God

Good in every direction.

“Understanding the Book of Job” by Tom Tompkins

March 19, 2012 // 50 Comments

“If you’re suffering, you must have done something bad. God must be punishing you.” That must be one of the oldest lies in history. Here’s another. “God is using these hard times to teach you humility.” These lies can be traced back to one of the oldest and most misunderstood stories in the Bible – [...]

“Mystical Union” by John Crowder

February 24, 2012 // 37 Comments

In his book Mystical Union, John Crowder writes that there is a new mysticism on the rise, one  coupled with a new reformation. Identifying himself as a “reformed mystic,” Crowder argues that the mystics need the reformers’ faith, while reformers shouldn’t reject the mystics’ experience. The [...]

A New Covenant picture of repentance

February 20, 2012 // 21 Comments

Two classic signs of covenant confusion are: (1) you interpret repentance as turning from sin and (2) you think repenting will get God to forgive you. As I have explained elsewhere, God does not need your permission or even your repentance to forgive you. He forgave you before you were born in accordance with the [...]

Hebrews 10:26

February 15, 2012 // 264 Comments

I get asked more questions on Hebrews 10:26 than any other verse in the Bible. Evidently, this is a verse that troubles many Christians: If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left. (Hebrews 10:26) Whoa, that looks scary! Let’s take a quick [...]

“He Loves Me” by Wayne Jacobsen

November 15, 2011 // 10 Comments

How do you tell an unbeliever about the gospel? There are two basic approaches. The first approach, which is based on fear, poses hypothetical questions like, “If you were to die tonight, do you know where you would go? You could go to hell!” I don’t doubt that this approach is effective in getting people [...]

“Sit, Walk, Stand” by Watchman Nee

September 14, 2011 // 19 Comments

(Note: I wrote the following review 6 months ago but never got around to publishing it. Lately several people have asked me if I’ve read Sit, Walk, Stand – it seems this book is enjoying a renaissance among grace folk.) A few weeks ago I posted some thoughts on Watchman Nee’s book The Normal [...]

Do NIV readers have a sinful nature?

September 4, 2011 // 118 Comments

Here are two verses that seem to say contradictory things about our sinful nature: 1. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, (Col 2:11) 2. So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to [...]

Romans 7: The flesh test

August 18, 2011 // 33 Comments

Have you seen the pearl of wisdom hidden in Romans 7? Many miss it because they view the chapter as “not written for me” or as a mere prelude to chapter 8. This is a shame because if you can grasp what Paul says in Romans 7, it will save you a world of hurt. “Just remind me, what’s Romans 7 about?” I [...]

12 Infamous Examples of Walking After the Flesh in the Bible

August 16, 2011 // 11 Comments

“…and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” (Jdg 17:6) Since most of us have grown up with a works-based view of salvation, we tend to think of sin as doing bad things. If we avoid doing bad things we’ll avoid sin. But the Bible has a different definition of sin. “Whatever is not of faith is [...]

“Lifetime Guarantee” by Bill Gillham

July 24, 2011 // 24 Comments

Lifetime Guarantee is a book full of stories about ordinary life, like making eggs for breakfast, mowing the lawn, and sitting in your car outside the post office watching a pretty girl walk past. There’s also a riveting story about closing a closet door. That might sound dull if you’re Indiana Jones, but [...]

What happens to Christians who commit suicide?

July 4, 2011 // 198 Comments

What do you say to the parents of a Christian teenager who has just killed himself? I faced this situation several years ago and, I have tell you, it’s not easy. Premature death is hard to handle at any time but suicide leaves loved ones bewildered at its senselessness. It seems the subject of suicide is one of [...]