The Scandal of Sheer Grace

Two criminals hang next to Jesus. One mocks him, but the other recognizes his innocence. And the repentant criminal, an outcast from society and written off by everyone (whose name we don’t even know) receives eternal life. He reaches out in faith to the Savior suffering next to him and hears, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

The salvation of the thief on the cross gives hope to every sinner. It’s an astounding picture of the sheer grace of God. This account tells us that even the worst of the worst—someone guilty of countless crimes—can receive forgiveness through Jesus and access to God. The cross of Christ gives anyone who repents—including the vilest offender—a pardon.


3 Ways God Reveals His Power In Weakness

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

– 2 Cor 12:9


Read more:

Our ridiculous gospel

Ridiculous gospel

Why Jen Hatmaker Apparently Thinks I’m Going to Hell

In my previous post, I explained why Jen Hatmaker does not understand contextualization. This was necessary because she and her interviewers use language that might mislead people about what is genuinely biblical contextualization. Fundamentally, her arguments are flawed because of an increasingly popular but superficial way of interpreting Scripture.

Credit: Flickr/CollegeDegrees360

This post examines the specific passage she seems to use in order to justify her views on LGBTQ and same-sex marriage. I will first remind you of her comments explaining the turning point in her thinking. She said,

Basically, Jesus is like, “Ok, well, some things are hard to understand, some things are confusing, people are confusing; there’s conflict. When you are not sure, when there’s something, be it a relationship or a person or a doctrine, whatever, that feels ambiguous or it feels contentious or there’s tension around its interpretation, look to the fruit. Like the fruit is going to tell you the truth. Because ultimately, however you slice it, a good tree is going to bear good fruit and a bad tree is going to bear bad fruit. And there you go. There’s a clue….”

In her interview, she effectively defines “fruit” as one’s emotional response to another’s actions and opinions. At the very least, her usage is equivalent to consequence. For the moment, let’s set aside the problematic way she defines “fruit.”

What text does she use to support her perspective?

Finish at:

Great Verses of the Bible: Galatians 1:6-7

Grace Greater Than Our Sin – Whinsnants

Haven’t heard this one in ages

An Aesthetic Of Grace

Recently, Mike Lueken, the senior pastor of our church, Oak Hills, preached a sermon on unbounded grace which hit me in a profound way. I wanted to share some of his words to you as artists of faith. Enjoy.

“The New Testament was written in what is known as “common” Greek or “everyday” Greek—Greek spoken out in the streets. The Greek word for grace is “charis,” but it is such a rich word, it means far more than one single English word is capable of conveying.

“There is a certain attractive aesthetic that the word, grace, describes. In secular Greek, a sip of an expensive cabernet might be followed by closing the eyes and saying “that’s grace.” A well worded phrase, written or spoken, might be savored by saying “such grace.” Various goddesses in Greek mythology are known as “the charites,” or “the grace goddesses.”  These goddesses were personified grace and beauty, and they amplified ordinary enjoyments of festive life and made them even more enjoyable.

Read more: