Blog Posts by David Mathis
The Biblical Vision of Christian Ministry
31 Years Ago Today: Piper Called to Preach
Critiquing the Left—And the Right
The Cross: Not a Terrible Monstrosity
If Billy Graham Had Been a Pastor
The Wine Jesus Drank
Twice Jesus was offered wine while on the cross. He refused the first, but took the second. Why so?
The first time came in verse 23, “they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.” William…Continue Reading
The One Who Stills the Seas
Why were Jesus' disciples so wigged out when he stilled the sea? Already afraid of the great storm, you'd think they might have been calmed by Jesus' calming of the waves. But it seemed to have the opposite effect. Mark…Continue Reading
Samson’s Spectacular Sin
You Can't Make This Stuff Up
Here is Moses’ amazing monotheistic appeal to the people of Israel at the edge of the Promised Land, after 40 years of wilderness wandering.
Ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that…
Barrabas and Me
Who do you identify with in the Passion narratives?
Of course, as good Christians, we say Jesus. He’s the good guy, our protagonist. As we relive the story, we pull for him, and against his enemies. And a long list…Continue Reading
Saving Souls: The Best Way to Save the Whales
Who else would call Noah’s ark “a floating zoo of creepy-crawlies”? Sam Crabtree is a skilled turner of curious phrases and has the rare gift of never being boring. His most recent article wrestles with how to be both green…Continue Reading
Beyond Five Points
The Permanent Value of TULIP
Deliver Us from Morality
Jesus keeps us off balance. We think we know that perfection is a fastball of justice, and he throws us the curveball of grace.
When I read Matthew 5:48 abstracted from it’s context, I’m thinking mainly in terms of justice.… Continue Reading
God in a Manger, Part 3: Jesus Is Treasure
God in a Manger, Part 2: Jesus Is Savior
God in a Manger, Part 1: Jesus Is Lord
Advent is my yearly reminder to brush up on Christology, the doctrine of the person of Christ. I’ve found it helpful to approach the subject under three headings:
- Jesus as Lord (fully divine)
- Jesus as Savior (fully human)
- Jesus as…
The Impossibility of Drinking Too Much
A sinner can’t over-drink at God’s oasis—the fountain of life in the cross of his Son. Calvin explains:
[In the Bible] we read not of any having been blamed for drinking too much of the fountain of living water; on… Continue Reading
How to Read Exodus and Other OT Books
Esther & Jesus: "The Reverse Occurred"
The Hebrew Scriptures point to Jesus in a myriad of ways. One way is narrative patterns, like the one in Esther 9:1:
On the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the…
Jesus Treated Women Differently
Fellow complementarians, try framing the gender debate in three categories instead of two.
Feminists and egalitarians love it when everything to their right is cast as one monolithic "complementarianism." But authentic complementarians need to highlight that there is not only…Continue Reading
An Unmarked Grave: Life of Calvin, Part 9
Calvin fell deathly ill in the winter of 1558 at age 49. He thought he was at death’s doorstep and so turned his few remaining energies to the final revision of his Institutes. Until this time, he hadn’t been…Continue Reading
The Fateful Years: Life of Calvin, Part 8
T.H.L. Parker calls 1553–1554 Calvin’s “fateful years.” According to Parker, this was when “two large storms blew from different quarters and raged simultaneously.” One was Calvin’s battle with the libertines; the other was the infamous Servetus affair.
The Genevan air…Continue Reading