The Christian Studies Blog


Matt Porter

Matt is an alumnus of Austin Graduate School of Theology (BA, MA). In his spare time, he enjoys playing trombone for the Waco Jazz Orchestra and jazz quintet, Slide Tradition, and composing for the Timeless Psalter Project. Matt and his family are members of DaySpring Baptist Church in Waco, Texas.

Recent Posts

Blessed with Nothing: The Rich Young Man in Matthew 19:16-30

Posted by Matt Porter on October 19, 2017 at 9:30 AM


The story of the rich young man in Matthew 19 has often been appropriated for the church in a moralistic way. It generally goes something like this:

We each have our own thing—something that has become, perhaps, an idol. The thing for this rich young man that blocked him from eternal life was his material wealth. This got in the way of truly loving his neighbor. What is that thing for you, which you need to give up?

Mine is coffee and Oreos (not at the same time). There, I said it.

That’s not a terrible application. It is certainly something worth reflecting upon. But I think there is more to this story than meets the eye—a deeper, more transformative thought, at which Jesus is getting.

Read More

Topics: New Testament, Gospels, On-Topic Today, Personal, Scripture Passage

A Minister’s Sin: Treading the Path toward Redemption

Posted by Matt Porter on September 7, 2017 at 9:30 AM


In the life of the church we become well-acquainted with sin (How is that for an encouraging way to start this post?). This is especially true for church leaders and ministers.

For the sinner, we encourage confession and repentance, and for the church, a path toward redemption and reconciliation by way of forgiveness – all of which we see enacted through the practice of baptism. Oftentimes, for the “outsider sinner,” the non-Christian who comes to begin this journey, the church is quick to joyfully accept their confession and welcome them into the body (Daniel Napier and Todd Hall both note the “rush to the water” in their Christian Studies articles HERE and HERE). Though there is typically some disappointment from the congregation when a fellow church member confesses, initial disappointment quickly fades into the same joyful acceptance of this “member sinner.”

When church leaders and ministers confess to sin (especially when the wrongdoing is on our list of “greater sins”), the church’s response has not always been as merciful. 

Read More

Topics: How To, Relationships, Scripture Passage

They Came ‘from Jerusalem’

Posted by Matt Porter on November 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Places can come to represent certain behaviors, lifestyles, and so on. They can, in a sense, take on their own persona. If we were to name just a few places (i.e. Washington D.C.; New York City; Hollywood; Austin), we could identify pretty quickly the character of these places in just a word or two.

Read More

Topics: Scripture Passage

Christian Studies
Scholarship for the Church

Sign up to receive blog updates. You'll always have the option to choose the frequency by which we contact you. Email for questions. Happy reading!

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all
All Christian Studies blog comments will be moderated before posting. Please keep them respectful and on topic with the article's content.
The opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily shared by other authors or the position of Austin Graduate School of Theology.