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
Last month I was speaking to a seminary faculty about the themes in Becoming Worldly Saintswhen a professor shared that he had pondered the pleasures of creation on his walk into work that morning. He had thanked God for the rising sun, the singing birds, but then wondered whether he might be...
Faith and Christian were teenagers when their parents split in an acrimonious divorce. Their father had been cheating on their mother for years, and made no effort to hide it. He often bragged about it in public, and in the most inappropriate ways. He openly mocked others who were different,...
I have been thinking about the cultural pressure on Christian physicians, lawyers, educators, pharmacists, counselors, photographers, florists, and bakers (this list is growing fast), and I have created a grid to help Christians talk to each other about our response. We may not agree on our answers...
I just finished Sherry Turkle’s book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. It is a bit repetitive and longer than it needs to be, but it also makes many interesting points about the influence of computers and smart phones on us and our culture.
Turkle’s main point...
Protestants often wonder why Roman Catholics pray to saints. Are they elevating saints to the place of God? If not, then why bother praying to them? Why talk to a mere human when we can speak directly to God?
Roman Catholics have a good response. When you are in distress, don’t you ask other...
My family waited out Saturday’s tornado with other customers and employees in the basement of the Rockford Shoe Depot. When the tornado was a few minutes away, my brother went upstairs to see what was happening outside. He saw a car pull into the parking lot, and he quickly unbolted the front...
Here is my latest entry for Our Daily Journey, perhaps inspired by recent events. Let me know if you see something that needs changed. Special thanks to Brenda DeVries whose conversation pointed me in this direction.
Read Mark 12:35-44
“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than...
Let’s take a break from arguing about which presidential candidate is more likely to destroy our nation more slowly (at this point we’re merely discussing speed, not destination) and play the game that no one is talking about yet.
Below is a list of entertainers that you haven’t...
The political conventions are over—the Democrats gave it their best shot and Donald Trump screamed at the world. The highlight of the Republican convention for many was calling back Chachi from what I presume was a stage in Branson, Missouri.
By the way, if you have some down time this summer, a fun game to play with family or friends is Dead
Either Trump or Hillary will win in a landslide if they have the courage to do one simple thing: disappear. Stop talking, tweeting, and teleprompting. Stay off radio, television, and the Internet. Don’t appear in public until after the election. Let the other person have all the attention, and there is no way you will lose.
Do not campaign
Here is part two of ten things to look for in your church’s confession. If you want an example that illustrates most of what I’m talking about, check out the confession of Cornerstone University or Calvary Church.
6. Does it set appropriate boundaries?
One of the benefits of revising your church confession is that it forces you to
For the past year my students have evaluated their churches’ doctrinal statements, and I have learned valuable insights that might help pastors and boards improve their church’s confession of faith. Such statements are increasingly important, but they are not always treated as such, even in churches that value sound doctrine.
This morning I told my children about the government’s instructions concerning school locker and bathrooms. My junior high daughter said, “That’s dumb.” I agreed, but wondered how to begin to explain why to a culture that is quickly losing the categories of male and female.
Here is my initial attempt.
Life requires opposites
The main point of my last post was that our disintegrating culture is going to need scapegoats. This has happened before. At the end of the second century Tertullian said the Romans blamed Christians for “every public disaster.” “If the Tiber rises as high as the city walls, if the Nile does not send its waters up over the
I understand the righteous anger that prompts Christians to join a public boycott of Target for saying men and women can use each other’s restrooms, but I think this move hurts us both in perception and reality.
1. Perception. As our culture steams toward what may be its tipping point, let’s remember that sin doesn’t work. Sin
The late Verlyn Verbrugge’s book, Paul & Money, contains an intriguing discussion of how much money Paul would have needed to write his epistles (p. 100-2). I had never considered this question, and I turned Verlyn’s thoughts into an essay for Our Daily Journey. I commend it and Verlyn’s interesting book to you.
Last week I submitted this entry for the new evangelical satirical website, The Babylon Bee. I haven’t heard back, so I post it here for your enjoyment, conviction, and/or critique, if you’re that kind of person.
Rev. Geoff Cummings of Waters Edge Lutheran has been placed on administrative leave one month after his much anticipated
Sunday night at church I met a man who is a former missionary in Muslim countries and is now living in Grand Rapids. He teaches math at our community college and remains in contact with his indigenous brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria, and Mali.
He said several of his Christian friends have been killed by ISIS, but that others immediately step
Some thoughts about last night’s 60 Minutes segment on Schuyler Bailar, a transgender swimmer at Harvard.
1. The episode contained none of 60 Minutes’ usual pushback. There were no alternate voices. No one wondering whether Schuyler had made a mistake. Instead, the segment praised Schuyler for sacrificing victories with the
I don’t enjoy writing on this topic, but I’ve heard recurring questions from Christians that seem important to address. Here are four questions, and what I think is a helpful response. I’ll answer two today and two more next week.
1. Why must the church make homosexuality an issue?
It hasn’t. The culture has made this an
Here is my latest entry for Our Daily Journey. Much obliged if you spot any errors before I turn it in.
Students at Arizona State University have invented a funny way to distract opposing basketball teams during free throw attempts. They position a “curtain of distraction” beneath the basket, and just before a player on the other team
Zondervan’s new Four Views on Hell is another stellar volume in an already valuable series. I probably assign too many of these “views books” in my classes, but I don’t know of a more economical way to put in students’ hands the best, and most current arguments, from all sides. I finished this one in time for our
Many of us are dismayed by Jerry Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Donald Trump, especially his remark that Trump’s life reflects the teachings of Christ. As far as I can tell, the main thing that Jesus and Donald have in common is neither thinks he needs forgiveness. Their main difference? Jesus doesn’t think he’s Donald.
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May the information here, bless you in your sanctification and bring glory to God and Him alone.