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What is Manhood?

The articulation of manhood is wrong-headed in much of our culture. The man who makes a good living is providing for his wife, but it does not mean he’s a man of character. We’ve seen our share of professionally successful men who abandon their families. The idea of man as strong and powerful may provide protection in its broadest sense, but it’s still not manhood in the biblical sense. In the end, the man who submits to God and His Bride is the most desirable trait and the true definition of manhood. Tim Keller summarizes this well when he wrote: “Men, you’ll never be a good groom to your wife unless you’re first a good bride to Jesus.”

Homeschooling Rest

Homeschooling Rest

Let me address homeschool dads. I am certain what I am about to say applies to other dads in some ways, but my focus is homeschooling fathers. As a homeschooling family, I have a front seat to the remarkable work my wife accomplishes in a solitary day; the ability to navigate, dictate, advocate for the children throughout the day while instructing, cherishing, and hugging. It’s a phenomenal accomplishment. Yet, I wonder how often we dads see their sacrifices, enter into their struggle to offer support and rest. The latter is especially crucial to the successful work of homeschooling moms. It is inconceivable that a homeschooling father watches everything that takes place in the home and remains unmoved by the almost supernatural itinerary of his wife. So, here’s my exhortation: do not fail to praise and edify your wife. Do provide times of regular rest for her. Do see her work as a delightful reminder of the Gospel which nurtures us daily. Consistently ask if there are ways you can make her task more joyful.

Homeschooling is not a task to overburden, overwork, and age quicker. It’s a gift from God to train and nourish your children in the Lord and husbands play a fundamental role in minimizing the pressures and maximizing the pleasures of serving our little ones.

Breaking Bread by Jonny Cash

Gimme that good ‘ol fashioned socialism

Gimme that good ‘ol fashioned socialism

I find myself somewhat disconcerted knowing that millennials in this country want a system of government that I grew up with in Brazil. It’s a bizarre phenomenon. Let me tell you that apart from the utopian sentiments of a government-controlled system and the supposed glories it will bring, the harsh reality is that it produces misery upon misery. My country’s economy forces the general population to have no more than two kids, where both sets of parents must work to make ends meet, depend on an ever-failing public education, suffer under a brutally overwhelmed and incompetent health care system where some patients die waiting for care, and where the vast amount of evangelicals find themselves at the feet of wealth and prosperity Gospel preachers seeking some “grace” to overcome their financial burdens. From Argentina to Venezuela, from Ecuador to Bolivia, the system is virtually the same, yet the people continue to suffer and embolden the same tyrants who enrich themselves and fool the populace under the banner of “fairness,” “equality,” and the “common good.” So, yes, I am befuddled by this phenomenon.

Honoring the Childless Women in the Church

I do wish to rightly honor mothers tomorrow, but for now, I want to address those who would love to bear children but are not able to do so, though in so many ways they have been fruitful and multiplied by pouring themselves into the lives of countless people. I honor the Jane Austens’ and Flannery O’Connors’ of this world who though never married taught us about life in its beauty and elegance. My deepest honor for those women who have chosen childlessness and singleness to love the lost and to proclaim Christ in distant lands in orphanages, translation work, education, and so much more. We rightly honor you, and though you may not share in the celebration of Mother’s Day, you are honored by God and His Church for your glorious role in redemption’s story.

Kuyper and Lordship, Episode 3

The Danger of High Standards

Demanding high standards for our children is a noble thing. Demanding high standards while frustrating them in the process is foolish. In other words, our high standards need to be loving standards. We need to allow love to cover a multitude of sins lest we sin attempting to love.
In parenting, we need a healthy dose of humility. This is hard in an age when grades matter more than godliness; external obedience more than internal motivation. We cannot, however, allow our high standards to usurp the proper place for training in love. We need an end result where our children desire the good, true, and beautiful because they are infinitely better than the alternatives. It is possible that in our high standards we lose the purpose of the law: to direct our children to the God of the law.

Theology is not contrary to love, Episode 2

John Frame Retires: Three Lessons I’ve Learned From Him

John Frame Retires: Three Lessons I’ve Learned From Him

Today one of the five most influential living theologians in my life retires. I had the joy of studying under John Frame and to spend some additional time with him on an independent study on the theology of Abraham Kuyper. Here are three brief lessons I’ve gained from Professor Frame:
1) The importance of persuasion: Frame once wrote that “We are not seeking merely to validate statements but to persuade people” Human beings are emotionally invested in the beliefs and opinions they hold. Frame taught me to persuade in love lest you persuade in vain.
2) Theology as application: Frame taught me that theology becomes fruitful only when it’s applied. He defined theology as: “The application of the Word of God by persons to all areas of life.” This has deeply shaped my pastorate.
3) We are multi-perspectival: We are not imprisoned by one way of looking at certain ideas. God has made us creative in our thinking, therefore ideas can be shaped by what is normative, situational, or existential. We are holistic image bearers which humble us as we dialogue with other image-bearers.

Introduction, Theology is Applied