But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3: 14-16
What is the point of the rainbow? What does it symbolize?
Many Christians know from the church’s teaching on the flood of Noah’s day, that the rainbow originally was a sign of God’s promise not to destroy the world by water again. This understanding makes the modern co-opting of the rainbow symbol for gay pride seem so egregious.
He told me his name was Tokar. “Like the song,” he said.
“Yeah, you know—I’m a midnight Tokar.”
This was the first Steve Miller Band-quoting Muslim cab driver I’d ever had the privilege of sharing time with.
I was in a city up north for a pastors conference and was
A word to my pastor friends, who every week labor in preparing to teach the Bible in the weekend gathering while the dark cloud of the new cultural downgrade hangs over them:
Brothers, don’t go about your weekly sermon preparation and personal discipleship in sackcloth and ashes. Get into the vineyard of God’s Word, get some holy sweat
“And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” — Hebrews 13:17
I wish that when I was a pastor I had spent more time with all the low-maintenance church folks.
The resurgence in commitment in many evangelical circles to expository preaching is a very encouraging sign as the contemporary church navigates so many shifting cultural trends with so many shifting stylistic trends of its own. As many younger churchmen have begun to look not at the latest preaching styles but at what evangelicalism’s elder
Every week one could write another post about another fallen pastor, because that appears to be the rate at which they fall. A great number of ministers without national or global platforms are counted in this number, but oddly enough, these falls only seem to hit “close to home” when it’s a guy with a big platform. It’s an
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” – Job 11:7
I’ll tell you why I hope Bigfoot exists — and why, in a way, I hope he is never discovered. Because it excites me to think that there are creatures out there God has made for his own enjoyment and to enhance the wonder of life
Don’t forget the ascension! It is an integral part of gospel doctrine. The reality of Christ’s ascension has many implications. Here are just five.
1. Jesus is really alive.
The reality of Christ’s ascension, inextricable from the resurrection event, tells us that he did not raise from the dead only later to die again like
Excited to announce today’s release of my new book, Unparalleled (Baker Books). I hope it will serve the Church well as we explore more of what it will take to share the gospel of Jesus with an increasingly pluralistic, irreligious, and spiritually hostile world.
Unparalleled is not your average apologetics work. Oh sure, it does contain the
And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. — 2 Chronicles 26:15
The counter-intuitive truth is this: getting bigger does not mean getting less vulnerable. It very often means the opposite.
Not a single one of us wishes, really, for failure. Oh, sure, there are certainly some spiritual masochists out there,
“Americans must count religion in order to see or show its value . . . To them big churches are successful churches . . . To win the greatest number of converts with the least expense is their constant endeavour . . . Numbers, numbers, oh, how they value numbers! . . . Mankind goes down to America to learn how to live the earthly life; but
I’m not a big fan of overdoing it. Not a huge proponent of overcooking your sermons, overproducing your worship service. But there are a few things I think pastors probably could do more of than they already do, no matter how much they already do. I think pastors ought to:
1. Over-read I’m not sure I’ve met a pastor who reads too
I’ll be speaking at the TGCLA ministry equip event this coming Tuesday, April 19. Details:
8:30am – 12:30pm Location: 1530 E. Elizabeth Street, Pasadena, CA 91104
This event is free for TGCLA members, and $15 at the door for non-members. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Click here to register.
8:30-9:00am: Arrival, breakfast
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. — Romans 3:26
I think I understand what Steven Furtick is trying to say in this now-infamous clip from a recent sermon, but it is so problematic on so many different levels, it is difficult to know where to start
“I resolved to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified” – 1 Corinthians 2:2
When we take up our ministry crosses and die to our visionary selves and follow Christ’s way of “doing church,” we show how costly grace really is. We show how powerful it really is.
Ironically, however, the way to show
Becky and I recently had the great privilege of traveling to the land down under for about 12 days of ministry and fellowship. While we’re still a little bit tired from the return trip jetlag and still processing all we met and all we saw, I thought it might be interesting to some to jot down some notes from our time there.
The trip was
Make no mistake: if he rose at all It was as His body; If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit, The amino acids rekindle, The Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers, Each soft spring recurrent; It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the Eleven apostles; It was as His flesh; ours.
The same hinged
I follow the ongoing pastoral and missiological discussions about “faithfulness vs. fruitfulness” from a bemused distance. I do believe that a church’s faithfulness to the mission of God is itself success, regardless of the “results.” And I also believe that a faithful church will be a fruitful church. But when some
We are nearing the day many Christians look forward to all year. Yes, there’s the somber reflection and penitence of the Passion week, culminating in the resurrection of Jesus to celebrate on Easter Sunday, but there’s also some fabulous cash and prizes. Every year some churches seek to outdo themselves — and their local
The Lord has called his people to be on gospel mission for the sake of his glory. Most churchfolk will readily acknowledge this, and yet many churches have drifted away — often subtly — from thinking of themselves as missionaries in their respective communities and beyond. Here are some common ways churches engage in “mission
We are typically very quick to note when someone is not showing love for their neighbor. But what about love for Jesus? Should it settle implicitly? Is love for Christ something that is sufficient when latent?
What I notice a lot every day in the Christian spheres of social media is just how incredibly adept we evangelicals are at doctrinal
One year ago yesterday I preached my final sermon at Middletown Church before moving on to assume my current role at Midwestern Seminary. I wrote a reflection on all the pain and glory entailed in working through this transition a few months later – The Gospel for Ministry Quitters. Perhaps you will find it a blessing. A snippet:
People mean well; they really do. As with all advice, your friends and family and countless blog post authors whose helpful little lists proliferate on Facebook, etc. are sincerely wanting to improve your relationships. But all too often their good advice proves unhelpful in the end. Why? Usually for one or more of these 3 reasons:
A Lot of
Rest, play, and fun are are gifts from God meant to help us celebrate being made in God’s image as Creator and project in some way the creative story he is telling with the universe.
But this can be difficult to do in the kinds of play that look like battle. It is difficult to do in the kinds of play that involve competition at any level. But
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May the information here, bless you in your sanctification and bring glory to God and Him alone.