Here are some sermons and Bible teaching talks that I have given. (Right-click to download files. Or play audio from the website.)
“Naked and Exposed Before the Living God” – Sermon at Salem Mennonite Church – July 16, 2017 (Audio)
My primary text was Hebrews 4:12-13 and my primary goal was to warn against the dangers of secret sin. God’s word exposes the secrets of our heart and demands a word of account in response! See this blog post for a sermon summary.
“The Lord Is Risen! Come, Lord Jesus!” – Sermon at Albert Mast’s Memorial Service – December 17, 2014 (Audio)
My primary texts were Romans 6:11 and 1 Peter 1:13, and my primary goal was to help people walk in the blessings of Christ’s resurrection now and long for a full participation in Christ’s resurrection at his return. See here and here for blog posts with related content.
Romans Survey / Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
These are recordings of an adult Vacation Bible School class at Salem Mennonite Church in Leon, Iowa (June 5-15, 2011). You will benefit most from these recordings if you also look at the slides and handouts and this Outline of Romans.1
- Explaining the Scriptures is an awesome responsibility, especially since we are fallible interpreters. If I gave these talks again, I would want to say a few things differently. Two examples from the first talk: (1) In my discussion of whether Scripture was written to us or for us, I would want to acknowledge Jesus’ words showing that God does speak to us through Scripture (Matt. 22:31; see also this article). (2) I might speak about the implications of Scripture for us today rather than about making proper applications of Scripture. The term applications can suggest that we are called to be the deciding agents who use Scripture for our own purposes. The term implications clarifies that Scripture is the active agent, giving authoritative direction to us. We handle Scripture, yes. But more importantly, we must let Scripture handle us. Our applications have no authority unless they are actually implications of Scripture itself. ↩
- In this session I used an illustration about veiling styles. This illustration may feel irrelevant to some listeners (most non-Anabaptists) and a little too relevant to others (many conservative Anabaptists). Some listeners wondered afterward why I identified the weak in faith as being those who believed only cap style veils should be worn, rather than those who wore hanging veils. This is a fair question. I designed my illustration this way because, in order to parallel Romans 14, the weak in faith must be those who are insisting that others copy them–that they live according to the consciences of others, with less personal freedom. In real life I have not encountered a church context where some are insisting that only hanging veils should be worn. Perhaps such situations do exist. But in my limited experience those favoring cap style veils are likely to desire uniformity of application (and be tempted to judge their hanging-veil sisters), while those favoring hanging veils are likely to desire diversity of application (and be tempted to despise their cap-style sisters). Positions could be reversed for illustration purposes, but then the illustration would be less realistic. I do not mean to imply that everyone who wears a cap-style veil is weak in faith. That is certainly not true. But I do mean to help us consider implications of Scripture that strike close to home, rather than being only theoretical. And I do think this passage has something to say to the ongoing conservative Mennonite discussion about mandatory uniform applications and church standards, and about the kind of gospel-based solutions Paul might suggest when brothers and sisters disagree over matters of conscience not spelled out in Scripture. If you have more questions, I would be happy to respond privately. Perhaps we can learn together. ↩