Why Church?

If anyone who lives in the city does not attend church services for three Sundays, let that person be expelled for a brief time in order to make the reproach public.             – Synod of Elvira, 306 A.D.  So, do I attend church? Not often, to be honest. Like I said, it’s...
Read More →

Grassroots Gospel Conference Follow-up

The great southern author Flannery O’Connor famously observed, “while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” Her observation then seems just as accurate today. Perhaps O’Connor’s most enduring character embodying this southern...
Read More →

Why Plant Churches?

From the very beginning of Riverside Community Church, we wanted to not merely plant a church, but to establish a church-planting church in Columbia.  Why? Let me ask you this question: what should Christians be doing in the world?  Helping the homeless?  Feeding t...
Read More →

Who Can Come to the Table, Pt. III: A Communion Script

Four weeks ago, I unwittingly opened a can of worms.  I stated that the Lord’s Table was reserved for baptized believers.   In my mind, this was an unremarkable comment.  Aren’t all believers called to be baptized as their first, public step in following Jesus (Acts 2:37-38;...
Read More →

The Invisible Made Visible

Who Can Come to the Table, Pt II: The Visible Invisible Church Jesus makes the invisible God visible (Jn.1:18).  He renders the eternal and spiritual into the empirical substance of history (1Jn.1:1-4).  He did this by becoming flesh and blood (Jn.1:14), and particularly, through...
Read More →

Who can come to the Table?

This Sunday morning (8/31) I made two significant statements regarding our honoring the Lord’s Table at Riverside.  The first was in reference to our plan to celebrate the Supper among our Small Groups in homes, following the practice of the early church.  Stay tuned for...
Read More →

Grammar and Theology (Nerd Alert!)

Sometimes the line between presenting details of the biblical languages in our preaching in order to better display the gospel and glory of Christ, on the one hand, and simply to display the knowledge of the preacher, on the other, is hard to see.   But in the case of John 1:1c,...
Read More →

Eye of the Eagle: The Gospel of John

It became traditional in the ancient church to associate the four gospels with the four “living creatures” around the throne of God described in the book of Ezekiel and the Book of Revelation.  The church father, Irenaeus, gives us our earliest account of this...
Read More →

Sabbath Today?

As we’ll read about Sunday, Nehemiah returns from his hiatus in Susa from governorship of Judea only to find that the very stipulations the people had expressly committed to observing in the covenant renewal only a few years previous had been flagrantly and repeatedly...
Read More →

Infallible, Inerrant, and Inspired?

“The Bible has been copied and re-copied so many times that nobody can know what it originally said.”  “Obviously their are corruptions all over the place.  To believe this is the ‘inerrant word of God’ is just plain stupid!”  “The Bible...
Read More →