: one for the Jew and one for the Gentile. While on the other side, dispensationalists are too quick to accuse covenant believers of replacement theology, which charges the church with replacing and receiving the benefits belonging to the nation of Israel. What neither side realizes is the long and drawn out history involved in the formation of both systems of theology and that these caricatures do not accurately reflect much of what these systems contain. The history of dispensational and covenant theology are best seen in contrast with each other. By studying their origins, their early and influential theologians, their developments and conflicts, and their modern viewpoints, today’s adherent can better interact and learn from both systems.   

Friday, October 26, 2012

James 3:1-12 Why you shouldn't be a pastor

I used to think I could never become a pastor when I was a kid. One of the reasons I didn’t want to become a pastor is James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” I knew if I became a pastor I would have to answer to God for what I taught. In fact, I used to imagine myself before God surrounded by pastors from all over the world.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Matthew 18:15-20 Church Conflict and Discipline

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.” These are the opening lines of Shakespeare’s most famous play. The famous play about two feuding families: the Capulets and the Montagues. And their two “star-cross’d lovers,” Romeo and Juliet.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Seminary Books on Preaching

Go to this list (aff link) to see all the books I read for my preaching classes as a Master of Divinity student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. If you're a seminary student, pastor, or lay preacher, these books can improve your weekly and special occasion preaching. Seminary professors and pastors wrote these resources to help you communicate more clearly and powerfully the Word of God. Enjoy taking advantage of them.
Image by: timetrax23

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Philippians 4:1-23 How to Stand

My brother Nathanael and I liked to search for golf balls in lake Estes. There is a golf course right next to the lake and golfers hit their balls into the water. About once every couple years the town drains part of the lake and moves sediment. If you go at the right time you can find some golf balls hidden in the sand and mud. So one time we dressed in our blue jeans and boots and headed to the lake.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Philippians 3:12-21 What's So Great About Sports?

I have a confession to make. I don’t really like sports. I do not describe baseball or football or basketball by listing off my favorite player’s stats. Instead, I describe all these pastimes with one word… “Sports.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Philippians 3:1-11 What is Righteousness?

A judge opened court with a strange announcement. “Ladies and gentleman, I have in hand two checks. A bribe you might call it. One from the defendant for $15,000. Another from the accuser for $10,000. My decision is to return the $5,000 to the defendant. And decide the case strictly on its merits.” [1]

Friday, September 28, 2012

Philippians 2:12-30 Mission Impossible

Do you ever feel like God calls us to do the impossible? God calls us to live like Christ. We are to live in unity with our families, churches, and those we don’t like. We are to do everything with the right motives. We are to consider other people as better than ourselves. We are to make sure others get what they want before we get what we want. And we are to live humbly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Philippians 2:1-11 Worthy of the Gospel

The first time I ever considered entering the pastorate I was twelve years old. I was a best friend of our then Senior Pastor’s oldest son. One weekend the Pastor’s oldest son walked into Sunday school, sat down, and said, “God told me last night I’m going to be a pastor.” He was also twelve years old. Today he is a pastor to those around him and I hope he will one day enter fulltime ministry.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Philippians 1:12-30 Is there more to life?

When I was about 17 years old I had a serious breakthrough in my thinking. And I mean this was huge for me. It was like seeing the light of day for the first time. It was like I was a 12-year-old boy again and was opening up my first Christmas gift to find a Lego Star Wars set. It was like eating Swiss chocolate. It was like being stranded on a desert island and finding a satellite telephone and a mini-fridge packed with rocky-road ice cream. It was like visiting Rocky Mountain National Park without any other tourists. And I bet you really want to know what this breakthrough in my thinking was.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Philippians 1:1-11 I feel stuck in life

I graduated in May 2009 from Colorado State University with a degree in Business and was one of the few to land a job in the down market. In June my dad and I drove 1,700 miles to Virginia and a few weeks later I began work as an Associate Bank Examiner. I thought I’d made it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Matthew 16:13-27 The Shortest Conversion

I put my faith in Jesus when I was four years old. My conversion was not grounded in deep theological truth but in one simple concept. My brothers were Christians so I wanted to be a Christian. My mom was sitting in our old living room when I told her I wanted to believe in Jesus. We bowed down next to our old-blue couch and prayed “the prayer.” I confessed my sins, asked for Jesus’ forgiveness, and invited him into my heart. And then we prayed something that made a big impression on little me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

From Hinduism to Christianity

This is my Love story with Jesus Christ. I was born in India and raised by a Hindu Family. It was not the world I expected. I was brought up with too many rules and regulations and in India there are 'pride words' that can destroy an entire family reputation with single word. But I was born in that country so I respect it with my heart.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Prayer and a Stolen Wallet

The night was supposed to be a calm and relaxing evening at a restaurant with one of my close girlfriends from Maryland. We decided to go into Washington DC as a fun half-way point -- Dupont Circle!  As I approached my friend I could already sense something was wrong.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

1 Day in the Life of a Seminarian

Seminarians live exciting lives filled with reading, studying, and the occasional mealtime romance. Here is a description of one day in my life that is far more more productive on paper than it is in reality.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Worshipsex - How We Worship

