Reflections and Blog

Who Can Have Enjoyment without Him?

I am really grateful for my wife. I am grateful for her for many reasons, but one is that she is really good at noticing little beautiful things. We go on walks together, and on these walks I am constantly surprised at how many pretty blossoms, cute animals, and interesting architectural details she is able…

So Many Antichrists

Thinking more on Pastor Babij’s Sunday sermon about the coming day of the Lord, I found myself pondering the apostle John’s intriguing statement about antichrist in 1 John 2:18, Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that…

Are These the Last “Last Days”?

When we look around at the world today, it would be easy for us to come to the conclusion that the eschatological end is very near. Western society has reached new levels of celebrating evil, persecution is rising in America and is already prevalent throughout the world, and the church has largely abandoned the true…

The Danger of Dualism

As I think more this week about the sermon and Ecclesiastes 5:13-20, I’m reminded of how we Christians must guard against a certain kind of material-spiritual philosophical dualism. One idea popular in the ancient Greco-Roman world was that the material world was inherently inferior or evil and that spiritual world was inherently superior or good.…

Assumptions and the Age of the Earth

Life is full of data, whether historical facts, personal experiences, or scientific measurements. Data by itself, though, does not say anything; all data must be interpreted to have meaning or helpful application to life. As we all know, people frequently have differing interpretations of data. And why? Because people use differing starting points for their…

The Power of Quiet Service

In light of the new baptisms and new memberships at our church, I have been thinking again about God’s design for the church according to Ephesians 4:7-16 and Romans 12:4-8. Fundamentally, the church is the spiritual body of Christ; Christ is the head and Christians are the various body parts. Though all within the body…

The Gravity of Wealth

One important lesson I learned in seminary relates to how we must be careful not to overestimate our own spiritual ability. A professor and some students and I were talking about how a prominent Christian leader at that time had been vacillating on a hot-button issue in the church instead of taking a firm biblical…

The Only Profitable Soil

Since we did not have a sermon this past Sunday, I thought I would share something today on the passage the elders recommended for family study: Matthew 13:1-23 and the Parable of the Sower. One issue that can confuse modern readers of this parable has to do with whether more than one of the soils…

More on Religious Speech

The Bible has a lot to say about speech, even speech offered in worship and service to God. In the Sunday sermon, I mentioned a few cross-references to Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 but had to leave out many more. Therefore, I wanted to share with you some of the other references that go really well with what…

Friend or Foe?

As we continue to hear God’s warning against false teachers from 2 Peter, it’s important for us to keep in mind what a false teacher actually is. A false teacher is not merely someone who proclaims something false or in error, for, under such a broad definition, all of us growing Christians would qualify as false…