What Does it Mean to be “Reformed”?

I am writing this post with one sort of person in mind: the student who has just discovered the depth and wonders of theology, including Reformed theology. I teach at a theologically conservative evangelical seminary and university that has hired—not exclusively—many professors who are highly appreciative and often deeply indebted to the Reformed tradition. In … Continue reading What Does it Mean to be “Reformed”?

Christian Hospitality

My wife is remarkably hospitable—far more than I. For ten straight years at her instigation, we invited all of my enrolled college students over every week during the academic year for dinner and spiritual conversation. (Fortunately, it never happened that they all showed up on the same evening. Whew!) We have scaled back a bit … