Posts by Bryant Perkins

Posts by Bryant Perkins

Questions and Answers

As most of you know, we had the first meeting of our new small groups last. Nearly every person who signed up to participate was present, and the few exceptions all had good reasons for their absence like illness or travel—no one just flaked on us, in other words. And since then, in face-to-face conversations, in text messages, in secondhand word-of-mouth reports from others, I have heard nothing but positive feedback from all quarters. I do not like to talk…

Going to Church

Why are we here? I don’t mean that existentially. I am talking about you, sitting there reading the bulletin this morning at our assembly. Why have we gathered together? Why are you here? It wasn’t that long ago that it was common to hear sermons emphasizing the assembly to the point that you need to be here or you’ll be in hell. Neglecting it has been viewed as a mark of such unfaithfulness that it was about the only reason…

How Do You See It?

In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet: “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in…

For Unto Us a Child is Born

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of…

The Doctrine of Singing

For several years now, most of the bulletin articles I have written in December have focused on the “Christmas songs” that are commonly published in our hymnals. The purpose of that has been to get us to really think about the content of the lyrics so that we understand the message they are conveying; ideally, that will create a deeper appreciation of these works and even recover them for use in the worship assembly, where we sometimes shy away from…

The First Noel

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him”… And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the…

On Christian Nationalism

We have heard a lot over the last few years about “Christian nationalism.” But it is probably not always clear what is meant by that. For one thing, it is usually used as a pejorative rather than a self-description. For another, it is not so much a cohesive ideology as it is a mood. But a good working definition comes from Baylor historian Thomas Kidd (quoting another historian, Matthew McCullough): Christian nationalism is “an understanding of American identity and significance…

How to Know if Your Love of Sports Has Become Idolatry

This article, by Jack Wilkie, is from the most recent edition of “Think” magazine. In the midst of football season and the World Series (at print time, anyway), it seemed a timely discussion of a subject many of us probably struggle with. It has been slightly reformatted for this space. -BP For most of my life it’s been rare to meet someone who is a bigger sports fan than me. As a kid, I played what must have been thousands…

The Last Beatitude

All of us are familiar with the “Beatitudes” with which Christ began the Sermon on the Mount. Eight times Jesus pronounced blessings on those who possess certain characteristics: Blessed are the poor in spirit … Blessed are those who mourn … Blessed are the meek … Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness … Blessed are the merciful … Blessed are the pure in heart … Blessed are the peacemakers … Blessed are those who are persecuted for…

You Can Go Home Again

Our sermon this morning will be from Psalm 51, David’s great confession of sin and plea for forgiveness after God’s man, Nathan, confronted him regarding his actions toward Bathsheba. It’s a powerful reminder of both the flaws that still exist even in the most exemplary of saints, and the grace and mercy of God that he continues to abundantly give us. Thinking about that reminded me of another, near-contemporary example of the same phenomenon. I have told this story in…

Small Things

We wrote last week about wanting to dream big dreams. But today, we want to emphasize something else: while dreaming big dreams we must remember that there is a great value in small things. Many of us have probably heard the ancient Chinese proverb, originally attributed to the philosopher Laozi: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. Every man and woman was once a baby. The vast oceans are made up of drops of water. The shore…

Big Plans

A speaker one time made the statement to an audience, “When planning to live, make no small plans.” When I first encountered that statement, it struck me just how much we need that advice in our work for the Lord. The reason many churches have not advanced beyond what they were many years ago, the reason many churches fail to reach their potential, and yes, the reason many churches close their doors is because they have not made plans to…