2 Corinthians 6:11-7:4 – Open Your Hearts

January 21, 2022

Paul has pursued a renewed relationship with the Corinthians through this letter. He wanted to increase their understanding of his own ministry and the nature of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 1:13), and he appeals for reconciliation on multiple occasions (e.g., 2 Corinthians 6:1). He began the process of working out this reconciliation at […]


2 Corinthians 5:11-21 – The Love of Christ Compels Us

January 6, 2022

Given our resurrection hope in Christ and because we know judgment awaits everyone, Paul seeks to persuade people for the sake of their reconciliation to God and each other. We persuade others because the love of Christ—what Christ has done for our sakes—compels us, and this love was revealed through Christ’s death and resurrection for […]


2 Corinthians 2:5-11 – Forgiveness

October 9, 2021

The one who grieved Paul (and the Corinthian congregation as a whole) should not be burdened with excessive grief but forgiven and consoled. Paul does not seek revenge for the wrong but reconciliation. That is a bold claim. Apparently, the severe letter Paul wrote after his second (painful) visit addressed the problem this particular individual […]


Three Requests (Philemon 17-20)

October 25, 2017

Up to this point, Paul’s letter has greeted the community where Philemon serves, thanked God for Philemon’s service in that community, and described his relationship with Philemon’s slave Onesimus. Only now, in verses 17-20, does Paul get to the point. What does Paul want Philemon to do? Why is he writing him? Paul only uses […]


The Narrative World of the Letter to Philemon

September 11, 2017

This brief letter contains its own narrative world. What it offers is partial, often ambiguous (to us), but nonetheless profound. I begin this series on Philemon by simply (though it is not all that simple) observing the world this letter evinces. Backstory Paul’s letter presumes a relationship with Philemon who was, presumably, the host of […]


I am Peter (John 21:15-19)

April 17, 2016

[Listen to the sermon here, from April 17, 2016] Shame. Guilt. Grief. I know those feelings. I’ve been overwhelmed by them at times. They have felt like a ton of bricks on my chest, and I couldn’t breathe. I’m feeling them now. Sitting with Jesus on the beach, eating the fish he grilled and the […]


Salvation: Sector 1

November 7, 2009

What is salvation? In my last post I proposed the below chart as a way of answering that important question. In this post I will comment on the first sector (1).   Past Justification Present Sanctification Future Glorification Personal Forgiveness of Sins and Relationship with God (1) Moral (Inner and Outer)  Transformation (2) Resurrection of the […]


Reverse the Curse VII – The Early Church (Paul)

September 9, 2008

There are many texts in Paul where one could illuminate the theme of this series.  I have chosen Colossians 1, but others would include Ephesians 1 among others. Kingdom language is not as frequent in Paul as it is in the Gospels, but it is nevertheless part of the substance of his theological perspective.  For […]