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The Ecclesiastical Pendulum Swing

Find a church that is faithful to expositional, Christ-centered preaching of Scripture, regular Lord's Day observation of the means of grace (i.e. word, sacraments, prayer), the practice of church discipline and the loving fellowship of the saints. Exchange the quest for both spiritual and liturgical retreatism for biblical, Gospel-driven experimentalism and worship. Value...

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Redemptive History, Union with Christ, and the Liturgical Calendar

many have suggested that the Liturgical Calendar offers a recognition of the organic unity of Scripture centered on the redemptive-historical nature of Christ's saving work and participated in through the corporate worship of God's people. But is this actually the case? Does the Liturgical Calendar enhance or undermine the redemptive historical nature of Christ's saving wo...

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Laying R.I.P. to Rest

I've noticed something of a concerning trend over the past several years. It is the way in which believers speak about culture-impacting individuals at their deaths. Instead of simply expressing appreciation for their life and achievements, it has become commonplace for Christians to use the shorthand R.I.P. ("rest in peace") on social media when speaking of individuals--i...

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A Law-Keeping Redeemer is Born

One of the most important of all the statements about the birth of Jesus is that He was "born under the Law" (Gal. 4:4). The one who gave the Law on Sinai was, "in the fulness of time," born under the Law. Of course, in making this declaration the question is raised, "Why was the One who gave the Law born under the Law?" After all, there was no Divine necessity for God to ...

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The Sin-Bearing, Curse-Removing True Israel

There are two theological truths that structure the entirety of the biblical storyline. The first is that Jesus is the second and last Adam. The second is that Jesus is the true and greater Israel.* The totality of the biblical narrative can be understood in light of these two theological categories. Additionally, the whole of the Gospel is structured by these two great tr...

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The Sin-Bearing, Curse-Removing Second Adam (Part 1)

When Paul says of Christ, in Galatians 3:13, that He "became a curse for us," this carries with it a world of biblical and theological meaning. Surely, the Apostle had the curse of the Mosaic Covenant in mind--as the context indicates; but what lay behind the covenant curses of the Mosaic Law was the curse of the broken Covenant of Works stretching all the way ba...

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It All Leads Straight to the Cross

In seminary, a friend of mine would often challenge me on my insistence that whatever portion of Scripture we preach, we ought to get our hearers to the cross. Whether we are preaching glorious cross-centered texts like Galatians 2:20-3:1 or Romans 5:6-11 or whether we are preaching any given part of the Sermon on the Mount, the minster must get his hearers to th...

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A Biblical Theology of Burial

Recently, I have had an extraordinarily high number of people ask me what the Scriptures teach about burial versus cremation. Not being the sharpest tool in the shed, I did not put together that this is most likely on account of the economy. Yesterday, I happened to be speaking with the owner of a funeral home who said, "People just aren't dying like they used to...

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Are Some Parts of Scripture Greater Than Others?

Sometimes in the name of zeal for biblical fidelity we can inadvertently correct others where no correction is needed. I've had the infelicitous experience of being corrected, on numerous occasions, for something for which I ought not to have been corrected. I have also been the culprit of such uncharitable action. I have, at times, made assertions about certain ...

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A Tale of Two Trees

When I was a new convert--having been brought from spiritual death to spiritual life--one of the things that I distinctly remember seeing with new eyes were trees. This was, in large part, because the Lord was enabling me to understand in all the Scriptures the redemptive-historical nature of trees from the Garden to the cross to the new creation. Little did I know then th...

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