Fisher of Men

A Resurrected Servant

A scholar friend of mine once remarked, “I must confess: if there is anything that convinces me that the Bible is inspired, and from God, it is Isaiah 53.” Isaiah 52:13–53:12 comes out of nowhere. There is no precedent for an innocent servant of God suffering and dying for the iniquities of others. It is shocking, graphic and brutal, yet profound. Yet Yahweh was pleased to crush him; he afflicted [him] (with sickness). If she (or you) places his life a guilt offering, he will see offspring, he will prolong days and the will of Yahweh will succeed in his hand. From the trouble of his life, he will see light.1 He will be satisfied. In his knowledge, my righteous servant shall make many righteous and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide to him [a portion] among the many, and...

Enjoy the Blessings of Informal Mentoring

During my freshman year of high school, my older brother kept trying to convince me to come to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) with him.  He was a senior and while I found it nice that he was actually inviting me to hang out with his friends, I had no desire to go to a big group meeting with him.  Eventually, he persuaded me to come and slowly I became a regular attender at the meetings.  Our FCA advisor was a young math teacher named Tracy.  She was energetic and fun, as well as discerning and wise. Both Tracy and her husband came to all of our weekly meetings and invested their time and energy into sharing the gospel with students.  Over the next three years, I spent hours after school in her classroom planning events and working on Bible studies. ...

Are You a Stumbling Block to Others?

About Christian Theology Study Christian theology to learn more about your faith.  Learn more about God’s creation from a theological perspective.  Discover how covenants found in Scripture are applicable to today’s church.  Watch informative videos about baptism, as well as infant baptism.  Learn what the Bible says about heaven and hell and how these are very real places.  See how theologians believe Christians can overcome sin.  Learn information on how to identify the antichrist, and discover how Christians should view the end times.  Discover what Christians need to know about salvation and how to lead others to Christ.   Get educated on how to view other religions as a born-again believer.

Preach to Yourself

Most Christians seem to still agree that preaching is important. We download podcasts and attend conferences that center around preaching, and it remains a primary reason many choose a new church. However, one of the most neglected forms of preaching is also one of the most powerful–preaching to ourselves.  By “preaching to ourselves” I mean the discipline of intense Biblical meditation; reading, dwelling on, and applying the truths of Scripture to our own lives that leads to a deepening love of God, hatred of sin, and faith in Jesus Christ.  The idea of preaching to ourselves is popular today, though my experience suggests that it is under-practiced. Perhaps the reason for this is that we aren’t clear what it is or how it should take form. But I believe t...

What To Do When Tempted

How do you handle temptation? I’m not talking about the fleeting, seemingly benign thought of sin that may hold initial allure, but is easily dismissed. (Though we should be on guard against these kinds of thoughts, too). No, I’m talking about that moment when you’ve savored the juicy morsel and like the taste. You clamp down your jaws and suddenly feel the sharp piercing desire for more and a forceful tug towards deliberate, willful sin. You realize that you’ve swallowed a hook and the angler is reeling you in. Your better judgment, and God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit are whispering “No.” But your appetites and emotions are screaming, “Yes!” I have in mind those times when you are like Peter in the courtyard, your heart frenzied by fear, about to commit an act of cowardice and treachery. ...

How to Endure in the Race of Faith

I remember taking eye exams as a child and being quite proud that I could stand back twenty feet from the sign with all the random letters and read each one. I’ve had 20/20 vision for as long as I can remember. I’ve never worn glasses—never needed to. Lately my perfect eye sight isn’t so perfect. The revelation that my eye sight isn’t up to par came one night as I was attempting to drive in the rain. It wasn’t a downpour, it was a normal rainfall, yet I found myself squinting to see the white lines and everything looked like a bright reflection. Reflection of what, I don’t know, but I knew I couldn’t see. Then later I realized I couldn’t read signs that were far away.  I finally accepted that I no longer have 20/20 vision and needed to go to see an eye doctor. As I’ve continued to wal...

Freedom of Religion

There’s a growing undercurrent of political word-smiting regarding freedom to be a Jesus follower in the culture today. It’s a movement to narrow and marginalize people of faith who have opinions, want to be heard and who want to participate in the debate that is at the intersection of culture, politics and faith. Those attuned to the habit of political groups adopting talking points to help reframe our understanding of particular issues will notice that politicos are actively affirming our “right to worship” freely rather than the “freedom of religion.” The biographer/apologist/thinker Eric Metaxas addressed this very topic here. The “right to worship” argument essentially seeks to give people the freedom to preach, commune and practice in whatever way they choose, so long as it doesn’t c...

Is God Good When Life Isn’t?

Is God good when the outcome is not? During the famine as well as the feast? At some point we all stand at this intersection. The definitive answer comes in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the only picture of God ever taken. Do you want to know heaven’s clearest answer to the question of suffering? Look at Jesus. He pressed his fingers into the sore of the leper. He felt the tears of the sinful woman who wept. He inclined his ear to the cry of the hungry. He wept at the death of a friend. He stopped his work to tend to the needs of a grieving mother. He doesn’t recoil, run, or retreat at the sight of pain. Just the opposite. He didn’t walk the earth in an insulated bubble or preach from an isolated, germfree, pain-free island. He took his own medicine. He played by his own rules. Trivial...

What Is a Worldview?

[Editor’s Note: The following is adapted from the introduction of James Sire’s book The Universe Next Door, Fifth Edition. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press PO Box 1400 Downers Grove, IL 60515. http://www.ivpress.com/.] Few people have anything approaching an articulate philosophy—at least as epitomized by the great philosophers. Even fewer, I suspect, have a carefully constructed theology. But everyone has a worldview. Whenever any of us thinks about anything—from a casual thought (Where did I leave my watch?) to a profound question (Who am I?)—we are operating within such a framework. In fact, it is only the assumption of a worldview—however basic or simple—that allows us to think at all.  What, then, is this thing called a worldview that is so important...

Duck Dynasty’s Uncle Si

In “Si-Cology 1,” Duck Dynasty’s Uncle Si gives us a laugh out loud trip through his life seasoned with spiritual lessons along the way. While keeping his trademark wit close at hand, Si highlights the importance of trusting Christ through good times and bad. Originally published September 10, 2013.

When is War ‘Just?’

Thinking, biblical Christians can certainly disagree about Syria. And do. All lament the loss of tens of thousands of lives, coupled with the millions of displaced refugees, the civil war has produced. And without a doubt, all denounce the use of chemical weapons, and agree there should be serious consequences. But should there be direct military intervention? Forget about the “red line” of promised retaliation that many feel is forcing our hand to act. Let’s also put aside whether we should act alone, seek a resolution from the United Nations, or attempt to solicit wide support from allies and the Arab nations of the Middle East. Let’s overlook the implications a military attack on Syria would have for Turkey, or Israel, or even the risk of inciting a regional conflict. Let’s even bracket...

Don’t Follow Your Heart

“Begin with the end in mind” is a phrase that might be familiar if you know of Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In the book, Covey notes with amazement how often people jump into projects, hobbies, relationships, and careers without first asking the simple question: “How do I want this to turn out?” Many spend their entire lives climbing a ladder to “success” only to be disappointed at the end because their ladder was leaning on the wrong wall. The question is, what’s the right wall to set the ladder of your life on? Covey advises to picture success by starting with your own desires. Just imagine life as you want it to be. “Follow your heart” is the cliche du jour that comes to ...