Posts by Year

2023

Jesus teaches us how to fight our sin

4 minute read

Your talk is cheap.

If I want to know what matters to you, I’m going to pay closer attention to what you do than to what you say. I’ll pay attention to where you are willing to put in extra time and effort. When are you willing to suffer? When do you give up easily?

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You are the salt of the earth…

4 minute read

What Jesus demands

During the sermon on the mount, Jesus tells his followers that they are “the salt of the earth”. (Matthew 5:13) It’s a potent analogy because the properties of salt are universally well known: it’s necessary for life, it adds flavor to food, and it works to purify and preserve what we eat. Just like leaven, you only need a little bit to be effective if you work it through your entire dish. The apostle Paul uses salt as an metaphor in Colossians 4 in a very similar way: “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

But what is it that makes his disciples salty? What distinguishes them from anyone else?

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The Bell Tolls

5 minute read

It’s easy to become desensitized to violence, suffering, and death. This, naturally, can happen to someone in the midst of horrible evil. In those cases, though, desensitization doesn’t necessarily lead to a numbing of the conscience but instead can become a grace that allows one to bear the weight of tremendous suffering. How else could one live in the midst of war, violence, terror, and sin? I don’t fault anyone for this type of “desensitization”, if we can call it that. This state typically drives people to good works, to acts of mercy and love in the face of oppression, persecution, and violence. It can be sacrificial for the sake of goodness. It can bear the sword for the destruction of evil and for justice.

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My Pitch

4 minute read

Let me state the obvious. Trinity Reformed Fellowship is one of many Christian student organizations on the campus of Indiana University. Each organization differs in size and focus. Some are larger, with many students and lots of cool events. Others, like ourselves, are smaller and less flashy. Some have “good looking” students and some have “not so good looking” ones. Some are “cooler” and some are not. No matter what organization you might find yourself in, though, they all have something in common. No student organization is the Church.

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Daylight is burning…

3 minute read

As I said in an earlier post, there are countless reasons to move to Bloomington and come to Indiana University. Naturally, many of those reasons will have to do with your career development. You are at IU, after all, because you are interested in a certain field of study and hope to be gainfully employed in that field at some point. But in this post, I want to convince you to think about something else entirely. I want to convince you to think about marriage.

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The Spirit at IU

5 minute read

The word “spirit” can be such an obscure term. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary lists fourteen definitions. Here are a few:

  1. an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms
  2. a supernatural being or essence: such as a. capitalized: HOLY SPIRIT b. SOUL c. an often malevolent being that is bodiless but can become visible specifically: GHOST d. a malevolent being that enters and possesses a human being
  3. temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous or animated in high spirits

Today, in our secular and materialistic age, we often hear the word used in phrases like “school spirit”. Or we speak of someone being in “good spirits”.

For those of us who are Christians, we believe that God is a Spirit. Specifically, we believe that God is the Spirit. How does Scripture help us understand this?

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The Word at IU

5 minute read

Christianity is a religion of words. That may be an odd statement to some. Isn’t every religion a religion of words? It is true that most major religions have some texts they consider sacred. Islam has the Q’uran, Judaism the Talmud, Hinduism the Vedas, and the Buddhists the Tripitakas. Various offshoots of Christianity, such as Mormonism, too have texts they consider holy alongside the Bible. Even religions that don’t have organized sacred texts rely upon oral traditions for their practices and beliefs.

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Rich Men North of Richmond

9 minute read

No one knew anything about Oliver Anthony a week ago, but he has sure made a splash on the internet. His song, Rich Men North of Richmond (lyrics below), was released just seven days ago on Youtube, and it currently has over 15 million views. If anyone was curious, the culture wars are not behind us. Take a look:

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The Father at IU

3 minute read

Does Indiana University have a “father”? On January 20, 1820, the infant state of Indiana (admitted into the union in 1816) passed a law to establish a state seminary in Bloomington. One of the trustees commissioned to establish the school was a man named David H. Maxwell. A physician by trade, Dr. Maxwell became a vocal supporter for the founding of a state college in Bloomington after his move to the small town in 1819. That same year the first church in Bloomington was also founded at his personal home. Due to his substantial influence in founding the seminary, Dr. Maxwell has often been called the “father of Indiana University”.

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A Soul That Will Never Die

4 minute read

Welcome to Indiana University! Whether you are a freshman this year or a grizzled old senior, I hope you’re excited to be back in Bloomington and back at IU. There are many good reasons to attend college, and there are many good reasons to come to Indiana University. But before classes begin, you should ask yourself an important question: why are you here?

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Welcome!

1 minute read

There is a lot happening here in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University is a world-class research institution, with more than 550 academic programs and 200 majors. It’s also a hub of art and culture. The Jacobs School of Music attracts top musicians from all over the world, and there are free recitals and concerts happening regularly. Opera and ballet are on offer at the Musical Arts Center, and the IU Auditorium hosts concerts and theatrical productions of all kinds.

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