Empower Your Outliers
Every church has outliers—people who don’t quite fit the mold. I’m not talking about unbelievers who try out church for a while but then leave because they don’t actually love Jesus. I’m talking about zealous Christians, passionate believers, people who would much rather feed the poor than listen to yet another sermon.
God’s scandalous grace invaded Portage, Wisconsin, with unwelcomed splendor in April of 1994. It targeted a criminal serving multiple life-sentences in the Columbia Correctional Institution. It’s not uncommon for thieves and murderers in prison to receive God’s grace, but this day was different. The person who attracted God’s love was a man who killed 17 young men.
Do We Really Need That Chandelier?
For years, I’ve been troubled by how many churches spend money—God’s money, as we call it. When I’m in church, I often look around at all the sound equipment, chandeliers, carpets, decorations, and everything else that’s “necessary” to pull off a church service week after week. I’m not a troublemaker, so I usually keep my mouth shut. But I’ve often wondered: Is all this stuff necessary for discipleship? Are there other ways that we could spend our money that would more effectively further the kingdom of God? If we pulled way back on our church expenses, would we be able to send more missionaries overseas? Or rescue little girls from sex-trafficking? Or help the poor around us?
The Bible on Self-Defense: A Response to Doug Wilson
Last Friday, pastor Doug Wilson and I gave talks on guns and violence at the Q conference in Denver.
People to Be...Misunderstood: A Response to the Gospel Coalition
The Gospel Coalition just published a review of my two books, People to Be Loved and Living in a Gray World. The author of the review was Anne Paulk. As a writer, I enjoy good, constructive criticism of my work, and I’m so thankful to have people in my life who give it to me. Since I’m not Jesus, everything I say contains a mixture of truth and error, and I’m on a mission to weed out the latter.
This Year’s Gonna be Better
Last year I posted a blog about all of the books I was going to read. Well, I failed. Like, miserably failed. I set out to read through the New Testament four times. I only made it through once before I fell super far behind and couldn’t catch up and pretty much sucked at reading the Bible for my “quiet times” the rest of the year.
Post-Christmas Reflections on the Incarnation
Grace under a Bridge America has no shortage of megachurches that glimmer with stage lights and thunder with deafening sound systems. But one of my favorite churches doesn’t have any lights. No building, no stage, no bells and whistles—it doesn’t even have a paid pastor.
Why Homosexuality Is not just an Issue
In one week, my book People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is not just an Issue will be released. If I can be honest, I've got mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it's for an author whenever a new book is released.
A Case for Christocentric Nonviolence
*The following is the complete manuscript of my paper I presented last Thursday at the annual Evangelical Theological Society's annual meeting. I was one of four participants who presented on "Just War in an Age of Terrorism." Two of the panelists were Just War theorists, and I was one of two "pacifists," though as you'll see, I don't prefer this term.
Forthcoming Books on Homosexuality
I want to let you know about a few new pages that I’ve added to my blog.First, I’ve added (or my publisher added) a separate page for each of my forthcoming books, People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is not just an Issue and Living in a Gray World: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Homosexuality.
What Can We Learn from the Millennials Leaving the Church in Droves? Part 5
Before we dive in, I want to thank you all for offering helpful feedback during this series. Through Tweets and DM’s, comments and texts, emails and phone calls, my thinking has been tremendously shaped by people interacting with my posts.
Preston Sprinkle and Jeff Cook: A Debate about Homosexuality
Pastor Jeff Cook and I hosted a debate (or discussion) about homosexuality a month ago on my blog, and I’ve had several people ask for a “one stop” link for all the blogs. Therefore, I’ve included all the links to our discussion below, with a short description of what each post is about.
Gay Sex—What is Paul Cranked Up About?
The following post is by Jeff Cook, where he responds to my opening argument about the Bible and same-sex relations. This post is part 6 of 10 in the debate between Jeff and me about homosexuality.
reformed but not Reformed*
I often get asked if I’m “Reformed.” Oftentimes people just assume that I’m “Reformed.” Since I don’t care for labels and resist giving yes or no answers to complex questions, I usually give an answer much longer than the asker cared to receive. Am I “Reformed?” No, but I am “reformed”—lower-case “r.” Here’s why.
The New Perspective on Paul: A Final Raw Reflection (Part 5)
In this fifth and final post of the series, I’ll lay out my own views about the so-called New Perspective on Paul (NPP). I’ve insinuated throughout that I’m not an advocate of the NPP, and yet I’ve tried to accurately and fairly represent it in the previous posts.
Eternity Bible College in Boise Idaho: Update #1
Let me say upfront that this blog is primarily intended to reach the many supporters, students, faculty, friends, donors, and aspiring students of Eternity Bible College. But feel free to read on if you’re interested in hearing about my last 5 months in Boise, ID.