When Mission Gets Real

Jonathan Parnell

We make an inevitable understatement.

Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 28:18, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” The right to rule everything belongs to him. All existence comes under his reign. Jesus is the one true King.

This is unspeakably important. The highest significance we could attribute to these words still seems to fall short. The crucified and risen Christ has cosmic authority.…

Continue Reading

Jack Is Back: Why We Want More

Marshall Segal

Our heroes — fictional or nonfictional — inevitably end up shaping our picture of God. Consciously or not we will project what we admire or praise in others onto the supremely admirable and praiseworthy one.

Not everyone watches television, but among those who do, lots and lots of us have followed Jack Bauer’s eight days of escalating terror, conflict, and rescue. There’s something captivating about vicariously experiencing and surviving twenty-four…

Continue Reading

Sing a New Song

David Mathis

We all love old music. Whether it’s centuries old or even just a few months, the tunes we enjoy most are unavoidably the ones we already know. And there’s no getting around it. Music has a strange power to capture thoughts and feelings from the past, recent or long ago, and send them streaming into our present at the sound of just a few bars.

It’s a common experience to…

Continue Reading

Show Your Kids the Glory

Christina Fox

Psalm 145:4–7 is a beautiful Scriptural summary of our responsibility as parents.

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing…

Continue Reading

Don’t Idolize Your Leaders

Jon Bloom

Barak was a hero of early Israel, serving during the pre-monarch period when Deborah judged the nation (Judges 4–5). His great military feat was the complete rout of the Canaanite general, Sisera, and his army. However, in the process he learned the important distinction between imitating and idolizing the faith of a leader he respected.

Deborah sat praying on the roof of Barak’s house in the small lakeside village of…

Continue Reading

Living Out God’s Design for Marriage

Tony Reinke

Complementarity is a big label we use for God’s full design for marriage, and several excellent books help to explain what it all means.

But another way to witness God’s design for marriage is to pull up a chair and learn from couples who are seeking to honor God by living out their complementarian convictions — a husband leading his wife so she will flourish, and a wife coming alongside…

Continue Reading

Wash in the Waters Again

David Mathis

Visible words. That was the Reformers’ term for baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

In complement to the spoken words of gospel preaching, these twin rhythms of the gathered church are dramatizations of the grace of God. These “visible words” rehearse for us the center of our faith through images and actions in the God-given pictures of washing, touching, smelling, and tasting. Alongside preaching, they reveal to us again and…

Continue Reading

Update on Ian and Larissa

Stefan Green

Three years ago, I was part of a small film crew that had the privilege of meeting Ian and Larissa Murphy at their home in Pennsylvania. Ian and Larissa were newly married, despite Ian’s traumatic brain injury in 2006. They were kind enough to let us tell their story.

When I think about that time I spent with Ian and Larissa, one thing stands out the clearest: their love for

Continue Reading

A Statement Stronger Than Silver

Marshall Segal

Today the NBA declared war on racism when commissioner Adam Silver banned franchise owner Donald Sterling from the league for life because of ten minutes of ignorant and offensive remarks recorded and recently released to the public. Silver’s historic decision exceeded what most experts had expected and said loudly to all who will hear, “We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the…

Continue Reading

What’s Wrong with Our Women

Marshall Segal

We don’t have a hard time thinking of men as depraved. After all, they are responsible for the vast majority of violent crime.

  • 90% of murders
  • 98% of sexual assaults
  • 93% of armed burglaries
  • 88% of simple assaults

That’s stunning. And it might reasonably lead you to think that men are more evil, and therefore more guilty and needy before God. But the trustworthy word of God teaches us otherwise.

Continue Reading