On Reading Philemon

September 7, 2017

Philemon is a brief letter with only 335 words in the Greek text, and it appears in the New Testament without any specific context. Philemon and Onesimus, the main characters in the letter’s story, are unknown elsewhere in the New Testament. Many, if not most of the details, are lost to us as readers to […]


Embracing Creation

April 27, 2017

The Ray Evans Seminar, an annual event at the Alameda Church of Christ in Norman, Oklahoma, was held March 31-April 2, 2017. The general topic was Embracing Creation, which is also the title of the book I co-authored with Bobby Valentine and Mark Wilson. The book is available here. I gave six presentations as well […]


Jesus Wept (John 11:35)

February 8, 2016

[Hear this sermon at here.] When Jesus saw Mary wailing in grief and saw the others with her—both men and women—visibly sobbing, a deep anger welled up within his spirit, and he roused himself and asked them, “Where have you laid him?” They responded, “Come and see.” Then Jesus burst into tears. As a result, […]


Unto Us A Child is Born: Hope in the Darkness (Isaiah 9:1-7)

November 28, 2015

[Listen or watch the sermon on Isaiah 9 here.] Isaiah spoke into a world analogous to our own, one soaked in darkness. When  night descended upon Judah, people saw only “distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish” (Isaiah 8:22). Uncertain of where to turn, people sought guidance in all the wrong places, including false gods, […]


1 Peter 4:1-6 — They Think It Strange, But Follow Christ

August 21, 2015

     1 Peter 3:18a: Christ suffered for sins.             1 Peter 4:1a: Christ suffered in the flesh 1 Peter 4:1 resumes the primary topic: the suffering of Christ provides a model for living in a hostile environment. 1 Peter 3:18-22 underscores the victory of Christ over suffering and his enthronement over the powers and authorities, […]


1 Peter 3:18-22 — Suffering and the Meaning of the Christ Event

August 10, 2015

Because Christ also suffered… If one suffers for “doing good” as an expression of the will of God, Peter writes, it better to suffer for that than suffering for doing evil (1 Peter 2:17). Why is that? Because Christ also suffered… The Christ Narrative—the story of God in which Christ suffers for sins—is the reason […]


5 Anchors for the Soul during the Storms of Life

July 30, 2015

This is a presentation of the Five Anchors for the Soul in the Storms of Life at the Central Church of Christ in Athens, AL on July 8, 2015. Here God loves, God listens, God understands, God reigns, and God wins.


1 Peter 2:21-25: Jesus as Model for Submission

July 17, 2015

Imperial residents, submit to the empire. Slaves, submit to your masters. This submission, Peter tells us, is grounded in our vocation or calling. We are called into a life of submission because Jesus is our model (pattern, example). Our vocational mission as the people of God is grounded in the life of Jesus as the […]


The Empathetic God

December 27, 2014

God became flesh. God became human. Incarnation is the act through which the Creator experiences the creation as a creature. This is both the uniqueness and mystery of the Christian faith. The one who was with God in the beginning and was God from the beginning became human. The same one through whom the cosmos […]


Yet Will I Trust Him: Trusting God in the Storms of Life

April 19, 2014

The College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon, TN, invited me to teach a class on “Yet Will I Trust Him: Trusting God in the Storms of Life” throughout January and February 2014.  It was a good experience for me, though whether it was for everyone else is something I cannot judge. I am grateful […]