Posts by Donny Friederichsen

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Following Elijah’s stunning victory over the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, he turns his attention to drought that continued to linger over the land. Back in 1 Kings 17, Elijah had announced a drought on the land because of the apostasy of the people. They had backed into Baalism and paganism. And...
The Mesha Stele is an ancient slab of basalt stone from the 9 th century BC. It was named for Mesha, the king of Moab (2 Kings 3:4). This stele is actually an ancient document which records the struggles of the Moabite people at the hands of the king of Israel, Omri. After the split of the Jewish...
This was probably a familiar scenario either when you were a child or now as an adult. Some instruction has been given by an authority. Let’s say, for example, “Do not eat the cookies.” The cookies look really tasty. They smell fantastic. And you really really want one. Likely,...
In the state of New Jersey, in order for a certificate of occupancy to be issued, a fire extinguisher is required to be placed within 10 feet of the kitchen in every single or two family dwelling. We have one mounted on the wall just around the corner from our stove and oven. I know where it is. I...
I've been listening to a fascinating audio book on the nature of warfare in World War II. Giles Milton's book, Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare details the unconventional and sometimes brutal methods employed to defeat the Nazis. Churchill's belief was that the Nazis were inflicting...
The overall sweep and story of the Scriptures is of a God who graciously and generously gives of himself to his people. He draws all nations, tribes, and tongues to a redeemed fellowship with himself. The gospel is a global call to union in Christ. The Scriptures also detail that there is both an...
I've heard it uttered dozens of times. Friends, family members, and strangers have looked at me, a Presbyterian pastor, and said, "Well, you know what the Bible says, 'God helps those who help themselves.'" I politely smile, but inside I've just died a little. If you find that phrase in your Bible...
As the people of God stood on the banks of the Jordan River and cast a wishful eye toward the Promised Land, Moses passed the mantle of leadership over to Joshua. As the new leader of the people, Joshua was to take the people across that river, remove the Canaanites, and take possession of the land...
How did the gruesome spectacle of a public execution on a Roman cross come to be known as “Good Friday”? What is so good about this? Some linguists argue that an antiquated form of “good” actually meant holy. But the name “Good Friday,” as we understand “...
In several recent conversations with friends who pastor "Gospel-centred" churches, the topic of Liberation Theology has come up. In the course of these discussion, I came to realize that I was not as familiar with the basic tenets of liberation theology as I ought to have been. I had not actually...
Last spring, I was asked to speak at a local Christian high school’s graduation ceremony. I felt sorry for the graduating class because a rival high school in the area had invited US Sen. Ben Sasse to be their graduation speaker. These poor kids got stuck with me. But it seemed to fit...
When I was a kid I would often go fishing with my dad. Our fishing trips usually started at the tackle shop. For a little boy, a tackle shop is a nearly magical place filled with colorful lures, live bait, and trophy fish mounted on the wall. Everything in the store had the ability to send me into...
I’ve often heard that the sense of smell is the sense most closely related to the memory. A particular smell has a powerful way of effecting our recollection of a vivid memory. Every now and then, I’ll smell something and in my mind I’m instantly sitting at the round table in my...
My kids love the game of Hide and Seek as much as I did when I was a kid. They love the thrill of pursuit. They love the stealth and sneakiness of hiding. They love the discovery of finding their friends. But hiding isn’t always a good thing. I remember in school sitting through Fire Safety...
In many evangelical circles, it is still assumed that conservative theology means conservative politics. And to be fair, the same could be said of the "Evangelical left" and liberal politics. But when politics and theology are seen as synonymous, it is typically not theology that is primary. The...
The first letter that each my kids learned was the letter “T.” If you know me, you might understand why. Kim and I are graduates of the University of Tennessee and we are big Volunteer fans. We have shirts, hats, and trinkets with big orange “Power T”s on them. We put the...
In 1898 B.B. Warfield invited the Dutch Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper to deliver six lectures at Princeton Seminary for the inaugural Stone Lectures. These lectures were eventually bound and printed as Kuyper's Lectures on Calvinism . In these lectures, Kuyper discussed what he believed to be...
Whether they have read it in the book of Ecclesiastes or heard it from The Byrd's , most people in our culture are familiar with the following biblical poetry: "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven": A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to...
The English pastor and commentator Matthew Henry (1662-1714) wrote a book on prayer just two years before his death. Henry's A Method for Prayer is the result of a life of meditating upon and praying through the Scriptures. This book is essentially an outline that walks the Christian through...
The word marvel isn’t used much in regular, day-in and day-out speech. In my experience, most of the instances in which this word occurs are related to comic book characters on the TV or movie screen. But what does it mean to marvel at something? The word comes from a Middle English form of...
The Apostles’ Creed is a 2,000 year old confession of the basic contours of the Christian faith. From the earliest beginnings of the New Testament Church, the Church began articulating a “pattern of sound words” (2 Tim 1:13) of what Christians believe. When leading our...
One area in which the Westminster Standards are somewhat unique from other Reformed documents is their inclusion of the doctrine of Adoption. Adoption stands as its own chapter in the Confession (Ch. 12). By giving it a full chapter the WCF emphasizes what is routinely an under-appreciated doctrine...
On any given Sunday, I stand in the pulpit of the church I pastor and look out over a congregation of less than 100 people. In this small congregation there are men and women who are seminary trained or who have several PhDs ranging in everything from atomic physics to Assyriology (my computer'...
My good friend, Todd Pruitt, recently wrote a post in which he gave several reasons why he no longer considers himself a complementarian . I must admit, there is much in Todd's article with which I agree. I share his concerns about the way in which the term complementarian has been sometimes been "...
A discernible pattern has emerged in the wake of recent events. A particular tragedy is perpetrated by a person of one community upon people of another community. The life of one who bears the image of God is wantonly snuffed out. One group of people is allegedly violated by an outdated or...
Last month, I boarded a plane to Africa--together with my wife and three kids. We did so in order to become the parents of four kids. Early in our marriage, my wife and I felt a desire to see our family grow through adoption. Circumstances being what they were, we waited several years before...
There is a great deal of confusion in society today about the roles of the Church and the State. What is the relationship between to the two? How does a Christian live in this current American context in a faithful and biblical way? Thankfully, chapter 23 of the Westminster Confession of Faith...
Before I was a pastor I served with the college ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. During my New Staff Training, we had the opportunity to hear from Bill Bright, the founder of Crusade. Our new staff class was actually the last class to be addressed by him before he died. By this time Dr...
New Year's Day, like Thanksgiving before it, is often a time of feasting and celebration. We gather together with family and friends to celebrate new beginnings and the prospects of a new year ahead of us. However, there is much in the way that I have always celebrated at these times that seems...
Everyone has dealt with restlessness and sleepless nights at some point. We've all schlepped through a groggy morning after a night of no sleep. Sleep is crucial to life. The restoration and revitalization that comes through a good night's sleep is vital. We all want the sleep of Proverbs 3...