• Map of Matthew's Gospel

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

    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 … [Read More...]

  • Graduates kneeling

    A Prayer for our Seminary Graduates

    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 … [Read More...]

  • Stone church with steeple

    Twitter Gospel

    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 … [Read More...]

  • black and white photo of ocean

    What is the “Unpardonable Sin?”

    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 … [Read More...]

  • Birds with wings expanded.

    The Gift of Roots and Wings

    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 … [Read More...]


The Bible Project

The Bible Project logo

Transformed Blog recently caught up with Tim Mackie, adjunct faculty member at Western Seminary and pastor at Door of Hope in Portland, OR. Tim, along with storyteller Jon Collins, founded The Bible Project: a non-profit that is creating short, animated videos for each book of the Bible, as well as its central themes, free to…
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Should Christians Carry Guns?


Recently, I considered buying a handgun. The consideration came after a series of violent crimes grabbed the headlines in my area. The crime spree led to a number of conversations with neighbors, friends and family members. Most of my conversation partners argued that owning and carrying a handgun provides a very real protection against threats…
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Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo

flipping through Bible

Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo. Matthew S. Harmon and J. E. Smith, editors. Zondervan, 2014. 311 pages. $49.99. As the title suggests, this book is a collection of essays on the Pauline epistles written in honor of an incredibly gifted and productive New Testament scholar, Douglas J. Moo.…
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Is Your Job Your Calling?

Hikers survey mountains

Recently I asked a asked a couple of friends if I should give up on my campaign to encourage people to stop using the word “calling” in the sense of “finding one’s calling” in the realm of work. They both said “yes.” They agreed that the idea was too ingrained in both the Christian culture…
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Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture

carpenter at work

Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture By R. Paul Stevens $16.00 Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012.   Of the four books on the subject of “work” I have read in the last eight months, R. Paul Stevens, Work Matters, is on the top of my list. Stevens is professor emeritus of marketplace…
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