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Apr 2013 9 Apr 9, 2013

In view of the recent tragic death of Rick Warren’s 27-year-old son, Matthew, perhaps we should give some deep consideration to the nature of suicide and the oft-asked question: Is suicide the unpardonable sin? But before diving into the deep end of this devastating topic, please pause and pray for the Warren family, as well as for others who have lost a friend or family member in a similar fashion. Statistics can often deceive and be used to prove just about anyt...Read More

Apr 2013 8 Apr 8, 2013

It’s been a while since Christmas, but my thoughts are still fixed on the holiday season. I only ventured out once into the shopping malls of Oklahoma City prior to Christmas Day, and once, I assure you, was quite enough. Although the atmosphere was in many ways electric and exciting and people seemed to be having a good time, I couldn’t help but wonder how these same people would be feeling the week after Christmas, after all the holiday festivities had died...Read More

Apr 2013 5 Apr 5, 2013

I’m excited about a new biography of C. S. Lewis just released by Tyndale House. Alister McGrath, Professor King’s College, London, has written: C. S. Lewis: A Life, Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2013), 427 pp. The only other biography written by McGrath that I’ve read is his treatment of the life of J. I. Packer. This one looks to be quite good, if the endorsements are any measure of its quality. McGrath is applauded...Read More

Apr 2013 5 Apr 5, 2013

We earlier saw that the gospel is what binds Paul and the Philippians, indeed, it is what binds you with other believers as well. I pointed out that this expresses itself in four ways, two of which we’ve already noted. We turn now to the third and fourth. Third, Paul’s joyful gratitude to God is also based on his confidence that the work God initiated in them he will bring to completion (v. 6). Paul had seen his fare share of people who loudly proclaimed th...Read More

Apr 2013 4 Apr 4, 2013

Just a few weeks ago I read about one of the most heart-breaking and eternally consequential tragedies imaginable. It was touted as the world’s largest religious festival (known as the Kumbh Mela) and concluded when nearly two million people took a dip in the River Ganges in India. The Ganges River is worshipped as a god and is believed to be the giver and taker of life. By immersing themselves in its sacred waters, they believed that their sins were washed away. ...Read More

Apr 2013 4 Apr 4, 2013

In an earlier post I argued that the gospel is what unites Christians at a more fundamental and life-changing level than anything else. Paul’s relationship to the Philippians illustrates this in four ways, the first two of which we’ll look at below. The first thing we see is that Paul is moved and motivated to intercede on behalf of the Philippians. Quite simply, he prays for them constantly. I can’t even begin to think of Paul as the sort of man who ...Read More

Apr 2013 3 Apr 3, 2013

My new book on biblical eschatology, Kingdom Come, is now available, at least to those in the U.K.! The reason I know is that I am in the U.K. speaking at a conference called New Word Alive and the book is here at my side. I couldn’t be more pleased. Christian Focus Publishers has done a marvelous job in its production and I think you’ll enjoy it. It is only available in hardback and is a mere 589 pages in length! Sorry for that, but I had a lot to say. I&rsq...Read More

Apr 2013 3 Apr 3, 2013

Let’s make sure we know what we’re talking about when we mention the word “gospel” or more importantly what Paul meant when he used the word. By the way, he uses the word “gospel” six times in Philippians 1. The “gospel” is the good news of what God has graciously and lovingly done in and through the incarnation, sinless life, atoning death, and bodily resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ to satisfy his own wrath against s...Read More

Apr 2013 2 Apr 2, 2013

[What follows is the substance of my sermon this past Easter Sunday morning. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!] Contrary to what many in our society would have you believe, Easter Sunday has nothing to do with bunny rabbits, colored eggs, lilies, the inauguration of spring weather, or elegant and colorful clothing. This Sunday, as is the case with every Sunday, as well as every other day of the week, has one central and all-consuming focus: the unrivaled preemine...Read More

Apr 2013 2 Apr 2, 2013

I have to confess that when I read Philippians 1:3-8 (and I encourage you to stop right now and read it), I get envious. I don’t think it is sinful envy, but envy it is. Hearing Paul talk about his relationship to the Philippians, how he felt about them and loved them and yearned to be with them, how he prayed for them and how he partnered with them in the gospel, I couldn’t help but stand back from it all and say: “This is what the church is supposed t...Read More