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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Soli Deo Gloria

Today's sermon, Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone), with its emphasis on creation's calling to glorify God, may leave you wondering whether our God has a fragile ego. Do we simply exist to pump up God's tires, and remind God how great God is? A prayer from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life expresses this... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Solus Christus

The passage that was explored this Sunday, Colossians 1:15-20, is credited with having a 'high' Christology. Jesus is the cosmic Christ in whom all things hold together: both creation and redemption. Contrast this with Gospels accounts of Jesus' temptation where he grows hungry, or his crucifixion where he can no... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Sola Fide

Today's sermon addressed this important question: How a person can be righteous before God? It is maybe not a question raised by most of our neighbors. Most people consider themselves 'good' or at least 'good enough' in comparison to others. [As an aside--when I studied at the University of Alberta we were graded... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Sola Gratia

The Bible lessons for this Sunday loudly declare God's grace. Psalm 107 speaks of rescue from a variety of terrible predicaments (hunger/thirst, slavery, illness, stormy seas). Some of these troubles are seen as the consequence of poor choices and bad behavior. Some of these troubles are depicted as random... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Sola Scriptura

The Bible passage for this Sunday asserted that Scripture is inspired, literally God-breathed. Some commentary appeals to the creation stories in Genesis to give a better understanding of this. In those stories God spoke, and the world was made. In a similiar way we can understand that God breathed into the lives... Read More

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Unpacking the Sunday Sermon: Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

When I reflect on the interplay of 'sin and grace' or 'law and Gospel' I continually find myself coming back to Reformed teaching about the different uses of the law. The law is understood to have three uses or purposes: Curb - Through fear of punishment, the Law keeps the sinful nature of both Christians and... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: God's gifts

People occassionaly share stories with me about their baptism or another person's baptism. Sometimes I ask, in jest, "So did it take?" or "Did it work?". It's my way of asking whether or not the person the person is intentionally following Christ.  It also raises some important questions about baptism: Does... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Discerning the Body

We believe that Christ has brought together a diverse family in the church. Unfortunatley that diversity is seldom expressed in our own private gatherings. We tend to socialise like the world around us. We remain segregated according to age, race, and socio-economic status. So how might we embrace Christ's family... Read More