Showing posts from August, 2020

Was Jesus an SJW?! (The Gospel and Social Justice)


What Are You In For?


If It's Not Good News for the Poor, then It's Not Good News


Was Blind, but Now...?


The Truth about Jeremiah 29:11


REVIEW: Strength to Love, by Martin Luther King, Jr


You're in Exile. What Now?! (Jeremiah 29)

I'm sure you've likely heard or read Jeremiah 29:11. It's a great verse. It really is!"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
It's an inspiring verse of hope and an encouragement to trust in God. He will provide for us and take care of us. God has our best interests in mind. He doesn't want us to fail but to succeed and prosper as his people.
But let's put this verse back into context, and it might just be even more relevant for us. (Read the full letter from God/Jeremiah to the exiles here.)
God, through his prophet Jeremiah, is writing a letter to the Jews who are in exile. They have been conquered by the Babylonian Empire, and thousands of them now have been uprooted and forced to live as foreigners in Babylon.
Imagine your entire life being torn from you. Imagine an invading army destroys your hometown, burns down your church, demolishes your s…

What If Jesus Was Serious About the Poor?

Hey Jesus, I have a question for you. I heard something you said recently, and I think I need a little explanation. You said, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven."Yes. What don't you understand about that?
Well, it's just that I hear a different message in our churches and from Christians online. I hear pastors on TV and the internet talk about how God is supposed to bless us with money and whatever else we want. They toss around the phrase, "Name it, and claim it." They point to the time you said we will get whatever we want if we ask for it in faith. So...if I don't get what I want, then doesn't that mean I don't have enough faith? Doesn't that mean the poor simply aren't faithful enough for God to bless them?
I see. I think those people are referring to what I told my disciples before I went to the cross. During our last Passover meal together I told them I would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to them an…

The Greatest Stories Ever Told

If you're like me–a kid who grew up in church his whole life with Bible classes and VBS and Bible Bowl, etc. etc...–then you've probably heard this definition of "parable:"An earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
Yep. My Bible class teachers always had to make a distinction between a Parable, a story told by Jesus to communicate a deeper meaning about life in the Kingdom of God, and a Fable, a cute little children's story meant to get us to behave. There is a fundamental difference between the Parable of the Lost Sheep and the story of The Boy who Cried Wolf.
I've been thinking a lot about Parables lately. I am a big reader of fiction, specifically sci-fi and fantasy with the occasional YA novel or mystery/thriller thrown in. Right now I have the honor and joy of reading The Lord of the Rings to my nine year old son at night before bed. We're in The Return of the King, and I don't really want it to be over. He is experiencing this story for the first t…

Cancel Culture: A Christ-Follower's Response

[Don't forget to check out the previous post concerning Cancel Culture.]
Cancel Culture. That's such a buzz-worthy topic right now. It seems like every week a new celebrity is in danger of being "cancelled." But surely those among the Christian community who decry the practice have never been guilty of similar actions against their own, right?
It hurts my heart to see my brothers and sisters in Christ go after each other and attack one another's character. Cancel culture is alive and well even within the church. So what are we to do? Should we shine a spotlight on everyone's sins or what we consider to be "false teaching" in order to shame them into repentance? Should we sweep it under the rug and pretend like there's nothing to see here when the lives and faith of people are at stake?
Here are six ways we Christians to can stop propagating cancel culture while still maintaining our own integrity, values, and standards.1. Stop being shocked …

Should Christians Participate in Cancel Culture?

Fans of the show Firefly still get traumatized by that word. Too soon?
We're growing more accustomed to things we love becoming cancelled - trips, conferences, events, movie premiers, sports seasons, television series. But we're also growing more accustomed to a phenomenon known as "cancel culture," in which people get "cancelled."
Stop me if you've seen this before. A person achieves celebrity status - musician, actor, comedian, athlete, or even pastors. They enjoy the limelight, the success, the wealth, the fame for a while, sometimes even decades. But then something comes to light that they would rather have left hidden away in the darkness of their past - racist, sexist, homophobic comments or Tweets; "black face"; abuse accusations, etc. Suddenly the thing they thought was dead and buried has been resuscitated and weaponized against them. Now in the "attention economy," there is an attempt to "cancel" said cele…