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  • 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...]

Jan
28

American Values Are Not Necessarily Christian Values

kids eating watermelon

Recently British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in defense of an official letter to British Muslim leaders following the attacks in Paris. In the letter, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles urged Muslim leaders “to show our young people, who may be targeted, that extremists have nothing to offer them.” Toward the middle of the letter he…
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Jan
26

4 Ways to Become a Horrible Pastor

assumptions

No one sets out to be a horrible pastor, it just sort of happens. My guess is you aren’t reading this article to learn how to be more horrible as a pastor, but to make sure that you aren’t on the list. Sometimes horrible pastors are bad from the very beginning, but often they don’t…
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Jan
20

Why I Quit My Job

basket weaving

Before joining the faculty at Western Seminary in 2009, I worked for a technology company that was (and is) consistently named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the best companies to work for in America. In fact, the year I quit the company was the number one best company to work for. They deserved the…
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Jan
09

4 Kinds of Fake Faith and How to Spot Them

mountain through the fog

Many years ago while visiting New York City, a friend and I were approached by a guy selling Rolex watches… for forty dollars each. My friend bought one. The watch kind of looked like the real deal. Although it wasn’t very heavy and the second hand didn’t move smoothly, it could fool the casual glance.…
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Jan
08

A New Year–A New Beginning with God

white pillars in cathedral

A new year often provides new opportunities and new beginnings. And like many of the biblical characters, Christians often need a new beginning of obedience with God. Second Samuel 11 records a sad and sordid story in the life of David. While his army was off at war, David was back in Jerusalem with time…
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