GCC Blog

Recent news, thoughts and teaching snippets

God is a Jew

“God is a Jew.” You can’t get around it. The conclusion is inevitable. If Jesus was a Jew, and if Jesus was God, then God was a Jew–and assuming He doesn’t change, He remains as such to this day…

read more

Apostolic Succession

Paul summarized his role as an apostle: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4). This sacrificial death in light of the coming resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12ff.) is the faith with which the apostles were “entrusted” (cf. 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 5:19; Gal. 2:7; 1 Thess. 2:4; 1 Tim. 1:11; Tit. 1:3)…

read more

Jesus and Nicodemus

Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus is quite perplexing (akin to Peter’s reinstatement). Jesus’ declaration that one must be “born again” is a cornerstone of modern evangelicalism (at the end of his life George Whitefield said he preached on John 3:3 no less that 5,000 times!). However, the traditional evangelical explanation is…

read more

Peter’s Reinstatement

Often referenced and sermonized, but rarely explained, the events of Peter’s denial and reinstatement are quite puzzling. I would offer an alternative explanation. Peter denied Jesus because of his sympathy with zealotry (which was common in Judaism at the time). Zealotry is confidence in the strength of man concerning…

read more

Satan’s Greatest Masterpiece

In light of the recent killings of Coptic Christians in Libya, my friend Joel Richardson wrote a poignant article on the right response to coptic 21’s martyrdom. It reminded me of a message I recently listened to by Joseph Cumming concerning “Satan’s greatest masterpiece,” which is not Islam, but rather the Crusades as a response to…

read more

Book Recommendation

Well, I’ve decided to start putting up my book recommendations, so here’s my first. I recently finished reading a book by David Garrison called A Wind in the House of Islam (2014). Garrison is a well known missiologist with the IMB, and this book...

read more

Irreverent Babble

Holy are the visions of the Prophets. God spoke and revealed Himself to the Prophets, and His self-revelation is bound to His vision for the future. This is why He refers to Himself over 300 times as “the God of Israel”. It is the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6) that…

read more

The Purpose of the Parables

Many believe Jesus told parables to his followers because he was revealing some kind of new resurrection and kingdom. However, Jesus made clear that his parables were told to unbelievers, to confront them in their ungodliness: “The knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in…

read more

Shepherding the Flock

The purpose of all Christian leadership (whether the gifting be apostolic, prophetic, pastoral, teaching, or evangelism) is to lead the body of Christ toward eternal life. Though we may debate what eternal life entails (i.e. heavenly destiny vs. New Earth), the main point is that we are called to forsake this life, take up…

read more

Lily Anne Harrigan

Many thanks to all of you who helped bring Lily Anne home. It was quite an adventure in China (especially the trip home!), but we made it. She’s more beautiful than we ever imagined. We’re all pretty smitten around here…

read more

The Message of the Kingdom and Its Demands

The Parable of the Sower is one of Jesus’ most familiar parables, which he described as decisive for understanding all the parables: “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” (Mk. 4:13) Matthew says the seed is “the message of the kingdom” (13:19). Of course, any Jew of Jesus’ day would…

read more

The Second Coming

The cornerstone of the Christian faith is “the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Tit 2:13). This is what the angels promised the disciples when Jesus was taken up: “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you…

read more

Characteristic Elements of the Apostolic Witness

Theologians have long sought the “elusive center” (Gordon Fee) of biblical theology. That is, what is the central message of the Scriptures and the apostolic witness? Since the Reformation, most Protestants have focused on justification by faith. During the last hundred years, a shift has occurred toward eschatology. Some within the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement have…

read more

Rejoice in the Lord

Paul’s command to “rejoice in the Lord” is in context to “the book of life” (v. 6) and the resurrection, i.e. when Jesus “will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (3:21) It is similar to the command Jesus gave his disciples, “do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Lk. 10:20) Our hope must not…

read more

The Righteousness of God

The Bible uses big words to describe what happened at the Cross: reconciliation, propitiation, justification, and redemption. These are the big four, and they are used throughout the New Testament. Unfortunately, they are fairly uncommon in everyday modern English, so most people assign little meaning to them…

read more