February 26, 2014
One of the most intimidating ministries we can engage in is helping depressed people. The stakes are high and there is no safety net. Here are “10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression.”
How do we witness to unbelievers? Tim Keller uses Blaise Pascal to answer this vexing question.
God’s will is always a difficult issue. I’m not referring to God’s revealed will. The law is clear enough. The difficult part of God’s will is unpacking the juxtaposition between God’s and our will. We act freely and at the same time do exactly what God has decreed. This goes from things as diminutive as whether or not I scratch my head when it itches to whom we marry. Tom Schreiner discusses the contours of this interface.
You wouldn’t think Robin Thicke and church signs would mix, but they do:
October 4, 2013
First, a free eboook. “The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected” is free for Kindle.
Second, what do you think of this Mark Driscoll video about Christian t-shirts? I’ve always wondered what good they really do. About 20 years ago I said as much in a class I was teaching. Someone in the class said that the t-shirts he wore had opened doors to evangelize. I still wonder. Obviously, they typically aren’t wrong. But are they right? In other words, is there any real value at all? And, should we express our love for Jesus the same way we communicate our alliance for a particular football team?
September 3, 2013
There are some free ebooks out there worth grabbing. “Blood Work” is free for Kindle and Nook. This looks to be a very good book. “Trophy Child” is also free for Nook and Kindle. David Wilkerson’s “The Cross and the Switchblade” is this month’s free audio book from Christian Audio.
How does so much screen time affect us? How about our children? Here Justin Taylor uses Peter Lawler to give insights from Mark Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. These are concerns for all of us and especially parents to think about.
While I understand that it is valuable to share our testimonies, this doesn’t seem to fit the model we find in scripture. I know Paul does it several times in the book of Acts, however I would argue his experience was unique. Also Paul was communicating what Jesus did. Put differently, his testimony was about what happened in history, not how his relationship with God was working for him. Leslie Keenly tells us Why Telling Your Story is NOT the Best Way to Share the Gospel. Our home court is history not our experience. After all, who is to say your experience is actually better than someone else’s. We do ourselves and those we are sharing with a disservice when we don’t rely on our historical foundation.
November 6, 2012
It is safe to say that our culture is running from a biblical morality. In fact, if you hold to biblical truth you either will soon be, or already are, a bigot as defined by our culture. Marilyn Sewell, writing for the Huffington Post, addresses the issue of tolerance. She is no longer tolerant of the beliefs held by evangelical Christians. Why? Because, among other reasons, evangelical Christians are to some degree responsible for hate crimes. In her piece entitled Saying Goodbye to Tolerance she writes:
Is it fair to blame these crimes on conservative Christianity? Not directly. No doubt, the great majority of people who commit hate crimes would not call themselves Christians of any variety. Indeed, conservative Christians typically say that although they may disagree with the sexual orientation or religion of another, they “hate the sin and love the sinner.” In fact, they may go so far as to say that they themselves are “sinners saved by grace.” However, I would maintain that these Christians, almost all of whom condemn gays for loving differently, support and perpetuate the milieu in which hate crimes take place. They contribute immensely to the cultural ground out of which prejudice grows and flourishes.
All religious traditions are not equal. Some beliefs foster freedom, growth and a deepening of compassion. Others are rigid and exclusive, warning of eternal punishment for those who don’t believe in the one true path to salvation, as they see it, or for those who love someone of the same sex … But for the damage that conservative Christianity does to people and for its perpetuation of prejudice and hate, I must reject this tradition. I believe those who teach it and preach it are doing great harm, and I in no way wish to be an ally.
I post this simply to point to what is coming down the pipe for Bible believers. In many ways, I think this is the tip of the iceberg in relation to what believers will face in America in the not too distant future. Sewell’s view is becoming more mainstream all the time. She is affirming the idea that it is okay not to be tolerant of people with different ideas. You don’t have to actually do anything other than “teach” the Bible to not be tolerated. To “preach” and “teach” the Bible is to do “great harm.” This begs the question, how long before our ever expanding government begins to punish those who do “great harm” by teaching the Bible? Witness what Boston Mayor Thomas Meninos said about Chick-fil-A: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.” This is a punishment of sorts. All of this simply because owner Dan Cathy said:
We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.
Doesn’t seem like he said anything wrong except the last part about being able to share their values. Clearly they can’t do that. The day is quickly approaching, and in fact is here, when it will be very costly to follow Jesus. “The one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Obviously, I’ve ingested lethal amounts of CNN and Fox News lately.
August 14, 2012
Ever wonder what to do with those Old Testament stories? What is the real point that the various authors are making? Julian Freeman offers 10 tips to help us mine out the meaning.
During our quiet time we meet with God. What should we expect from this encounter? Jeff Medders weighs in.
It may be quiet as we open the Bible in the wee hours, but inside of us — it should resemble the Battle of Mordor. Either a war is raging or a solider is readying (Ephesians 6:15).
Fred Zaspel answers the question, What is the difference between legalism and obedience? The bottom line is that obedience isn’t legalism.
Here is a post about some people witnessing in London during the Olympics. I appreciate their courage and rejoice that some people heard the truth. Be sure to watch the video at the end where the Kimya Tribe celebrates as they receive the Word of God in their language. How tragic it is that we don’t value God’s Word as we should.
This is too funny:
June 7, 2012
First, some great Kindle deals (sorry Nookers). In the Presence of My Enemies, the story of American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham, is free today. Also, The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men is $0.99.
So often our Christian children’s literature is more about moralism than it is about Jesus. Of course, every parent wants well-behaved children. Thus we typically don’t object to someone telling our kids to be good. Yet, this isn’t the gospel. Tragically, you can have well-behaved children who don’t know the truth. With this in mind it is interesting to note that Veggie Tales creator Norm Fisher now understands that Veggie Tales wasn’t focused in the right direction. Here’s a quote:
I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, “Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,” or “Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!” But that isn’t Christianity, it’s morality. . . .
Here’s a helpful piece from the Stand To Reason Blog. It discusses Tim Keller’s tactics when faced with people who object to the Bible’s standards. Keller says that we should expect the Bible’s standards to conflict with our culture. The Bible, after all, is from God, not the product of a culture.
Finally, here is an excerpt from a 1968 Wheaton College chapel. In it Francis Schaeffer tells of a time when the DC-4 he was flying in almost crashed. It is a wonderful reminder that our God hears and answers our prayers. Amazing.
December 6, 2011
Here’s a short, helpful post about how to talk to people about faith. I heard this book recommended yesterday. The author, Greg Koukl, advocates simply asking questions that help people think about ultimate issues. Hopefully, I’ll get to read it in the near future and I’ll let you know what I think (scary, I know).