gospelswisely

Reading the Gospels Wisely

For many of us, reading and applying the stories of the Bible are a very difficult task. Sure, we can pick up Philippians and understand it well enough. But if you drop into the New Testament in Matthew 1, most of us scramble for the red letters.

My friend and mentor, Jonathan Pennington, has written a very helpful book on how to read gospel stories well. The book covers a wide range of topics (a short synopsis of each chapter).… Continue Reading

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We Will Feast In The House Of Zion

I have been moved by so many conversations, readings, prayers, gatherings lately that I had to stop, pick up a guitar, and sing.

Not rehearsal, not discovery, not even devotional personal-quiet-time-ish-ness. Just stop. And sing.

Enter Sandra McCracken’s latest album, track 2.

My beautiful wife joined in, my 1 year old did as well, and my 4 year old danced.

The gospel in verse 3 hit me like a ton of bricks… I couldn’t even form the words, and my love sang the song for me.… Continue Reading

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Lions and Babies, Oh My!

Category mistakes and lack of nuance are fallen humanity’s two highest virtues vices. This human tendency to “tell like it is” is rampant in theological high towers, partisan Facebook posses, the fourth row of your local church congregation, and in the White House press room. Nobody is safe. Everyone is an extremist.

Enter Cecil (the lion) and Cecile (the human being).

“I looove chocolate!”

One area where lack of nuance is pervasive (and very often destructive as a result) is when we speak about love.… Continue Reading

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It HAS Gotten Better

Let’s get a few things out of the way first. I am an evangelical Christian. I am male. I am white. I am heterosexual. I am a registered Republican. I am conservative theologically and politically.

It HAS Gotten Better: From 1st to 21st

The advent of God in the flesh 2,000 years ago has forever changed the course of human history for the better. Rodney Stark’s many writings make this compelling case. Don’t just take my word for it, read them.… Continue Reading

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My Re-Entry to the West: Mombasa 2015

I have been overwhelmed in these last 6 days of re-entry back home. Overwhelmed not only with jet lag and the daily demands of life and ministry, but also with where to start (and what should I say) about my short time in Mombasa, Kenya. Here is my first attempt.

Everything is the Same. Everything is Different.

Everything is the same. Most of my trip was spent with 10 or 12 young men whom are learning what it means to follow Jesus, on the journey from kids of the street to saints in a family.… Continue Reading

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N. T. Wright Talks at Google

Let’s face it, we all watch at least one sitcom daily, so you have at least 30 minutes to spare today. Consider watching this  brief and immensely helpful lecture from N. T. Wright when he was invited to speak at Google for their “Talks at Google” series. The first half is his lecture, the second half is a wonderful bit of question and answer. Enjoy!

You can read Wright’s full argument in his recent book, Simply Good News:

Wright also references this book (which I am pumped to read): Continue Reading

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Raising Girls (& Wild Boys)

My friends know that I am borderline obsessed with developmental psychology, especially as it relates to parenting boys and child development in a fallen world. This is a brief reflection from Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff’s book, “Raising Girls, All You Need To Know About.”

Re: 12-15 Year Old Girls’ Brain Development

Believe it or not, there are spiritual, emotional, and even physical reasons for these changes. God is still growing your daughter—even though, at times, it seems like someone much more diabolical has taken over.… Continue Reading

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Roundup: The Jenner Moment

There are many illuminating moments throughout life. Some provide sharp contrast, still others show plenty of grey areas, but they both help us to see.

Ferguson, Rosa Parks, now McKinney, TX, the birth of your first child, 9/11, the Caitlyn/Bruce (or Bruce/Caitlyn) Jenner interview/cover; all of these are examples of illuminating moments.

I have written recently (and briefly) on how to approach the Jenner “moment” (as Christianshere and here, but I have also benefited from a small sample of the unending-commentary as well.… Continue Reading

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A Mountaintop Rant Re: Caitlyn Jenner

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not do sexually-immoral things that permanently change your physical appearance that everyone around you can’t avoid.’ But I say to you that everyone who “innocently” googles pics of attractive people, who “entertains” attractive acquaintances on social networks for the thrill of it, or who “dabbles” in porn/sexually-gratuitous-entertainment/swimsuit-editions from the privacy of their cellphone screen already stands condemned. If your cellphone causes you to sin, throw it away and use land lines. For it is better that you lose access to Google Maps than that your whole body be thrown into hell.… Continue Reading

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Jenner, Jesus, and Vanity Fair

The Parable of the Toddlers

There once was a 3-year-old and his 1-year-old brother. The eldest experienced the frustration of the younger, whom did not always “get it,” and the elder (quite justifiably) reacted against these frequent injustices. But the provocations went both ways.

The eldest too got on little brother’s nerves. He often responded as many 1-year-old’s do, with fussing and gnashing of teeth. In those teachable moments, the boys’ parents were careful to correct older brother’s provocations, but they were also quick to correct little brother’s whining: “We do not fuss to get what we want,” “That is not how we respond,” or some other variation of the sort.… Continue Reading