Featured Resources by David Mathis

Articles by David Mathis

The One Who Stills the Seas

David Mathis

 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…

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Samson’s Spectacular Sin

David Mathis

In the book Spectacular Sins, John Piper writes about how God uses even (and especially) his people’s most tragic sins to work his global purposes for the glory of his Son, and for his people’s good. Judges 14 picks…

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You Can't Make This Stuff Up

David Mathis

The Giving of the Law at Mount Sinai

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…

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Barrabas and Me

David Mathis

The crowd calls for Jesus' crucifixion.

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…

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Saving Souls: The Best Way to Save the Whales

David Mathis

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…

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Beyond Five Points

David Mathis

Tulips and sky

Don’t limit your understanding of God’s absolute sovereignty to five points in a mnemonic device (TULIP). Do start there, or at least cover that terrain in due course, but know that there is so much more to the…

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The Permanent Value of TULIP

David Mathis

In his introductory essay to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, J. I. Packer writes that Calvinism and Arminianism are “two coherent interpretations of the biblical gospel, which stand in evident opposition to each…

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Deliver Us from Morality

David Mathis

I recommend Doug Wilson’s Five Cities that Ruled the World (Thomas Nelson, 2009). The cities he highlights are Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York, each leaving the world a legacy

Jerusalem has bequeathed to us a legacy of the…

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Rethinking Perfection

David Mathis

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.

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God in a Manger, Part 2: Jesus Is Savior

David Mathis

Yesterday we summed up Jesus’s full divinity under the heading “Jesus Is Lord.” We said that the doctrine of the incarnation could be remembered with John 1:14, “The Word became flesh.” That “Word” is the divine second person of the…

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God in a Manger, Part 1: Jesus Is Lord

David Mathis

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

  1. Jesus as Lord (fully divine)
  2. Jesus as Savior (fully human)
  3. Jesus as…
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The Impossibility of Drinking Too Much

David Mathis

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
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How to Read Exodus and Other OT Books

David Mathis
Tremper Longman has produced another beneficial resource for reading and rightly appropriating the Old Testament. This time it’s How to Read Exodus.
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Esther & Jesus: "The Reverse Occurred"

David Mathis

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…

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Jesus Treated Women Differently

David Mathis

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…

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An Unmarked Grave: Life of Calvin, Part 9

David Mathis

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…

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The Fateful Years: Life of Calvin, Part 8

David Mathis

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…

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Return to Geneva: Life of Calvin, Part 7

David Mathis

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…

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Resource for Preaching OT Narrative

David Mathis

Ralph Davis’s The Word Became Fresh is an outstanding resource for those eager to preach from the largest chunk of their Bibles—the Old Testament narratives. In a mere 150 pages, Davis walks through all the basics that are so obvious…

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The Golden Years: Life of Calvin, Part 6

David Mathis

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…

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A Night's Stay in Geneva: Life of Calvin, Part 5

David Mathis

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…

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The Myth of Neutrality

David Mathis

Is feigning neutrality a good strategy in telling a nonbeliever about Jesus? In his Apologetics to the Glory of God, John Frame argues that doing so is not only unwise but dishonest

To tell an unbeliever that we can…

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Institutes: Life of Calvin, Part 4

David Mathis

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…

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De Clementia, Conversion, and Cop: Life of Calvin, Part 3

David Mathis

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…

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