How Baptizing Children is Grace on Display

Infant baptism is a controversial topic of discussion. While we have historical evidence that the 1st century church practiced infant baptism and they referred to this as the “tradition of the apostles”, [1] the church has been divided on infant baptism since 1608 when Anabaptist leader Menno Simons, Baptist leader John Smyth and others asserted that baptism should be delayed until after the children of believers professed their faith. Before I continue, I want to be clear that even though I have come to embrace infant baptism and see God’s grace on display in it, my aim isn’t… Read More

Where’s Jesus?

I was asked once if preaching the grace of Christ week after week will get old. Well, Jesus said in Luke 24 that all of scripture is about Him [1], so I think it’s best to keep Him front and centre. If those of us who stand in pulpits are concerned about “Jesus fatigue” and keep Jesus in the background in favour of putting applicational teaching in the foreground, we’ve missed the greater point in the text. The same is true around the dinner table. Our desire is to raise our children… Read More

Exile, Homecoming & Grace

No doubt you are navigating many conversations around your dinner table regarding the refugee crisis in light of recent executive orders by Mr. Trump and the far reaching ramifications of those decisions. As I scroll through the headlines in my newsfeed, I find myself increasingly thankful that the gospel invites me to rest in a world that is at great unrest. If Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension are true, then the gospel offers us an eternal perspective that informs how we relate to the issues of the world around us. Christ has saved… Read More

Will the Church Survive?

Will the church survive? I remember being in a forum a few years ago in New York City  where that question was posed to a very large group of pastors and ministry leaders from across Canada and the US. The Barna Group presented statistics about the dwindling congregations in many traditional, mainline churches and exposed how large attractional churches have large revolving doors. It didn’t matter if your church was high liturgy or rivalled a Bruno Mars concert, across the board, the next generation seemed to be saying, “see ya”. It’s been three years… Read More

Here we are now. Entertain us.

Do you remember way back in May 2007, Charlie and his brother Harry were sitting on a chair when Charlie bit Harry’s finger? The little guys broke the internet. Do you remember the double rainbow of 2010? Here we are now – entertain us. ~ Kurt Cobain Like myself, you probably laughed at Charlie, the double rainbow and the innumerable amount of funny videos that went viral since. Needless to say, these two videos are old news and the next big thing is being uploaded as I type this. We love the next… Read More

On Healing

This week I had the honour of officiating a funeral for one of our members who is now enjoying the presence of God in a way that I can’t fully comprehend and my words could never fully convey. When you attend a funeral, you find yourself confronted by deep, probing and perhaps uncomfortable questions. Depending on your belief system, thinking about your own mortality is either a very morbid or a very reassuring exercise. I’ve attended and officiated many funerals. Teenagers. Infants. Elderly people who lived full lives. Tragic accidents involving young adults. Or as in… Read More

duz doktryn mattor?

My daughter Rebecca volunteered as a tutor last semester to help a young girl who had great difficulty reading. The little girl really struggled with phonics. She didn’t know why certain letter combinations made certain sounds, so simply telling her what a word was and have her repeat it was not a viable long term solution. She needed help understanding why words sounded like they did. In Paul’s letter to Ephesus he said that he didn’t want the church to be “children who are carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning or by… Read More

The Anatomy of the Prosperity ‘gospel’

We need the grace of God to deal with the life & death stuff. The heartbreak of broken relationships, the devastation of disease, the anxiety of economic hardship, the pain of abuse, the sorrow of death … thank God, the hope of the gospel in Christ is big enough for the life and death stuff. Though this world is broken because we are sinful, God will restore it because He is gracious. We live life in between the “already” of what Christ accomplished at the cross and the “not yet” of what He will accomplish with His return. We… Read More

Ruined.

I was in Ethiopia a few years back and I had the incredible privilege of preaching in some churches. After one of the services, I was asked if I wanted some coffee. I looked down and saw a small, badly stained pot and some tools I didn’t recognize, sitting next to a tiny fire. I agreed to have a cup, so one of the ladies went and picked some coffee beans off of one of the plants growing beside the church and began to roast them. Soon I was holding a small cup… Read More

I lost my religion in South Sudan

When Jesus instituted the gathering of the church He was clear about our purpose, and it’s shockingly simple. He and His friends gathered around bread and wine, and He said that every time they gathered they were to reflect on His gift of grace, take those sacraments and remember Him. “THIS do” He said. The church is a living, breathing, organism. The apostles appointed elders & deacons to organize the organism so that sound gospel doctrine could be preserved and the church could care for one another in times of affliction and persecution. The… Read More

Everything is not awesome

Getting ready for church is an exhausting exercise for a lot of people. By getting ready, I don’t mean making wardrobe decisions. I mean the exhausting exercise of putting on the everything-is-awesome face. You know your life, your pain. your suffering, your fears and your sin better than anyone. You know everything isn’t awesome. The idea of going to church makes you nauseous because instead of crumpling into a ball, confessing weakness and finding grace, you feel pressured to confess awesomeness where you only find further exhaustion. God’s word encourages the church to “weep with those who… Read More