the grace of community

Some things are better shared than enjoyed alone. My two oldest sons are bookworms. When one reads and loves a book, he immediately wants to share it with the other. He is convinced that his enjoyment of that book will be greater if he can share it with his brother. Perhaps you have felt the same way about a book. Or a movie. Or a joke. Or a restaurant.

We usually want to share with others the things that bring us real joy in life. We want to help others know and experience the things we delight in. Our joy in them actually increases when we share that joy with other people. (more…)

why exposition?

Last Sunday at Capitol City, we began a series walking through the book of Titus. This follows a series over the summer in which we walked through the Psalms of Ascent. Beginning in January, we’ll spend almost 30 weeks in the book of 1 Samuel. Hopefully this is obvious: As a church, one of our primary commitments in preaching is to biblical exposition. That means that the normal pattern of our preaching and teaching involves walking methodically through whole books of the Bible, as opposed to preaching and teaching on selected topics or from selected texts.1

Why is biblical exposition important? Why have we made a commitment to it as a church? Here are four reasons why. (more…)

the courage to be protestant

In 1517, a German monk nailed a piece of parchment to the door of a church in a small town called Wittenberg. His poster disputed key doctrines – 95 of them – taught by the Roman Catholic Church in that day. This moment set into motion a movement that changed the landscape of church history.

Changing the world is never easy. For Martin Luther, and for those who followed after him, the Protestant Reformation demanded extraordinary conviction and courage. Five hundred years later, in a culture ambivalent to biblical Christianity and hostile to those who herald its teachings, the conviction and courage required to be Protestant is still extraordinary. (more…)

counting the apples in the seed

Every apple has five seed pockets – called carpals – containing one or more seeds. The exact number of seeds per apple depends on the variety of the apple and the health and vigor of the apple tree.1 Therefore, it is impossible to predict the exact number of seeds in any given apple – until you cut it open, of course. But once the apple is open, you can count – precisely and accurately – the number of seeds inside.

What can never be counted precisely nor predicted accurately is the number of apples in a seed. If an apple seed is planted in rich soil and receives the right nutrients in the right climate, allowing the plant to grow to be healthy and strong, over time that tree can produce an untold number of apples. From our perspective, it can seem like a limitless number of apples. Year after year, the tree will produce hundreds of apples – or more. Year after year, each of those apples will contain seeds, which can in turn be planted to grow more apple trees producing even more apples producing even more trees…You get the picture. (more…)

why we’ve switched to the esv

A few of you have said something. I am sure more of you have noticed but said nothing.

Since December, we’ve been preaching at Capitol City from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible. For more than a decade, I’ve sat on the fence between two English Bible translations. I have read and studied personally from the ESV, while preaching from the New International Version. (A little over a year ago, I explained why I prefered to preach from the NIV.) But I sit on the fence no longer. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be preaching and teaching from the ESV at Capitol City. I wanted to share a few of the reasons why. But let me start with one reason that is not a reason we are switching… (more…)