Thoughts

Christmas

A reflection by Eric Costa, pastor of our sister church in Hillsboro, OR: In Surprised By Joy, C. S. Lewis writes of his conversion to the Christian faith. He spent his youth haunted by “Joy,” an “enormous bliss” (to quote Milton), a bittersweet stab, “an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other…

Holiday shopping?

Like many Christians (and even good ol’ Charlie Brown himself) I get frustrated with the commercialization of Christmas. It often seems so crass and corrupt to take a Holy Day (which is what a “holiday” is supposed to be, after all) and consume it in the bonfire of spending. At least one author has memorably described the new American…

Is the Old Testament relevant?

Is the Old Testament still relevant in 21st Century America? Given that I’ve been teaching about the Old Testament in our adult Christian Formation class on Sunday mornings, I obviously think the answer to that question is yes. But I don’t mind someone asking it. After all, in our modern context, the Old Testament is a strange…

Today is Good Friday

You knew today is Good Friday already, of course. But of all the days of the year, of all the weekends, this is one of the best for meditating on the gospel, considering who exactly Jesus was and what he did, and rejoicing in him. This is a day to be humbled to absolute quietness,…

Is repentance misery or joy?

Here’s an idea that will change the way we think: What if repentance isn’t about turning toward misery, but turning away from it? We often think of confessing our sins and repenting as a kind of miserable exercise, designed to make us feel bad enough about ourselves so that we’ll do the right thing next time.…

Book Notes: Keller on Prayer (2)

The guy who literally wrote the book on prayer (or maybe better stated, a book on prayer) has always been good at it, right? Well, not so. Keller begins chapter 1 of his book on prayer: “In the second half of my adult life, I discovered prayer. I had to.” He recounts various disasters in his…

Believe Your Baptism

How often do we think about our baptisms? How often do we believe what they tells us about God & ourselves? Maybe part of the problem is that we rarely consider what baptism means. Check out this great read by Peter Leithart at First Things and renew your understanding of God’s promises to you in baptism!

Book notes: Keller on Prayer (1)

Just wanted to pass along a few thoughts from the Introduction to Tim Keller’s new book, Prayer. He describes two prevailing understandings of prayer: 1) Prayer is a means to experience God’s love, and thus should have an inward spiritual & relational focus he describes as “communion-centered” prayer. 2) Prayer is a means of calling on God to bring in…