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Showing posts from 2022

The Galilean

The emperor Julian (AD 331-363) was the last pagan emperor of Rome. Julian was the nephew of Constantine, who converted to Christianity, but himself rejected the Christian faith in favor of Hellenistic polytheism, earning him the title “Julian the Apostate.” He referred to Christians as “Galileans,” after Jesus from Galilee. He fought hard to establish institutional paganism and ro eradicate Christianity from the empire, but failed. He admitted:  “How apparent to everyone it is, and how shameful, that our people lack support from us, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galileans support not only their own poor, but ours as well.” His dying words as he lay mortally wounded were said to be, “You have won, O Galilean!” Picture: Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarians, by Edward Armitage, 1875

Did Jesus Exist?

Sometimes an objection comes up that goes something like this, “We don’t even know if Jesus was a real person.” The truth is, whether Jesus existed is not even under question by scholars. Here’s a summary of why.   1) We have the four gospel writers attesting to Jesus’ life (even if you don’t believe in biblical inspiration, they are historical documents):   “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” - The Gospel of Luke 1:1-4   2) We have Josephus, a non-Christian Jewish historian of Jesus’ time referring to him:   The Jewish high priest “had a man named Jesus, the brother of Jesus who was called th

Crossroads - "The Reformation"


The Seminary of the Soul

I was nervous. This meeting was the culmination of nearly three years of struggling with this issue. Many tears, numerous days of prayer and agonizing fearful thoughts culminated at this gathering. I entered the meeting, with notes in my hand, and sat at a table with three Ph.D.s: The Academic Dean, the Dean of Students, and the tenured professor of Evangelism, all of whom would decide my fate as a student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS). Let me take you back to what brought me to this fateful meeting. I began my first year at TEDS immediately after completing my B.A. at Gordon College. I graduated, got married, and packed up our Honda Civic with a rooftop carrier and headed out on a one way journey to the greater Chicago area for my seminary career. My wife and I were both young, excited and hopeful. Only God knew what was in store for us, and that was fine by me. I signed up for my core classes, among which was Evangelism 101 . As we began the course, the evangelism pro

Charlotte White (July 13, 1782 – December 25, 1863)

Charlotte White As Baptists in New England, we can claim as our own, Charlotte White (1782-1863), the first unmarried woman sent out from the United States to the global mission field. As such, she was appointed by the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions making her the first official female missionary (while others, like Ann Judson and Harriet Newell, went along with their appointed missionary husbands).   The Baptist Church of Haverhill, MA Charlotte was a member of The Baptist Church in Haverhill, today known as First Baptist Church of Haverhill, the church I am privileged to pastor. She was converted under the ministry of our church’s second pastor, Rev. William Batchelder. Upon her conversion, Charlotte proclaimed: "I was led to search the Scriptures in order to find assurance that Jesus Christ is the son of God; in doing which, I was blessed with a desire to be converted from darkness to light; the Holy Spirit rousing me to repent, and enabling me to confess Christ as

Crossroads - "Science is Real?"


Crossroads - "Women's Rights are Human Rights?"


Crossroads - "Black Lives Matter?"


Beholding Beauty

Looking for a great resource on how to worship the Lord through various artforms (music, painting, culinary, etc.)? Take a look: Beholding Beauty I had the privilege of writing the chapter on Novels, entitled The Story of God in One Meal. Synopsis Beholding Beauty: Worshiping God through the Arts casts a vision for how the church can integrate a theology of beauty and aesthetics into its worship practices. Unlike other books that only explore beauty and aesthetic in the abstract, Beholding Beauty is a practical theology that inspires Christians to intentionally incorporate the arts into their everyday lives and their church’s weekly worship services. It is specifically designed for pastors and worship leaders who wish to craft theologically coherent, aesthetically invigorating, and artistically stimulating worship services and for all Christians who desire to contemplate the nature of beauty and art from a biblical, theological, and liturgical perspective. Whether you are an accomplish

Crossroads - "Love is Love?"


Crossroads - The Resurrection of Jesus


Crossroads - At This Table We Believe (a look at creeds)