Articles by Rich Lusk

  • Aiming at Shalom, 2

    The early church took possession of the Roman Empire within a few centuries, largely because she ministered sacrificially in word and deed. The church provided services and care that the empire and pagan religions could not in times of crisis. The faithful witness of those serving Christians bore great fruit in the transformation of a […]

  • Aiming at Shalom, 1

    Charles Spurgeon once quipped, “If you give a man the gospel, wrap it in a sandwich. And if you give a man a sandwich, wrap it in the gospel.” With those words, the great Baptist preacher captured the essence of the church’s mission in the world. The church’s mission is to be modeled after the […]

  • The Logic of Luther

    I think the logic of the Lutheran Reformation can be summarized in one sentence, attributed to Luther himself: “God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” The first half of that statement is justification by faith. God doesn’t need our works to satisfy his justice or earn his favor. He justifies us […]

  • Stealing a Page from Our Playbook

    In reading about how we got into this mess, I came across a very interesting couple of paragraphs that I think the church could learn from if we are going to counter the Obergefell ruling. Prior to 2009, same sex “marriage” had gone to the ballot box thirty-one times in the United States and lost […]

  • Death as Frenemy

    We spend a lot of time in the church talking about what it means to live like a Christian. But what does it mean to die like a Christian? If we are to follow Christ in life, what does it mean for us to follow him in death as well? How do we prepare ourselves […]

  • The Marriage Pledge: A View from Dixie

    The Marriage Pledge, authored by Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz and unveiled by  First Things editor R. R. Reno, argues that the time has come for Christian pastors to rend themselves away from civil marriage. The Pledge argues that the fact that many states are now allowing same sex couples to “marry” means that pastors […]

  • Reformed Catholicity in the Bible Belt

    I grew up on the north side of Chicago. My parents were evangelicals and I was raised in the faith. I graduated from a large public high school in which practicing Christians were very few and very far between (though nominal Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox were in abundance), which meant I had to navigate […]

  • Primer on Ash Wednesday

    What is Ash Wednesday? Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a season focused on the sufferings and cross of Jesus. But Jesus’ death on the cross cannot be separated from the cross we are called to bear in union with him, so Lent naturally also becomes a season of contrition and repentance. Ash […]