A Tribute to Dottie Olson (1935–2018)

My wife’s grandmother, Dottie Olson, passed away a little over a week ago. Before she died, she requested that I perform her funeral service. Unfortunately, I contracted a severe illness and was unable to travel to conduct the funeral. To make up for it, I wrote a tribute in her honor. Below is a manuscript of my tribute to Dottie Olson. My wife’s cousin read it at the funeral in my stead.

Dear Family and Friends,

I, Matthew Emadi, am deeply saddened that I could not be here today in person. I would have considered it an honor and a privilege to participate in the funeral for Dottie Olson. When I finally accepted the fact that I was too sick to travel, I became haunted by one of my childhood memories. It was June 11, 1997. I was 13 years old as I watched flu-ridden Michael Jordan score 38 points in game 5 of the NBA finals leading the Bulls to victory over my beloved Utah Jazz. How come he was able to rise to the occasion and score 38 points in an NBA finals game, and I can’t even get out bed to get on a plane to travel across the country? I guess that is why he is considered so great. Continue reading “A Tribute to Dottie Olson (1935–2018)”

Thoughts on Mark 5:21–43

In Mark 5:21–43, Jesus supernaturally heals two people: Jairus’ daughter and the woman with the issue of blood. Most interpreters rightly affirm that these miracles are meant to reveal Jesus’ identity as the Messiah and Son of God. But is there more going on here? When we consider the details of Mark 5:21–43 in light of the Old Testament, Jesus’ ministry to these two women reveals something else about his identity; namely, he is a priest superior to the priests of Israel. Continue reading “Thoughts on Mark 5:21–43”

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

One of the good things about being sick for a week was that it gave me extra time to listen to great Christian songs. How have I missed this one my whole life? Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted makes me shudder and rejoice at the same time. Or in the words of Psalm 2:11, I “rejoice with trembling” as I listen. Here is the song from the T4G conference. The lyrics are below. I encourage you to sing along.

Continue reading “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”

It is Hope Enough: Robert Charles Sproul (1939–2017)

With the news of R. C. Sproul’s death, many in evangelicalism are paying tribute to him today. I have profited immensely from Dr. Sproul’s teaching over the years, so I wanted to offer my own expression of thanks to God for the life and ministry of R. C. Sproul. He was a gift to the church of Jesus Christ.

I believe my first introduction to R. C. Sproul was through his video series titled Knowing Scripture. I was in Junior High at the time, and my home church was watching Dr. Sproul during our Wednesday night Bible studies. His teaching was dynamic; his personality was friendly, his presentations were clear and easy to understand. Continue reading “It is Hope Enough: Robert Charles Sproul (1939–2017)”

Martin Luther: A Conscience Captive to the Word of God

I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a Reformation conference at Christ Presbyterian Church in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The title of my message was “Martin Luther: A Conscience Captive to the Word of God.” I explored a few of Luther’s convictions about Sola Scriptura and the circumstances of his life that led him to those convictions while making application to us today along the way. Below is a copy of my manuscript. Continue reading “Martin Luther: A Conscience Captive to the Word of God”

Would The Pioneer Reformers Own Modern Protestantism?

I have been enjoying my study of Martin Luther’s life and writings as I prepare for my talk at the Reformation Conference (to be held at Christ Presbyterian Church in Magna on October 28th at 9:30 am). I have spent much of my time in preparation looking at Luther’s magisterial book The Bondage of the Will. In this book, Luther decisively refutes humanist Catholic scholar Desiderius Erasmus and his semi-pelagian, synergistic view of salvation. Erasmus was the most revered scholar in the world, but in the realm of theology, he was no match for Luther. In the words of Michael Reeves, “Erasmus was like an ant attacking a rhino” (61). Continue reading “Would The Pioneer Reformers Own Modern Protestantism?”