Is Baptism Just a Symbol?

Is Baptism Just a Symbol?

I believe baptism is for the remission of sins, that one is born into the kingdom of God through baptism in Jesus’s name, and that baptism is necessary in order to be saved.  When I teach about baptism, what I sometimes hear in response is, “Baptism is important, but it’s only a symbol.  We are…

A Redacted God

A Redacted God

Imagine the appeal of a drive-thru church tailored to fit today’s culture: “Welcome to McChurch’s, where you can have Him your way. May I take your petition, please?” “Hello, yes, I’d like to order a Savory Savior Burger with extra blessings and a side of forgiveness. Um. . . better super-size that this week. Oh,…

More Than Conquerors!

More Than Conquerors!

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37). To get a full understanding of what this truly means, one needs to read Romans 6–8. This promise is to those who have responded to the Gospel call, being buried, united with Christ through immersion into death, set free from…

Race Relations

Race Relations

Race relations is a dominant topic in our national discourse. American society is flooded with theories, movements, and protests, all demanding extermination of institutionalized racism and injustice. These waves of activism press us with difficult questions: Does racism persist in America? Is institutionalized racism real? What causes differential outcomes between ethnic groups? This article aims…

Identity Crisis?

Identity Crisis?

Our identity is who we are. Assimilation is a matter of losing one’s identity and being absorbed into another. For example, people whose identity is closely bound with their nation guard the distinction between themselves and other nations. This is seen among individuals who take pride in their national heritage. For some, it has to…

From Gethsemane to Golgotha

From Gethsemane to Golgotha

It was late.  According to one researcher, probably well after 11 pm.  Earlier that night, Jesus and the eleven had exited the city, travelled east/northeast over the Kidron Valley, and entered a garden near (or on) the western slope of the Mount of Olives.  “Gethsemane” meant “oil press.”  Probably the “garden” was an olive orchard,…

Slow to Speak

Slow to Speak

During a recent reading through Proverbs, there were a few verses that stood out to me: In a multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (10:19). “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,…

Not Violent or Quarrelsome

Not Violent or Quarrelsome

By and large, the world isn’t sold on gentleness as a great quality to aspire to, although almost everyone appreciates being treated gently by others, especially by people who have power over us, including our parents in childhood and various governing authorities or bosses we may deal with in adult life. Even so, the world…