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Turned the world upside down

On Good Friday, Christianity was “down and out.”  The Christ was dead and buried.  His followers were despondent and scattered.  And that should have been that. Yet, within a very short period of time, Christ’s people were said to be ‘turning the world upside down.’  How did such an extraordinary revolution happen?  Not through the […]

Damascus Road Experience

It’s shorthand for any dramatic conversion.  People have often said to me that they’re Christians but they’re still waiting for their “Damascus Road Experience.” But they will have to wait for Christ’s return for anything like what Paul experienced.  You see the Damascus Road was not just the conversion of a man, it was the […]

Cut to the heart

When we’re “cut to the heart” it’s usually because we’ve been insulted or betrayed or broken up with. But three times in the book of Acts, the Israelites are ‘cut’ or ‘pricked’ to the heart (Acts 2:37; 5:33; 7:54).  Yet with them it’s different.  Here’s what pricks their hearts: the preaching of the Apostles.  As […]

The fruit of his loins

If this phrase is used today it’s usually as a playful archaism. —  “That’s my boy,” says the teasing father, “the fruit of my loins.” —  “Dad!!!” But actually it’s a great compliment.  There’s only one person in the Bible who is specifically referred to as ‘loin-fruit’:  Jesus.  Well of course – the One who […]

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “When we shall have done away the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, reared to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus; when, in short, we shall have unlearned everything which has been […]

Doubting Thomas

“If God came down right now, I’d believe.  If He showed up in all His Godness and proved Himself to me, I’d bow down and worship.  I won’t believe if I can’t see, hear and touch Him – but if He appears, I’ll believe.” Have you ever said that? Or thought it?  Well, that’s Thomas’s […]

He is not here, he is risen

Woody Allen is famously fearful of death (of course he maintains he’s not afraid, he just doesn’t want to be there when it happens).  He was once asked, ‘Aren’t you pleased to know you’ll live on in the hearts and minds of those you’ve touched?’  Woody said ‘I don’t want to live on in hearts […]

It is finished

“To die is not a problem when a man has accomplished his historic mission.”  Unfortunately for Leon Trotsky, an icepick cut short his mission to rule Russia.  His death represented a failure.  But Christ would have us believe that His death was a success.  Yet there was absolutely nothing on Good Friday that looked victorious. […]

Gave up the ghost

—  An old car that breaks down for the last time. —  A sports team that knows it can’t win. —  A business that finally calls it quits. In all these situations we’d say they “gave up the ghost.” In the bible, the phrase describes death.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all said to have […]

Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

On Saturday I spoke with an atheist who made a repeated claim: “Jesus was a hypocrite.”  No matter how many times I asked him for evidence, he couldn’t point to any.  Plenty in me.  Plenty in himself.  Innumerable instances in Christian history.  But none in Christ Himself. That’s quite astonishing really.  Hypocrisy is almost the […]