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
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:
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 Christians) here and here, but I have also benefited from a small sample of the unending-commentary as well.… Continue Reading
“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
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
All of my life, I have been fighting the battle of perception. You know, my always shifting self-perception, other peoples’ perception of me, and the perennial, “Is it really true that God sees me as beloved?” (Romans 9:25, 1 Corinthians 4:14, etc…)
This issue of perception is exponentially multiplied once you step up onto a stage. The “church stage” or the everyone-is-watching “stage” of social media are similar, both are a superficial level of exposure, and both carry the ever-present danger of distorting yours and others perception of “you.”
Each one of us has a distorted perception of “me,” whether consciously or unconsciously.… Continue Reading
Our 1 year old is all over the place, and for the most part we welcome this new mobile intensity.
Let us sleep through the night and we’re game for most anything he gets into. This morning, this thought, brought me to my favorite coffee mug.
Jodee bought me the best Harry Potter inspired, hand maid stoneware mug not too long ago. The struggle is, now that the little man is into everything, every end table, coffee table, and, with a little more ingenuity, every table and counter in the house is within striking distance.… Continue Reading
I was tipped off to this lovely phrase, “the conversion of the imagination,” in Scot McKnight’s excellent book, The King Jesus Gospel, whilst on a run this morning. It is amazing how you process a book differently on multiple read-throughs, this being my 3rd time through Scot’s book. This time, the phrase assaulted me like a shot across the bow.
After returning home from my run, I stopped my audiobook, and promptly found the reference in the book. Lo and behold, it is a quote from the always-enlightening Richard Hays, and now his book is tops on my to-read list: The Conversion of the Imagination.… Continue Reading
Preparing to preach (or teach) a text requires thoughtful application.
I am the chief sinner of “winging it” in application because I spent too much time “preparing and studying the text” and not enough time on “application.” If we stop short of meaningful application and only convey information in an organized fashion, we haven’t done our job.
The Difference Between Confession & Repentance
Aren’t confession and repentance the same thing? I think not. The clear distinction between confession and repentance can bring life to application and illustration.… Continue Reading