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Grace. Truth. Family.

Pastor's Blog

Galatians 2a – When Do We Confront?

Reading Galatians 2:11-14, you may wonder, “Why is Paul so harsh with Peter?”  The simple answer is: everything was at stake.  Peter stood condemned before God for hypocritically twisting the Gospel and allowing heresy to creep into the church.  He should’ve known better.  His influence was widespread and contagious.  His error was public, the Gospel…

Galatians 1a – North vs South

“To the churches of Galatia” (Gal 1:2b).             Such a short phrase has erupted into one of the biggest debates of the New Testament.  Who were the Galatians?  Centuries of argument will not be solved in this short blog post, but at least a summary of some of the major positions might help sort through…

Proverbs 24b – Laziness Revisited

We’ve seen a lot of laziness in Proverbs.  That is to say, Proverbs has a lot of verses about the benefits of hard work and the dangers of slothfulness.  There’s an interesting parallel about laziness found in the fourth “Bonus Saying” in Proverbs 24:30-34 (all verses in ESV):             24:30 I passed by the field…

Proverbs 23b-24a: How Do I Count to 30?

After my first sermon on the “30 Sayings of the Wise” (Pr 22b-24) one of our teenagers in the church approached me with a very insightful question: “How do you know where each saying begins and ends?”                   The question was more difficult than he knew.  Commentators lack unity on how to count to 30. …

Kid, Parent, Grandkid

            Proverbs has a lot to say to both parents and children about the most essential human relationship you have in your life.  Because there was so much, I was forced to cut quite a bit from today’s sermon.  Probably the most painful cut I had to make was Proverbs 17:6. Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are…

Long Live the King!

When preaching topical sermons in Proverbs, sometimes one has to make a choice about what themes should be used to construct the outline and flow of a sermon. The first thing to do when preaching topically from Proverbs (or anywhere, really) is to gather the data on that topic. For this sermon, I focused on Proverbs that…

Evidence for Random Organization, Part IV

The last few weeks we’ve been exploring the idea of “random organization” in the Proverbs of Solomon.  We’ve seen large-scale evidence of organizational patterns within these seemingly random strings of proverbs, and small-scale evidence such as catchwords and common themes.             For the last part of this series we’ll look briefly at two more pieces…

Breaking Wind in Proverbs?

The first thing that I do each week when preparing for my sermon is translate the text I intend to preach.  I came across a surprise in Proverbs 29:11.  Here’s an English translation of the verse (ESV): “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”             It’s…

Random Organization, Part II

Last week we began to examine evidence of “random organization” within the Solomonic portions of Proverbs (chs 10-22a, 25-29).  We saw that there is plenty of evidence of “large scale” organization – whole sections being structured by the final editor(s) of the book.             This week we’ll begin to look at some smaller scale organization,…

Proverbs 3a – The Tablet of the Heart

Proverbs 3:3 says, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (all Scripture references in ESV). During my sermon today, I briefly alluded to the “tablet of the heart” language reflects the language of Deuteronomy and other biblical passages. Originally I had…


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