Loving & Speaking the Truth When People Hate the Truth (HC LD 43, Q/A 112)

God says, “You shall not murder.” How do Christians go about having a rational and civil conversation with a woman holding a sign that says, “Abortion saves lives!”? She will probably not feel honored when you share your Biblical view of life with her, especially if she had an abortion. God reveals in plain language that He made human beings in His own image and made them male and female. How do Christians have respectful dialogue with people who applaud Facebook for giving 14 gender...

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Does That Belong to You? (HC LD 42, Q/A 110-111)

You look at your watch as you wait in line at the grocery store checkout counter. You’re in a hurry. You load your groceries onto the conveyer belt as the barcode scanner beeps for the person in front of you. “Let’s get a move on it,” you think to yourself. The person in front of you pays. After your groceries are scanned, you quickly give your cash to the clerk who in return gives you your receipt and change. Into your pocket, it goes, and off you go to your next stop. Later that...

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Sinful Desires, Concupiscence, & “Gay Christians” (HC LD 41, Q/A 108-109)

Would it shock you to meet someone who self-identified as a “Racist Christian”? Or maybe a “Wife-Beating Christian”? Or maybe an “Adulterous Christian.” I think this would raise serious concerns for both Christians and non-Christians alike. There’s just something about a Christian identifying themselves with sin. It’s unsuitable. See, Christians are no longer identified by their sinful inclinations, desires, or actions, they are identified by their union with Christ. Though...

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Your Heart Has Pulled the Trigger (HC LD 40, QA 105-107)

The great United States of America has existed for 245 years, and during those years four Presidents have been assassinated. Can you name them? Can you name them in order? Abraham Lincoln was shot in 1865. James Garfield in 1881. A quick aside, a great read on James Garfield is Candice Millard’s book Destiny of the Republic. The third was William McKinley. He was shot in 1901. Last was John F. Kennedy in 1963. These assassinations were all committed within 100 years. Additionally, there were...

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Showing Honor, Love, & Faithfulness to Earthly Authorities (HC LD 39; QA 104)

In this episode, we’re going to begin unpacking the content of the Heidelberg Catechism (HC). The boxes are unloaded from the moving truck, they’re in the house, but now we have to open the boxes and put the truths in their respective places. We have three boxes: guilt, grace, gratitude. What truths are inside these boxes? Where do these truths belong in our lives? How will they serve us? When someone is unpacking boxes in their new home, they often open a box and rediscover the...

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The Structure of the Heidelberg Catechism Could Change Your Life

The aim of this podcast is to help you, the listener, find deeper comfort and joy in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel should produce comfort and joy in our hearts every day as we strive by the Holy Spirit to live for the glory of our God. In order for you and me to find the comfort and joy our souls crave, we need to understand several important things. We need to understand God’s law, the law’s goodness, and how God uses the law to love us. We need to understand the gospel...

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A Clearer Direction for This Podcast/Blog

First, thank you so much for listening to the podcast or perhaps reading the episodes, either in emails or at smalltowntheologian.org. I appreciate your time investment, and I trust that God has used this podcast to deepen your comfort and joy in the gospel in some way. Keep listening. More helpful content is coming.    Second, I want to improve this podcast for the good of my beloved local church, Jerusalem Church, which meets in the small town of Manheim, PA, and for the good of...

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Spurgeon & Joyfully Submitting to the Truth of God’s Infallible Word

It is evident in our culture today that many people are ready and willing to exchange the truth for absurdity. Relativism nicely illustrates the arrogance and egocentrism of human nature. None of us gets to decide what is true. Unless our truth is the truth our truth is a lie erroneously labeled. Should the bank teller honor your substantial withdrawal simply because you self-identify as Jeff Bezos? No. That would be absurd and unfair to Mr. Bezos. Our culture venerates science, worships it...

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The Plurality of Elders Protects a Pastor (and a Church) from Disaster

I’ve been listening to Christianity Today’s podcast titled The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. It’s insightful, compelling, and really well done. It’s also concerning, painful, and tragic. Coupled with introspection, the podcast is humbling me and teaching me some good lessons. Mark Driscoll was someone I really looked up to. I listened to his sermons. I read some of his writing. I listened to the worship bands from his church. I didn’t agree with everything Mark taught, but much...

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Five Essential Gifts to Give Your Kids: (5) Connect the Dots with Relationship

What do you want your kids to see more than anything else? I hope you would say the beauty, majesty, and glory of God. Don’t you want your kids to be awestruck at God and his mercy and grace for them? Creation can show them God’s eternal power and divine nature, but not his justice, judgment, mercy, grace, and love. Only in the Bible does God reveal his redemptive character, nature, and works. If our kids are going to see the beauty, majesty, and glory of God, they will need to see it by...

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