Posts from May 2016

Posts from May 2016

K.I.S.S.

When I was a teenager there was a group of ministers who traveled around for the sole purpose of convincing people that listening to rock music was very sinful and would probably send you to hell. I’m not even kidding. I remember, in particular, they had real issues with the group Kiss. I don’t know if it was the outrageous makeup, the wild outfits or Gene Simmons’ tongue, but they were definitely on the “Do Not Listen” list. There were…
Neil Silverberg

It’s About People

In some ways, Romans 16 is anti-climatic. Apart from some theological meaty exhortations, there is just a list of people to whom Paul sends his greetings. These are all names of people we know very little about. After fifteen chapters of theological dynamite, this almost seems like a let down. We would expect this glorious book to end in a more dynamic way. Yet, this is perhaps a most fitting conclusion to Romans. Look at how many people Paul knew…

God and government, laws and love

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” Romans 13:1 Wait. Our political leaders are ordained by God? Seriously? I know that is what Paul says, but it can’t be what he means, surely. Especially in this election year where all the bets are off and conventional wisdom is out the window – and most available candidates do not think like we…

Mercy Beyond Measure

Bryan Chapell tells a story about learning to use a crosscut saw with his father. As Bryan and his father were sawing through a log that had a rotten core, a piece of wood sheared off that looked just like a horse’s head. So Bryan took it home and then later on gave it to his dad as a present. Chapell continues: I attached a length of two-by-four board to that log head, attached a rope tail, and stuck on…

All Things Work Together For Good!

Four years ago, our son Levi was sick with strep throat. We did what most parents would do and took him to the doctor and they prescribed antibiotics to fight the infection. Just a few days into the treatment, Levi began to develop large blisters all over his body and his lips swelled shut and turned black. We were horrified at this as you can imagine and rushed him to the doctor. We ended up seeing five doctors and none of…

Romans 3 |Speechless Before God

I had nothing to say. I had done the deed and was caught. I knew the rules and I had thought it through. I had calculated the punishment and decided it was worth the risks. So, even though underage, I took my parents car on a joy ride with my friend Greg. The adventure went well until we stopped at a convenient store to get a chocolate milk and a honey bun (staple foods for a teenager). Backing out of…

When God Lets Us Go

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth (Rom. 1.18). As I read these words from chapter 1 of Paul’s letter to the Romans, I am reminded of the 1971 John Lennon song, ‘Imagine’ in which he envisions a world without God and says, ‘… It’s Easy if You Try’. Lennon himself described the song’s meaning and explained its commercial appeal: “Anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic,…
Neil Silverberg

Proving Your Calling

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (II Peter 1:10). The doctrine of election is admittedly one of the most difficult doctrines in the entire Bible to understand. That being the case, many have simply chosen to ignore it entirely, pretending that it doesn’t exist. Others have gone the route of minimizing it by giving it less weight than Scripture does. Nevertheless, it appears…