Guest Post on “Training Wheels for Your Child’s Prayer Life”

RayPhotosPerth on Pixabay, public domain under cc license

I am thrilled that Natasha Crain invited me to write a post on her great Christian parenting blog, "Christian Mom Thoughts." Natasha writes on apologetics for parents, equipping them to help their kids grow in a strong and well-informed faith, and she now has a book under contract with Harvest House. Check out her work -- but read my post first! It is up and … [Read more...]

That Body and Blood Thing (Heidelberg Catechism Q76)

bread and wine #1, khrawlings, cc license

One Sunday long ago that rarest of things happened: A woman who had never before set foot in a church came and joined us for worship. Her son had asked why they didn’t go to church. Ours was in the neighborhood. They showed up. I mean they had never, ever been in a church before. Most newcomers to any church used to be regulars at some other one. As several of us … [Read more...]

A Prayer for Timothy Matthew Slemmons

Tim Slemmons

Last night at UDTS we installed my friend and colleague, the Rev. Dr. Timothy Matthew Slemmons, as Associate Professor of Homiletics and Worship. I was honored to be asked to offer a prayer in the service. I thought I would share it with you, especially since many of you who know him could not be there in person. Gracious Triune God we thank you for the Word-- the Word … [Read more...]

St. Jerome, the Complicated Christian

St Jerome, by Leonello Spada; public domain via wikimedia commons

Today the Western Church commemorates St. Jerome (c. 347-420). What a complicated fellow. First passionate about secular literature, he gave it up to be a scholar of the Bible and a leader in the ascetic life. Absolutely counter-cultural -- but maybe this Doctor of the Church still has things to teach us. He was controversial Like so many in his era he had a powerful ascetic … [Read more...]

Okay, Why “Trespasses,” “Debts” and “Sins”? (Heidelberg Catechism Q119)

Early printed parchment leaf, probably from a missal, by POP, cc license

One peril of visiting a new church comes when it is time to pray. At least if the congregation of a traditional flavor they will wrap up with something like “Now let join our voices in the prayer Christ himself has taught us, saying…” It all goes fine for a while: …Father… ...Name... …kingdom… …will… …daily bread… But then that awkward moment: what will we ask … [Read more...]

How to Organize Your Faith (Heidelberg Catechism Q24)

Hooks, by Kurtis Garbutt, cc license

Shhh! A whole lot of Christians are quietly afraid that someday, someone will ask them about their faith. We need some outline points, like the pegs on a coat rack. No hooks and you just have a pile of stuff on the floor. Add a row of pegs and you can hang up a whole lot of stuff in an understandable orderly way. The Heidelberg Catechism (the 450 year old … [Read more...]

How Do You Know That? (Heidelberg Catechism Q. 19)

The Chemistry Of Inversion, Raymond Bryson, CC license

You and I were born in an age shaped by scientific thinking. We find it hard to accept that there might be ways of knowing other than through science — the proof of hypotheses through experimentation. It is a sort of cultural mythos, this devotion to science. It is a religion without a temple. We spread it like Spackle over ways of knowing that are really not about science at … [Read more...]