The Foot of the Cross

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It seems chaotic. Crowds moving, people hollering. Some are mocking and laughing. Others simply shake their heads as they pass by. For many there, vicious — almost indescribable — anger is thinly veiled beneath jeering and taunting. Never has laughter been so spiteful. And then there are a few — just a few — who stand still. Silently, mournfully, disbelievingly, gazing upward at a bloodied and broken man, still hoping that any moment now they will awake to find this has been a horrific dream. But it’s not. It won’t go away. Nothing has ever been more real. Nothing has Continue reading

So Much More Than Manners

give thanks

Say ‘Thank You!’ As a bratty little boy I had to be constantly reminded to say ‘Thank you’ for things. I was unthankful and presumptuous. My elders were working for my good when they laboured to teach me my manners, and I am very thankful for it. Sadly, my hardness of heart through my youth set some persistent patterns in my life and behaviour. My unwillingness to be thankful as a matter of courtesy continued into adulthood. It’s really only over the past few years that I’ve begun to realize just how connected thanklessness / thankfulness is to my heart’s Continue reading

When Divorce Is Good and Holy… Christians Are Confused

until death do us part

Someone recently forwarded me an article called ‘When Divorce is Good and Holy‘ and asked for my thoughts. I don’t typically respond to other people’s posts publicly but when I read this one, I felt a strong sense of urgency within my own heart to reply. When it comes to issues like marriage, which are so close to the heart of God, we need to think very carefully. The premise of the article is simple: If Jesus upholds divorce as a legitimate option then we ought to view it as good and holy, when carried out according to his teaching. Continue reading

What Has Christ Cost You?

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The Big Question It’s a personal question, but it’s one that must be asked: What has it cost you to follow Jesus? This past Sunday I had the privilege of preaching Luke 6.12-26. There Jesus considers those who are poor, hungry, weeping, and rejected as ‘blessed.’ They are to be happy. He even commands them to rejoice! Why would that be blessed? Doesn’t all of human history testify to our striving as a race to get away from poverty, hunger, weeping, and rejection? Why should these people be happy? Jesus answers: Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Their future reward is Continue reading

Ways to Love the Church More

I Heart U (banner)

Let me say this plainly: I love the people of Grace Fellowship Church. I totally felt what John Piper was saying in a recent interview on his experience as a pastor at Bethlehem: I never felt that I was the church’s privilege, but that she is mine. To be at Bethlehem was gift, all gift. I have felt that to be my reality in increasing measure since we planted, almost three years ago now. And I know that Paul, my fellow pastor, feels the same way. That being said, I have known enough churches and enough pastors over the years to realize Continue reading

Four Little Words

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What is the likelihood you’ll be at church on Sunday? 50%? 75%? Recently, I heard an experienced urban minister reflecting on the reality that in most urban contexts, among most young Christians — even reformed evangelicals — church attendance peaks at around 2-3 Sundays per month. Before you judge, honestly evaluate your own attendance over the past little while. I say that because for most of these young people, if you were to ask them, they would indicate that they are very committed. In their own perception, they are more likely to be there than not, whether or not the facts Continue reading

The First Stone

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks from the podium at the cenotaph during a Remembrance Day service in Toronto on Monday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

To Test Us It still amazes me how little the church of Christ can sometimes actually look like Christ. And I say that as a leader of the church, myself bearing the brunt of the blame. The hypocritical media and self-appointed moral police of our city have brought a man before us who has been caught (on video) in sin. Death threats, drunken stupors, and binges of crack-cocaine — all from a man who should be an example and a leader. They have set this man in our midst. They are testing us, as a society now. It’s clear how Continue reading