James 2:1-17 “Clubhouse Rules and Counterfeit Faith”

Faith is all about the basic trust of our lives and what we depend on for our identity and security. James says faith that is only objective belief or sentimental emotion is thoroughly counterfeit. If faith were just a matter of proper belief, then the demons who know God is One (the cardinal doctrine of Judaism and Christianity) would be on the front rows in heaven. And if faith were a matter of sentimental emotion, those with an overactive hypothalamus would be singing in the celestial choirs of the angels with big crocodile tears streaming down their faces. Genuine, 24K faith is a trust that takes concrete form in the way we live our lives. Only such faith is saving. Continue reading

John 20:1-10 “When Loving is Believing”

Read the Scripture One of the great mysteries in the New Testament is the identity of the beloved disciple in John’s Gospel. His first appearance in the Gospel occurs in chapter 13 at the Last Supper. In Jesus’ day, Jews reclined while eating their special meals. During the Last Supper,… Continue reading

Romans 8 12-17 “Scared to Death”

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by… Continue reading

Psalm 23 “The Lord is My Shepherd” (Part Two)

1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; 2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of… Continue reading

Psalm 23, Matthew 6:24-33 “The Lord is My Shepherd” (Part One)

Read the Scripture Passages As a child, when I heard the word “lint” (pronounced the same as the word “Lent”), I thought of those little specks of whatever people would get on their clothes. I remember every Sunday morning my father using the lint brush to brush off specks on… Continue reading

What Keeps Us from Wonder? Part One

Wonder is the reason we seek to know any reality whatsoever. (Nicholas of Cusa) Nicholas of Cusa (1400-1464 CE) was a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church who served in Greece. Because of the prominence of the Greek Eastern Orthodox Church in that part of the world, Nicholas was in… Continue reading

When Religion Gets Sick

Years ago psychology of religion professor Wayne Oates wrote a book entitled When Religion Gets Sick. Oates pointed out that religion can be good or bad, healthy or sick, liberating or oppressive, intelligent or insane. This past week we have seen several examples of bad, sick, oppressive, and insane religion…. Continue reading

Who’s That Knocking at the Door? 1 John 4:16-19

The popular psychologist Jesse Lair wrote a book years ago entitled I Ain’t Well, But I Sure Am Better.  In many ways, these words could be the testimony of my life.  I’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve come a long way, too. Just ask my wife. To… Continue reading

Job 42:1-6 “Out of the Whirlwind”

(This is the second sermon preached on the Book of Job. The first sermon found as “Job1:1-2:13; 42:7-17 “A Question of Motive” should be read first. The beginning of that first sermon explains the distinction between the prose and poetry parts of the Book of Job.) In the vast poetry… Continue reading