Daily Post #120 (Sunday School)

I have a nice cup of coffee beside me, worship music going, and all of my kids are still asleep. My blinds are cracked and natural light is streaming through. Can I freeze this moment and at least make it last for a few hours? I woke at 5 am. Honestly, I often give up sleep to prioritize a window of time to start my day where I can sit, think, pray, write, etc. Sometimes I just go out and sit in a lawn chair on our driveway so that I can see the sunrise.

This morning is a little different though. For the second time in two months, I have the wonderful privilege of standing in for one of our elders at Diamondhead Community Church. He often goes out and preaches in churches that do not have a pastor. Over a month ago, he asked me to teach on having a biblical worldview. We have talked extensively and he knows that this is something I care deeply about. For this second time, he asked that I continue the talk. I am honored! It starts at 9 am, so I am up finishing my preparations. It is so important to me to do all things with excellence (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17, etc.).

I have decided to focus on the events in NCAA Division I swimming. Lia Thomas, formerly known as William Thomas, swam for the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team from 2017–2021. However, after transitioning to being a trans-woman, Lia swam for the women’s team at the same university and won the NCAA Division I championship in the 500-yard freestyle event. This sparked an intense conversation on so many levels, particularly concerning how fair this is to the other contestants that are biologically female. After all, one cannot deny that while William was an average-to-good swimmer in men’s competitions, she immediately won the NCAA Div I championship in an event after transitioning.

So how does this apply to what I am teaching? In USA Today, Lia is reported to have said: “I transitioned to be happy, to be true to myself.” The key word here is “true.” Focusing on John 18:28–38, I will focus on Pilate’s question: “What is truth?” This will plunge us into the term “expressive individualism” which was coined in 1996 and is discussed in great detail in two of Carl Trueman’s books (one academic in nature, the other written for a non-academic audience). Let me say clearly: I am more convinced than ever that Christians, especially evangelical and Reformed pastors, need to be be reading and deeply reflecting on what Carl Trueman has to say. So, we will look at how expressive individualism has won the day in people’s thinking—unfortunately, I detect this often even in the way that Christians think about various aspects of reality including moral issues—and how this, in many ways, is diametrically opposed to a biblical worldview. Regarding truth, a biblical worldview affirms the following:

•Truth is discovered, not created (total rejection of any postmodern notions)

•Truth is objective and therefore universal, not subjective and local

•Truth is not decided by the individual person

•Truth is not decided by a specific culture

•Truth is not decided by reason although reason can help discover it (after all, our reason was also affected by the Fall, thus it is corrupted along with our will and cannot be fully trusted)

Truth is not decided by a person’s feelings no matter how “right” they seem or how strong they are 

I pray that it is helpful as we seek to “love the Lord your God . . . with all your mind.”


Daily Post #119

C.S Lewis on Spiritual Health: This quote is so simple, yet so true. In the “Introduction” of The Four Loves, Lewis writes: “A man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God.” You might ask, “What is so special about this?” For me, it is a stark reminder. As a philosopher, I love reading and thinking. One of the reasons I love Christianity is the worldview it presents. Yet, it is possible to love a worldview more than the Person from which the worldview is ultimately rooted. I once read that Dorothy Sayers said that she feared that she loved the Christian worldview more than Christ. I get it. I feel it. What an odd sort of temptation? Yet, it remains. To love thought, a particular framework, a way of understanding, yet maybe not the one that is responsible for it all. Lately, I am asking myself: “Do I love Jesus, or just what he represents?”

The Glorification of “Uncertainty”: Please take a few minutes to read this very short blog titled, “Knowing is Superior to Uncertainty.” It is so insightful. Essentially, the author discusses how it is no longer trendy (this is a nice way of putting it) to say that you “know” something. If you remain forever “uncertain,” then you are considered humble, deep, profound, etc. As Christians, we do know certain things. May we not walk in fear.

A Beautiful Invitation: This is a verse that was in my Psalm for today: “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Ps. 55:22 NIV). The first part is what really captures my attention, ministers comfort, gives me hope, and calls my heart to a response. How honest are you when you pray? Do you go through the motions of prayer or does God really hear from you, from the deep places in your heart? Why pray if you are not bringing it all? Why hold back? Is not the presence of God the safest (and most terrible) place on earth for the Christian?

Daily Post #118

Christianity and Cremation: I had a student reach out the other day about cremation. Is it morally permissible? Is it morally wrong? Are Christians committing a sin to cremate a body after death? This sent me on a search for good online sources that I could share with the student. I found one very helpful piece on The Gospel Coalition’s website, a source that I really enjoy and trust. The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About Cremation.

The Beauty of Routine: As a family, we might have had our two worst days of sickness since my wife and I got married. It was a hard weekend for us. I only share it to say that when I was able to wake up this morning, make coffee, and sit at my desk to start the week, I was reminded that routine—while sometimes mundane—is so simple, refreshing, and even life-giving. Routine can bring joy. I am thankful for routine. To wake up this morning, make my coffee, sit at my desk, and open the Bible was truly refreshing and joyful as my body mends.

Hermeneutics Simplified: Hermeneutics is a fancy word that simply refers to how we interpret the Bible. Here is a great definition: “Biblical hermeneutics is the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation. The word most often refers to how to interpret the Bible or other sacred texts from other religions. This is not to be confused with exegesis. Where exegesis refers to the interpretation of a specific Biblical text, hermeneutics is deciding which principles we will use in order to interpret the text” (source). While the word is hard to spell and is not used in your average sermon, it is extremely important. I found this article online from a source I trust very much. It is written by pastor and theologian Sam Storms. When I lived in Kansas City and attended Metro Christian Fellowship back in the day, Sam Storms was on staff as a pastor. I was there during the transition from Mike Bickle to Floyd McClung (the latter recently passed). If you will carve out 15-20 minutes to read, this article can really benefit your understanding of how and how not to read and interpret the Scripture. and yes, this applies to evangelicals, who are sometimes the worst about thinking they are “simply reading the Bible” when in fact they are not aware of all that they are bringing with them when they read the text. May we all grow and get better. Here is the article: HERMENEUTICAL PRINCIPLES by Sam Storms.