Did Jesus Promise to Return within the Lifetime of His Disciples?

For critics of early Christianity, one of the stock objections is that Jesus predicted he would return in the lifetime of his disciples.  And since he clearly didn’t return, then he cannot be believed. Indeed, it is this belief that has spurred many other theories among scholars, most notably Hans Conzelmann’s thesis that Luke’s Gospel […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 04.15.18

When was a time when you have experienced the perversion of justice in society? When have you been treated unfairly by a boss, parent, judge, etc.? When have you treated others unfairly? When have you judged others unfairly in your heart? How have you used your authority as a parent, boss, teacher, etc. in a […]

Preparing for Worship // April 15, 2018

Preparing for Worship // April 15, 2018

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist) Each of us has an innate sense of justice. Deep down, we all believe that a person should be repaid based on what he or she does and how he or she treats other people. If you do a job and do it well, you […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 04.08.18

When recently have you experienced the saving, sustaining, or satisfying of Christ? How consistent is your Sunday morning worship? When you come to church do you do so as a joyful response to what Christ has done or because you think it’s what you’re “supposed to do”? What avenues of worship do you engage in outside […]

Preparing for Worship // April 8, 2018

Preparing for Worship // April 8, 2018

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist) I love weddings (I mean, who doesn’t?). Actually, what I really love are wedding receptions, because they are parties with a reason for celebrating. Most of the events that we call parties are really just social gatherings: work parties, most Christmas parties, and most birthday […]

Seeking Rest in Jesus (Download a Devo)

We are challenging you to download a devotional (below) and spend two hours with Jesus. Read on, download and then put it on your schedule. Earlier this month 90+ men from Uptown Church fled the city and met up together in the North Carolina mountains. This was not some secret ritual, this was the men’s […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 04.01.18

What doubts about Jesus are you struggling with right now? What do you need to do to address these doubts and live at peace with God? In what ways are you interacting with Jesus on a regular basis? Are these interactions marked by duty or delight? How well are you living in humble confidence? How […]

Preparing for Worship // April 1, 2018

Preparing for Worship // April 1, 2018

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist) The gospel begins on the darkest day in history. But it is quickly followed by the brightest. The same Jesus who was crucified, died, and was buried, was then raised to life. Why was this the greatest day in human history? Because on Easter Sunday, […]

Generation Z and The Means of Grace

In January, the Barna Group released the findings from their latest study on “Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs, and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation”. The Generation Z demographic is born between 1999-2015. In other words, they are roughly our current seniors in high school down to the kindergartners and according to the study; they are […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 03.25.18

Are you tithing? Are you joyfully and generously giving to the poor on top of that? If not, what keeps you from giving more? When was a time when you lent someone money? What expectations did you have for that person? How might the radical generosity that God has shown you change the way that […]

Preparing for Worship // March 25, 2018

Preparing for Worship // March 25, 2018

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist) “Money makes the world go round.” There are probably few places in the world where this is truer than Charlotte. We live in a banking town where most people make their money working for a company whose business is to handle people’s money. But the importance […]

Five Reasons to Include Women on Your Church Staff

A couple of weeks ago, here at the RTS Charlotte campus, my wife Melissa (see her blog here) and I gave a lunchtime presentation on the topic of “Why Churches Should Hire More Women on Staff.” The desire to talk about this issue was motivated by several things.  For one, Melissa has served in a […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 03.18.18

How have you seen God honored (or not honored) in the big moments (funerals, weddings, births, etc.) in your life and the lives of others? How are you failing to honor God in the little moments of your life? What should you do differently in order to live out the reality of being set apart […]

If Our Obedience is Required, How Can it be Called a Covenant of Grace?

In the confusion among some Christians who fear that obedience to the law will transform them into legalists and so, miss grace, the question arises: If our obedience is required, how can it be called a covenant of grace? The presumed answer is that since it is by grace that we are saved through faith, […]

Preparing for Worship // March 18, 2018

Preparing for Worship // March 18, 2018

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist) One of my odd pet peeves is that I hate it when different foods on my plate touch. Casseroles are fine, as are any other foods that are meant to be eaten together, but if I have chicken, carrots, and mashed potatoes on my plate, […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 03.11.18

What is so appealing about the false teachings that we hear today? How does this make them dangerous? Do you have any family or friends who have left the faith and have tried to lead you astray? How did you handle the situation? Our opposition to apostasy should contain both a negative (refuse to listen […]

Preparing for Worship // March 11, 2018

Preparing for Worship // March 11, 2018

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist) Like many evangelicals today, I thoroughly enjoy C.S. Lewis. In fact, I have probably read more books by C.S. Lewis than any other author, and he has had a profound impact on my theology and my walk with Christ. So it came as a bit […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 03.04.18

What do you worship instead of God? What pulls your time, energy, and desire away from God? Where do we see worship practices in the church that are not pleasing to God? What makes heart-felt worship difficult? How can you cultivate a more heart-felt attitude in worship?

Preparing for Worship // March 4, 2018

Preparing for Worship // March 4, 2018

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist) My sister loves giving and receiving gifts. I can always count on Christmas and birthday presents from her being fun, thoughtful, and outside-the-box, and she’s the one in the family who gets the most excited about the gifts they receive. But the downside of this […]

Sermon Reflection Questions – 02.25.18

How would a proper fear of God and of His discipline lead you into greater obedience? What does a proper fear of God look like and how can you cultivate this type of fear? Where are you today in your walk with Jesus? How is God calling you to make or renew covenant with Him?