People are peculiar. We have the sometimes helpful, sometimes ruinous tendency to compartmentalize our lives. This tendency is helpful when work tries to follow us into our home life, but I am afraid it is a crippling tendency if applied to our relationship with Jesus.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Full Biblical Inerrancy - The Evangelical Debate

Although evangelicals believe God inspired the Bible, not all believe God’s word is fully inerrant. There are many viewpoints that argue for and against inerrancy within evangelicalism. Some think Scripture is fully inerrant while others believe it's limited or only partially inerrant. So what's the right answer?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Taxicab Gospel

When I worked in Washington DC I got quite a few chances to travel because of my job. On many of these trips I took a taxi to and from the airport and what I like most about these times is you never know what’s going to happen when you sit down inside that yellow cab.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Clean Christian Bible Jokes

Here are a few clean Bible jokes. The references may seem a little obscure, but so are the thoughts of those that created them. Laugh at own risk. Share at the risk of others.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Worship to the Left - Draw Me Close to You

One Sunday a friend totally transformed my church worship experience. We were standing in the front row staring up at the music screen when he looked at me and slowly turned his body 90 degrees to face me. He kept singing as he stared at my face. This is what I learned.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Friday the 13th vs. Christian Horror - Slasher Film Gospel

Even as a Christian Horror author, I never imagined I would ever hear the Gospel according to Jason Voorhees. But a few weeks ago, I did. For those of you not familiar with Jason Voorhees, he’s the horror icon from Camp Crystal Lake. The big guy with the hockey mask and machete? That’s him.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Young People in Ministry

I started seminary when I was twenty-two years old. I was probably the third or fourth youngest Master of Divinity student on campus with aspirations to become a pastor. It made me a little bit nervous, even though nobody ended up caring about my age. But is it a good idea to go to seminary that young? Shouldn't we wait till we're older? Let's see what the Bible says about young people in ministry.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Survive Seminary - Engage the Heart

I learned my first seminary lesson a week after I realized God designed me for ministry. When the prophet Isaiah answered God’s great commission to warn Israel of their sins, Isaiah answered with, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Isaiah practically screamed his heart out in the presence of the living God. Learning to engage the heart, is perhaps the most important lesson we need to learn before diving headfirst into ministry.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Which Superhero is Best?

Which superhero is best? Apparently girls tend to say Batman and guys tend to say Superman. But really, this is not a one superhero answer. This requires time, analysis, and an in-depth discussion of all possible "best" superheroes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Seminary Reading List - M.Div Year 2

Go to this list (aff link) to see all the books I read my second year as a Master of Divinity student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Depending on what order you take your  classes, and what electives you sign up for, this reading list could easily change. However, it should still give you a good idea of the types of books you may read your second year, and some books you could read to better prepare yourself if you haven't yet begun classes. Each class usually has between 1,000-2,000 pages of required reading. Enjoy!
Image by: Juhansonin

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm Christian and I struggle with Homosexuality

When I was born, I lived in Lawrence, MA with my parents and my sister. But when I was around the age of 2, they divorced and my sister and I were put into foster care.  We moved to my aunt’s home until I was about 5 and then into a family friend’s home until I turned 7. My sister and I were then adopted by a new family.

Friday, July 20, 2012

For I am not ashamed... or am I?

Mark 8:38 "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 

It happened again. The moment of truth. I'm no stranger to these types of situations, yet almost every time they arise, I feel that cringe. A few weeks ago, a co-worker and I were chatting and I mentioned that I had met an acquaintance of hers recently. She responded "She told me you two had met at a Bible study". THUD.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Christian Widow's Testimony of God's Faithfulness

I spent a good portion of my life trying to figure out what life meant and answering why was I here.  I grew-up Catholic during the powerful charismatic Holy Spirit movement that swept through our town in the mid seventies.  I remember wanting to experience God, waiting for something to happen and desperately hoping that Jesus would show himself to me.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Top 10 Hazards of Seminary

There are a few hazards people don't tell you about when you sign up for seminary. Here, to warn the general public, is my exhaustive but incomplete least of the top 10 dangers. Brace yourself.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Do you believe you are God's beloved?

Do you believe you are God’s beloved? Do you think God cares about you as an individual? What was your first response? Was it... "No. I am not God's beloved." Well when my teacher asked me this very same question, I had that response, and here is what it taught me about my relationship with God.

Friday, July 6, 2012

If you die today, where will you go?

My Christian walk started early on in life. Since I was a child I was raised in a Christian household and followed the example of my mother, a devout Christian woman.  Although I knew Christ and attended church regularly it wasn't until age nine that I recited the sinner's prayer and became a true Christian. Danny, a youth pastor in a Baptist church my family was attending at the time, played a major part in my decision.  He was always handing out Christian pamphlets that showed a young cartoon man who lived his life with and without Christ.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bad Words at a Reformed Seminary

Seminarians at reformed seminaries sometimes say bad words. But they do it differently than most people. The following is a list of words that the first year Seminarian will soon learn to blush upon hearing them whispered by the hardened lips of second and third year theologians.

