A Prayer for the Czar?

In one of our all-time favorite films, Fiddler on the Roof, the Jewish citizens of the fictional Russian shtetl of Anatevka ask the rabbi if there is a prayer for the Czar. With a twinkle in his eye, he assures them there certainly is, and then goes on to cite the prayer for his listeners. “May God bless the Czar and keep him – far from us!” Living in Illinois, we sometimes think that might … Continue reading

Reading Romans

Something always bugged me about Paul’s letter to the Romans. Growing up in the atmosphere of Evangelical churches, principally Baptist, I absorbed the accepted narrative of what was going on in Romans. Paul wrote a letter to the house churches in Rome. It is Paul’s “Theological letter” meaning it is this treatise on the Gospel, meaning how to get saved. Sure, Paul always has some practical application for believers signaled by the transition in 12:1 … Continue reading

The How and Why Questions of Life

We all know how often the “how and why questions” are utilized by human beings, and we all know that often they either cannot or will not be answered to our complete satisfaction. A mother walks into her young child’s bedroom – which is a disaster area – and asks, “How did this room get to be such a mess?!” Of course, mother already knows exactly how it happened and who did it, but will … Continue reading

Freedom and Obligation

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia to address some very important issues which they had forgotten – Christian freedom chief among them. Along with that, he also laid out some obligations of the Christian life. As I considered the celebration of the birth of our nation and our freedom earlier this month I was reminded anew of the above letter, written in 49 AD, just prior to the Jerusalem Council. (Acts 15) … Continue reading

The Sacrifice

When we think in terms of the sacrifice made for us nearly 2,000 years ago, we naturally think in terms of the sacrifice made by the Son. Braveheart. He gave His life for you and me, and the enormity of that fact should never be obscured by the passage of time or by our familiarity with the event. With that object in view, please allow yourself to consider this: Who would YOU die for? Your … Continue reading