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

Monday, 01 June 2020 10:38

All Our Righteousness Is as Filthy Masks

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imageWell, it feels a bit awkward to be writing again, given that I haven’t written anything in long form really addressing COVID-19 since the beginning of the shutdowns. It’s not for want of trying, but, as they say—the spirit is willing, but the flesh is wrapping up a major...

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This article originally appeared on ABWE’s blog. Evangelism is hard. It is true that the current global circumstances have opened doors for spiritual conversation in a variety of ways. Record numbers of individuals are searching for keywords related to prayer and hope. According to Google,...

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Sunday, 12 April 2020 11:46

Crunching the Numbers on the Resurrection Toll

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imageReading through the Bible with my son has me feeling like a kid again. This isn’t something new; we’ve always read Scripture together. But at the ripe age of seven, our son is weaned off the storybook-style, paraphrased, pop-up, scratch-and-sniff “Bibles” marketed to kids in...

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Friday, 27 March 2020 01:19

The Blessing of Pestilence

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As I begin writing, it’s day six of the national “15 Days to Slow the Spread” initiative (catchy, no?)—or at least, I think it is, but I’ll admit, the days are starting to blend together a bit. I’ll spare you the full list of activities our family has undertaken...

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Monday, 23 March 2020 23:26

5 Ways to Pray Missionally

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imageWe restless North Americans struggle immensely to prevail in prayer. I struggle in prayer. I see impoverished, persecuted believers in other parts of the world praying with fervor, corporately and individually, and I marvel at my own ineptitude when it comes to conversation with God. Yet...

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Saturday, 29 February 2020 02:49

The Power of God in Missions

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imageNote: The following is a sermon manuscript and may contain typographical errors. The church of Jesus Christ is commanded to disciple all the nations, proclaiming the good news and brining all the peoples to obedience in the context of local churches (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). Yet I am not a...

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Wednesday, 12 February 2020 08:55

Fruit Salad Diversity

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imageHuman beings are obstinately visual creatures. By this statement, I am referring not to all the typical examples of our visual nature—our propensity for art, the male species’ hard-wired infatuation with the optics of the female form, the fact that Baptist churches split over the color...

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Saturday, 01 February 2020 20:11

A Brief Reflection on Judaizers

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“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted...

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imageTwo years in a row now, my friend Neil Olcott, who runs our local chapter of the C.S. Lewis Institute discipleship program, has made the unfortunate blunder of inviting me to lecture on the topic of the Holy Spirit and spiritual warfare. You’d think the poor chap would have learned his lesson...

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Tuesday, 31 December 2019 02:26

Pray This Missions Prayer in 2020

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Note: This article was originally posted on ABWE’s blog. Goals and resolutions are helpful tools in the discipleship toolbox. The Christian life demands self-discipline and an orientation towards the future (Philippians 3:12-16). But resolutions aren’t without their difficulties. Often,...

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Tuesday, 24 December 2019 11:41

Have Yourself a Merry, Apocalyptic Christmas

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If someone were to pinch me ten years ago and tell me that, by the end of 2019, Kanye West would be producing gospel music, the host of The Apprentice would be president, and Joe Biden would be the most conservative name in the Democratic primary pool, I might have asked said person if whatever...

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Note: This article was originally published on ABWE’s blog. One of the myriad reasons I cherish the Christmas season is that it is one of the few times when the songs on the lips of the people of God truly match the missional optimism Scriptures associates with the kingdom of Christ. In...

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 22:29

Is ‘Obedience-Based Discipleship’ Biblical?

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Note: This article was originally published on ABWE’s blog. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I...

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Monday, 16 December 2019 02:30

How Not to Make Friends and Influence People

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Once, after hearing a very gracious, gentle, nuanced pastor preach a particularly bold sermon warning against false teachers, I commented to him, “It’s good to see a vertebrate in the pulpit.” To my surprise, he replied, not skipping a beat, “I call it having...

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Thursday, 28 November 2019 00:04

Against Concupiscence

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Issues of same-sex attraction, the Christian identity, and sexual orientation have once more made it to the fore, and a growing contingent of believers are wondering if the whole thing is a matter of semantics. Terms like “gay” and “orientation” used in the context of...

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Wednesday, 27 November 2019 20:46

The Futility of Thanksgiving

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There’s a running gag in our family that occurs every time we dine together as an extended family. My father, a creature of habit, always blesses the meal and thanks God “for the hands that prepared it”—covering all the bases, as it were. After the “amen,” my...

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Friday, 15 November 2019 20:14

How Covenant Theology Clarifies Justice Issues

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Whether we owe it to the spirit of the age or to the quirks of our own subculture, we evangelicals generally disdain labels. We prefer to be “Christ-followers,” not Christians; “gospel-centered,” not Baptist, Protestant, or Reformed. This isn’t always a bad thing....

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Sunday, 13 October 2019 23:17

What Should We Do With ‘Persons of Peace’?

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“Everyone we meet is on a spiritual journey.” I recently came across this statement printed on a brochure for an evangelistic Bible study. When I see language like this used in church and ministry contexts, my response is twofold. On one hand, it is true that we must start with the...

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Tuesday, 03 September 2019 10:46

7 Tips for Aspiring Christian Writers

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Blogging gets a bad rap. For some, it’s a hobby at best. For others, it’s an art, or even a divine calling. How should Christians approach this craft? My friend Benjamin Vrbicek, a far more gifted writer than me, is tackling some of these very questions in a forthcoming book for...

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Saturday, 17 August 2019 06:21

The Source of Biblical Boldness

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Right now, conservative evangelicals are at an impasse on the issue of boldness. A few months ago, I observed that today there is greater stigma attached to speaking the truth in a tone that seems slightly unnerved or terse than speaking dangerous falsehoods sweetly, politely, and deferentially. A...

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Monday, 15 July 2019 13:07

Hill Gods and Culture Wars du Jour

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If you ever want to see what a room full of tired men looks like, go to the closest pastors’ conference. Of course, in any room full of pastors, you’re bound to find a mix, from fresh graduates to veterans, fauxhawks to receding hairlines—each gray head a crown for a lifetime of...

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Ever since our exile from Eden, mankind has been in a mad dash after fig leaves like they’re going out of style. We trade divine approval for human head nods to relieve our inner shame. And in our evangelical empires, this often takes the form of avoiding “guilt by association” at...

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imagePostmodernity has seen the replacement of truth and hierarchy with lived experience and group identity. And, as any ethical or religious system necessarily demands the recognition of justified and unjustified classes, the West has embraced victimhood as its standard of righteousness. One’s...

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Monday, 24 December 2018 20:27

The Government of What?

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“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of...

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Saturday, 22 December 2018 10:50

The Great Commission Isn’t a Farewell Address

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Can you identify the sources of these famous last words? “Money can’t buy life.” “I’m so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.” “Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.” The answers are Bob Marley, J. Gresham...

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