Friday, June 29, 2012

New Perspectives on Paul: Where Wright is Right and Crucially Wrong

Depending on the setting, the words “New Perspective” either garner approving nods or violent repudiations. The topic elicits such varied responses because it cuts to the heart of Christianity: by what means a sinner is found to be acceptable by a holy God. In fact, adherents to this thinking would argue that the problem thus outlined is not the priority of Scripture at all, at least not a priority of Paul's. This paper shall seek to generally outline the ideas put forth by the New Perspective, and interact with the position as both a contributor and detractor to the orthodox Christian faith.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

10 Reformed Seminary Jokes

#1 How do you throw a party at seminary?
- Keep the library open past 11pm.

#2 What happens to Hebrew studies as the semester progresses?
- Compensatory lengthening.

#3 Why do they call it seminary?
- Because they ran out of Greek words.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D'Souza

Back in college I attended an atheism vs. religion debate at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder Colorado. Two men took the stage: a confident and voguish Atheist, Christopher Hitchens, and the humble but also confident, Dinesh D'Souza. I sat in a crowd of 600 people listening and waiting for my chance to speak up and challenge.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From Muslim to Christian

The Love story between Jesus and I contain a lot of pain, sacrifice, growth and fulfillment. I grew up Muslim here in the states. Within an abusive and strict household I grew to question God at a young age. My confusion got me into a lot trouble and suspicion within my immediate family which caused us all to become devoutly dedicated to our Muslim traditions.

Friday, June 15, 2012

What is the Doctrine of the Trinity?

There are many ways to explain the Trinity. Most are heretical. Few are orthodox. So in this article we've put together not one, but two definitions of our Triune God. It's not so much two completely different explanations, but two ways of looking at the same God. One view is simply a definition of God explained by his attributes. The other... is a bit more complicated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

50 Christian Blogs by 50 Non-Famous Christians

There are lots of links to the famous blogs out there that everybody knows about, but what about those blogs that rock but more people need to go to the show? This is my shout out to you! Here is a list of 50 Christian blogs by 50 Non-Famous Christians. Awesome people write them, and you should visit every single one of them.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Christian Horror by N. Paul Williams

“So, explain Christian Horror. I mean, exactly how does that work?” The question is like a joke that never gets old. Better yet is the look on their faces after I’ve explained the passion that’s driven me for the last decade. You know the look. It’s the one that says, “Wow! That really does make sense. Why didn’t I think of that?”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Fast for the First Time

After hearing a pastor preach on fasting, I decided my time had come to take the leap into hunger. The pastor said that in Matthew 6:17 Jesus taught on fasting. Jesus started teaching on fasting with the words, “When you fast.” The pastor said Jesus didn’t say, “If you fast” but "when you fast." I’d never read the verse that way before. It meant I had to fast, not because it would give me a spiritual high, but because Jesus called me to do so. Fasting would teach me why.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Seminary Reading List - M.Div Year 1

Go to this list (aff link) to see all the books I read my first year as a Master of Divinity student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Depending on what order you take your  classes, and what electives you sign up for, this reading list could easily change. However, it should still give you a good idea of the types of books you may read your first year, and some books you could read to better prepare yourself if you haven't yet begun classes. Each class usually has between 1,000-2,000 pages of required reading.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Alis Aquilae

Feathers scattered across crimson cobble
Love’s wings shattered this petrified heart
I am who I am, Infallible

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Luke 24:44-53/Acts 1:1-11 The Ascension’s Task

Star Wars! Everyone remembers Star Wars differently. Some of you think of the classic Star Wars trilogy. Those wonderful films filled with groundbreaking action and adventure. And the rest of you think of the new Star Wars trilogy. Or what I prefer to call, “George Lucas’s big mistake.” But back to the real Star Wars. If you’re a guy, maybe your favorite character is Han Solo. But if you’re a girl, maybe your favorite character is also Han Solo.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I crushed the world’s color
Between my finger tips paint bled
Rescue me my Beloved
I am distant—far from Lover

Mark 16:1-8 Fearless Resurrection

The word “gospel” means “good news.” The gospel of Mark tells us the good news about Jesus Christ. The good news about Jesus is all throughout Mark. Jesus casts out demonic spirits. He heals lepers, paralytics, the blind, and the mute. He confronts hypocritical religious teachers. He walks on water and calms an angry storm. He feeds five thousand and another four thousand. He heals an old bleeding woman and raises a 12-year old girl from her death. So three women expected good things when they watched Jesus ride triumphantly into Jerusalem.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Covenant Eyes Accountability Promo Code

Covenant Eyes is a website filtering and accountability tool meant to block pornography and help men and women stay accountable. If you haven't considering the software it for your personal, family, or ministry computers, please consider signing up soon. Here are several reasons why.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why do Christians Play Settlers of Catan?

Instead of hitting the bars or going downtown to bump and grind at the newest clubs, Christians flock to their friends' homes for one of the oddest of rituals. It's something new that most people don't realize happens to Christians when they repent and invite Jesus Christ into their life. But their Friday and Saturday evenings will no longer be spent in the smelly confines of a darkly-lit and overcrowded dance floor. Their nights will be spent in a small circle gathered around an colorful board.