New Sermons Up

FYI, some of my recent sermons are newly posted HERE.

Summaries (with links):

Matthew 5:13-16 – Salt and Light – in which I deal with how Christians are to engage society/culture, particularly from the perspective of someone living in the semi-rural South.

Ecclesiastes 7:15-20 – Do Not Be Overly Righteous – in which I deal with what it means to be ‘overly’ or ‘over-much’ righteous.

Ecclesiastes 8 – Trouble (When God Punches You in the Jaw) – in which I deal with the trouble, trouble, trouble that Christians face (particularly suffering).



How to Shut Up

I had a teacher in 6th grade that banned the phrase, “Shut up.” She called it the S word. The penalty was a trip to the croakery. Listen to find out what that means.

In Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 Solomon breaks the rule and tells us to shut up. Solomon looks at mankind and says the dreaded S word. Shut up and listen. Shut up and obey. Our mouths are constantly writing checks our bodies can’t cash. Jesus pays our debt. The gospel re-frames the meaning of “shut your mouth.”

You can listen to the latest sermon in my series on Ecclesiastes by clicking HERE.

Sermon: The Triumph of Sympathy

You can listen by clicking HERE. To download the mp3, hover over the media menu under the player and click ‘download.’

My latest Ecclesiastes sermon is up. I am now working through Ecclesiastes 4, in a mini-section I am calling Life Under the Bleachers (which is a nod to Barry Hannah). In this sermon we deal with Ecclesiastes 4:1-3.

Solomon looks at the world and sees a bunch of people hunched over bearing burdens on their backs with no one to pity them or come alongside to help carry the burden. In the gospel, rather than giving us pat answers, Christ gives us the best thing he can give us – true empathy and sympathy. He lives life under the sun for us.

Learn how the sympathy of Christ can empower you to change.


My newest sermon from a series on Ecclesiastes is now online. I deal with Ecclesiastes 3:11-22 and ask the question, What does it mean that God has put eternity in our hearts? More specifically, I try to make the case that we are haunted by a sense of eternity and there is only one way to be rid of the ghost – it must take on flesh.

If you like American History X, Flannery O’Connor, Boethius, Autobiography of a Face, or Louis CK, you might want to listen just for the references.

You can listen to that, and a couple of my previous sermons on Ecclesiastes, by clicking HERE.

To download the audio, just hover over the menu on the left-hand side underneath the player.

Sermon: Heart-Piercing Devotion

My newest (Christmas) sermon is up. It’s based on Luke 2:22-53 (especially vv. 34-35). It deals primarily with Simeon’s words to Mary that a sword will pierce her heart. The theme is, ‘devotion to God will lead to division, pain, and a pierced heart.’

I enticed the congregation at the beginning by telling them that it may be the only Christmas sermon they ever hear that involves guts and gambling. If you’d like to hear how such things come into play, you can listen and download the mp3 here:

To download, just hover over the media menu under the player and click download. There is also a reworked version of my ‘life as narrative’ sermon up if you’d like to check it out. I wasn’t content with my original handling of Ecclesiastes 3, so I preached a completely new sermon with essentially the same theme. That sermon ends with midnight in Paris at the Eiffel tower (you’ll have to listen to find out why).

When We Turn Good Things into Ultimate Things They Become Empty Things

Another one of my Ecclesiastes sermons is up, focusing on that famous phrase ‘vanity of vanities’ as it occurs in Ecclesiastes 2. You can listen by clicking HERE.

My sermon on Ecclesiastes 3 about seeing life as a narrative is available there as well. If you’d like to download the audio, hover over the ‘media’ menu to the bottom-left of the player.

Sorrow and Joy as Sharp as Swords: How Seeing Life as Narrative Helps us Overcome Evil

I have about a month and half in between semesters (starting December 10th), so I will begin posting regular blog posts in the near future. Until then, my sermons are going to be posted online semi-regularly going forward. My sermon from this past Lord’s Day is up.

I am preaching through the book of Ecclesiastes at the moment. This particular sermon is on Ecc. 3:1-11, the passage that inspired the song ‘Turn, Turn, Turn.’ The title of my sermon is a nod to Tolkien: Sorrow and Joy as Sharp as Swords: How Seeing Life as Narrative Helps us Overcome Evil. You can stream or download the sermon by clicking HERE.

You can download the audio by hovering over the ‘media menu’ on the left side of the screen and clicking ‘download audio.’