Blog Posts by David Mathis
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
Return to Geneva: Life of Calvin, Part 7
After a golden three-year exile, Calvin returned to the city that expelled him. He didn’t jump at the opportunity but went reluctantly, feeling constrained by God’s will to resume the work.
It was September, 1541 when he stepped back into…Continue Reading
Resource for Preaching OT Narrative
The Golden Years: Life of Calvin, Part 6
Calvin spent the happiest years of his life outside Geneva. It started in April of 1538 when Calvin and fellow reformer William Farel were expelled from Geneva.
Their eager reforms were moving quicker than the city council was ready for.…Continue Reading
A Night's Stay in Geneva: Life of Calvin, Part 5
William Farel was the fiery redhead who cursed John Calvin’s ivory-tower life in Strasbourg and twisted his arm to stay in Geneva. Here’s the story.
Having published his Institutes, which were immediately successful, Calvin left Basel, still a fugitive…Continue Reading
The Myth of Neutrality
Institutes: Life of Calvin, Part 4
Calvin wrote as a fugitive. Exiled from France, he eventually settled in Basel where he found enough leisure to put together the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion.
The first edition debuted in March of 1536…Continue Reading
De Clementia, Conversion, and Cop: Life of Calvin, Part 3
Calvin was growing disillusioned with humanism while studying law in Bourges in 1531 when his father died. Freed from dad’s expectations of making law his profession, Calvin packed his bags for Paris to resume his theological pursuits.
It was 1532,…Continue Reading
Off to Paris: Life of Calvin, Part 2
It was 1523, and Calvin was 14 years old when he went off to university in Paris—70 miles south of his native city of Noyon. Providentially, he didn’t need to leave home alone, but went with two of the De…Continue Reading
Born to Gerard: Life of Calvin, Part 1
Five hundred years ago today, he was born Jean Cauvin in Noyon, France—about 70 miles north of Paris. His father was Gerard, son of a barrelmaker and boatman. Gerard was a lawyer, and it was his law practice that brought…Continue Reading
Hope for Sexual Strugglers
David fell in 2 Samuel 11. He saw that Bathsheba was “very beautiful,” and he followed his lusts down the slope to adultery—and then even to having her husband killed.
But by 1 Kings 1, David is able to be…Continue Reading
Strong in Another’s Strength
Laziness is not the alternative to living in your own strength. Paul talks about being strong in the strength of another.
- Ephesians 6:10: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
- Colossians 1:29: “I toil [to…
How John the Baptist Handled the Attention
God gave him a message, and so he went around delivering it. “The word of God came to John”—we call him John the Baptist—and “he went into all the region around the Jordan [River], proclaiming a baptism of repentance for…Continue Reading
Sitting Where Angels Stand
What’s more impressive than standing in God’s presence? Sitting—and doing so at the right hand.
An angel said to John the Baptist’s father: “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19). That’s noteworthy.
But more so…Continue Reading
Learning from Flawed Faith
The book of Judges—what a mess! It starts bad and gets worse and worse, then ends so poorly that it’s awkward to read in public.
Yet God put it in the Book and means it to be for “our instruction”…Continue Reading
Don't Just Be Passively Hospitable
In Romans 12:13, Paul points out that one effect of God’s mercy on his people is that they “seek to show hospitality.”
Seek. Pursue. Chase after.
They are not merely willing to be hospitablewhen someone comes to the…Continue Reading
Who's the Naked Guy and Why Does He Matter?
One puzzle in the passion story is, Who’s the young man running through the garden without his clothes on?
Mark 14:51–52 says,
And a young man followed [Jesus], with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized…