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Apr
27

Matthew’s Geographical Overlay: The Return of the Exiled King

Map of Matthew's Gospel

Geography in the Ancient Near East was a physical representation of transcendent reality. Mapping things geographically was a visible form of Israel’s theology. For example, since Jerusalem was central to Israel’s worldview, it was also central to the cartography of the time. The temple therefore was not only at the center of religious, economic, or…
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Apr
24

A Prayer for our Seminary Graduates

Graduates kneeling

Western Seminary’s 2015 Portland graduation is Saturday, April 25. Below is the commencement prayer that I prayed for the 2014 graduates. Our sovereign Lord and Father, we bow before you now as our great God and king. To you alone belong honor and power and glory, for you alone are God. You alone are creator,…
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Apr
22

Twitter Gospel

Stone church with steeple

In a world of sound bites, Instagram, #, and Twitter, we have become really good at saying as much as possible in the fewest words. We have become highly effective reductionists. The more I look at my faith, particularly as an evangelical, the more I realize we have done the same in our spiritual practice.…
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Apr
20

What is the “Unpardonable Sin?”

black and white photo of ocean

A young man came to my office and expressed his concern that he had committed the “unpardonable sin” and there was nothing he could do to be saved from eternal condemnation and judgment. Many believers have been troubled by the question, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin?” A proper understanding of the historical circumstances can…
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Apr
17

The Gift of Roots and Wings

Birds with wings expanded.

The Columbia Classic was a 15 kilometer race which follows the historic Columbia River Highway from the Women’s Forum viewpoint to the foot of Oregon’s famous Multnomah Falls. I ran the race with my son, David, thirteen years ago. Although the Columbia Classic is no more, memories of that race linger with me. It was…
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