All in Columns

Sour Grapes & Stale Crackers

I’m a lifelong Baptist and I’ve always been in church. Both my grandfathers served as pastors at various points in their lives, and my dad still ministers at a Baptist church in upstate South Carolina. Consequently, my understanding of the faith and practice of Christianity didn’t come with much in the way of liturgy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing or something of which I’m resentful — it’s just a fact.

On the Simplicity of Gospel Exposition

One thing among many that I am currently in the midst of learning is that there is a grave difference between writing well and speaking well. Which is to say, just because something flows nicely in the written word does not necessarily (and I would say, very often it does not) translate smoothly to the spoken word. It’s no secret that I love writing and have found it to be an incredible avenue in which to grow my faith.

On the Primacy of the Pulpit & Throwing Shade at Puritan Preaching

I’ve taken to reading Patrick Fairbairn’s Pastoral Theology: A Treatise on the Office and Duties of the Christian Pastor. In the work, he delves into the multifarious characteristics and aspects of the pastorate. The bulk of the discourses derive, mainly, out his lectures on the Pastoral Epistles on which he also has a published commentary par excellence. In chapter four, “The More Special Duties of the Pastoral Office,” Fairbairn spends considerable time discussing the primacy and preeminence of the sermon.

The Gospel Doesn’t Blow Smoke

Perhaps the most unfamiliar thing I’m going to have to get used to now that I’m a Pennsylvanian is the concept of burning trash. I never really thought about trash men and the weekly garbage pick-up system before. It just wasn’t a thing that crossed my mind that often, if at all. But now that I’m living in a location that doesn’t have access to such a benefit, I am obligated to live out whatever latent pyromaniacal tendencies might exist in my subconscious.

Welcome to the First Church of Mount Everest

Our society is runs on achievement. It’s the fuel that powers our motivational motors. As long as we’re getting ahead of the next person, we’re fulfilling our purpose. Everything is a competition and this life is our playing field. I don’t think there’s a more pristine example of this than the recent phenomena of “overcrowding” on the highest point of elevation in the entire world: Mount Everest.

It’s Not Up to You

You have to believe me when I say that it’s not my intent to carry on eviscerating children’s television. I’m only in my late-twenties but I fear my online persona at times comes across too curmudgeonly. Nevertheless, the vocals from my 2-year-old’s favorite Disney Junior show recently assaulted my eardrums . . . and my theology.

Faith, Depression, & Clinging to the Rumor of Grace

For the past several weeks, I have been unable to escape the incredible sermon that was delivered by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. What caught my attention, though, was learning that Mr. Gerson delivered this sermon only a few short days after being discharged from the hospital for depression.

Obedience That’s Already Finished

The rich young ruler’s inquiry to the Lord Jesus in Mark 10:17–22 (along with Matt. 19:16–22; Luke 10:25–28) remains increasingly prescient for us today. I would say that it’s most likely the hottest burning question on everyone’s tongue, even if it’s not explicitly admitted; that question being, “How do I secure a spot in heaven?”

The Economics of the Incarnation

I don’t like the axiom, “Remember the reason for season.” Christians like to brandish this phrase on all manner of social media posts as they opine a society that has seemingly forgotten what Christmas is all about. The commercialization of Christmas has superseded the meaning of the season.

Advent Angst

For many, Christmas is anything but the “most wonderful time of the year.” Rather, it’s the most excruciatingly, painfully dark time of the year. It reminds them of past “would’a-coulda’s” and “should’ve-been’s.” The gifts received are nothing compared to the treasures lost.