You’re Killing Me Smalls: Four Toxic Brands of American Christianity

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 11.39.03 PMIn the 1993 film “The Sandlot”, a kid named Ham Porter continually gets frustrated with the immaturity of another kid named Scotty Smalls.  When Ham’s frustration overcame him he would blurt out, “You’re killin’ me Smalls!”  Now this phrase is commonly used in American slang to express discontent or frustration towards another person or event.  Often times, I feel like Ham Porter when I observe American Christianity.  In fact, I think that there are four toxic brands of American Christianity that often lead me to say, “You’re killin’ me Smalls!Continue reading

Tangled Up With Me – a poem

Tangled Up With MeThe Total Inability (or Total Depravity) of graceless human nature should not be difficult for us to grasp.  One glance at the nightly news plainly reveals that all human beings – from Hollywood to Afghanistan – struggle unsuccessfully to find spiritual meaning and satisfaction.  As the Preacher in Ecclesiastes makes clear, the heart of every person is filled with a desire for “eternity” (Ecc 3:11) and yet, if God should leave us in our graceless Continue reading

Union with Christ in our Suffering

Gospel ThoughtWhen we suffer, our hearts put God on trial.  Like a prosecuting attorney, we level our questions against his character.  “How could you be good and allow this? If you could put an end to this, why don’t you? What have I done to deserve this?

Yet, for the Christian, God does not answer our questions with a logical defense of His sovereignty v. our suffering, but rather he answers us the way a mother comforts her crying child – with his presence.  With his gospel song, Christ offers us the experiential affirmation of his union with us – reminding us that he loves us, and that he is here with us, and that he is bound to us in our pain.   Continue reading

The Hypocritical NFL Concussion Debate

1380735124000-nfl-concussionsLast weekend, before the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton Ohio, there was a big flap over Junior Seau’s posthumous induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.  Seau, a middle linebacker for the SanDiego Chargers, took his life on May 2, 2012 amid speculation that he was troubled by brain damage due to CTE, a condition traced to concussion-related brain damage with depression as a symptom.  After submitting Seau’s brain for study, the family sued the NFL over the brain injuries suffered over his career, claiming that NFL does not provide enough information and protection for its players.
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Top 10 Superbowl Football Moments

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.20.34 AMSo, for the NFL football fans out there, what is your Top 10 Superbowl Football Moments.  By “Moments”, I mean those seconds in time that are etched in our national sports consciousness and still remembered today.  By “Football”, I mean those moments that are directly related to the game, not the media or entertainment related events.  I’ll post a Top 10 on that at a later date.  At any rate, these are my Top 10 Superbowl Football Moments.
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Jesus, Help me to do no Harm

DO NO HARMOn June 21, 2015, after admitting to an extra-marital sexual relationship, Rev. Tullian Tchividjian announced his resignation as senior pastor of Coral Ridge PCA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  This was devastating news for me.  Over a number of years, Tullian’s teaching, along with Paul Tripp, Ray Cortese, John Frame, J.D. Greear, Matt Chandler, Joe Novenson, Tim Keller, John Piper, Scotty Smith, Nancy Guthrie, and Elyse Fitzpatrick, have all been refreshing gospel voices for my soul.  Continue reading

My Beautiful Attractive God, Valley of Vision

Valley-of-Vision ReduxMy God, Your grace is like a magnet – drawing me to all that is truly attractive. And what I find truly attractive is most beautiful in you

  • I am attracted to honor and rejoicing – I find these things most beautiful in you
  • I am attracted to glory and virtue – I find these things most beautiful in you
  • I am attracted to seeing the hand of Deity in the created world – I find these things most beautiful in you as I see you speaking, acting, filling, and shining forth in all that you have made.

I find nothing good, unless you make it so
I stand near to nothing good, unless I stand near to you Continue reading