• Blog,  Shawn Lazar

    Your Basic Problem… According to Major Ian Thomas

    Chapter 5 fromIt Takes God to Be a Man: The Spiritual Theology of Major Ian Thomas (forthcoming). Sometimes you have no choice but to amputate. Of course, that’s never the first choice or the ideal choice. Amputation is always a last resort, something chosen only after trying every other option. And yet, sometimes there’s nothing left to do with a diseased limb or organ. When the nerves die. The soft tissue rots away. The tumor spreads. The organs fail. And the doctors warn you there’s no curing it, healing it, or patching it up, you have to cut out the dead organ and replace it with a living one. But…

  • Blog,  Lucas Kitchen

    Eternal Rewards: Episode 3

    Everyone needs motivation. It’s an essential function of the human brain. Everyone needs to see what the payout will be for their trouble. You work for a paycheck, not for free. You work out at the gym for a purpose, to lose weight. You take a shower every once in a while because it benefits your social life. There is a motive for everything. Every beat of your heart and breath in your chest has a motive.

  • Blog,  Lucas Kitchen

    Clearing the Water

    Imagine that a young man named Tim is given a glass of living water. He drinks it down gratefully. It tastes clean and refreshing. He knows the moment he drinks it he has been given immortality. In addition, the moment after Tim drinks the living water he realizes that he has an urge to quit drinking all other drinks. He decides that he’ll give up tea, coffee, and sodas. In his exuberance, he grabs an extra glass of living water and excitedly carries it toward his loved ones. He wants his parents to have access to this purified life-giving drink.

  • Blog,  Lucas Kitchen

    Eternal Rewards: Episode 2

    I grew up in a Bible-teaching church. We learned the Bible verse by verse. It was an incredible, almost seminary level, biblical education. In my early twenties, I branched out and worked in various ministry capacities in churches of all sizes. I minored in biblical studies in undergrad and majored in biblical studies in seminary. I traveled doing music ministry for about a decade with a host of speakers and evangelists. From the time I could understand speech until I was 30, I estimate that I heard over 10,000 talks on biblical subjects. That’s thousands of sermons, Bible studies, discussions, and lectures. This doesn’t count the stack of books I’ve…

  • Blog,  Lucas Kitchen

    Eternal Rewards: Episode 1

    When I was in fourth grade, I asked my Dad if I could get into baseball. I had seen a game or two on TV and liked the look of the sport. I imagined that the entire experience would consist of a crisp uniform, a few Saturday morning games, and a big trophy. I was surprised to find that there were all kinds of tasks that had to be done before we even had one game.

  • Blog,  Shawn Lazar

    One-Point Preaching: A Simple Law & Gospel Structure

    This is an excerpt from Shawn Lazar’s One-Point Preaching: A Law & Gospel Model. You Need to Know Where You’re Going I have a terrible sense of direction. Without a map, I get lost every time. Even with a map, I may still get lost, but at least I have a fighting chance! It’s the same with preaching. I’ve heard many preachers who went into the pulpit without a map and never stood a chance of getting to their destination. Consequently, neither did the congregation! The preacher vaguely knew where he was and where he wanted to go, but by the end of the sermon, he and the congregation ended…

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    Understanding Hebrews 10:26: Is Christ’s Sacrifice Sufficient for Me?

    Introduction The Bible wasn’t given to us as a bunch of unconnected verses that all make perfect sense on their own. Sometimes, without the context, verses can sound like they mean the opposite of what the authors meant by what they wrote. It’s a terrible thing, but many times people take advantage of this fact and use isolated verses in a way that hurts people and devastates their walk with Christ. (Sometimes it’s out of ignorance. Sometimes it’s malicious. It’s always tragic.) It’s especially common for people to cite Scripture out of context in order to cause believers to doubt Christ’s love for them or the security of their salvation.…

  • Blog,  Lucas Kitchen

    IVORY: Five Points Of Free Grace Believism

    Recently I’ve noticed an interest in an explanation of free grace beliefs that copares them to Calvinism and Arminianism. In the same way that TULIP represents Calvinism, I’ve chosen the word IVORY to represent Free Grace Believism. The graphic below is my attempt to compare “apples to apples.” It may not represent all free grace believers, but this is an attempt to begin a conversation on the topic. Please let me know (in the comment section) what you think. If you have ideas on how to improve please let me know.

  • Blog,  Fiction,  Steve Dehner

    Running Across the Street

    In our town there are two great houses that sit across the street from one another, each with very different kinds of families. But they have this in common: they take in children without homes. The Two Houses The first house is the House of Belonging: the parents have one biological son, and scores of adopted children. This son has the charge of inviting any child without home or family to come live there. If a child came to live there, she was asked if she wished join the family. If the child did, the parents drew up an adoption certificate.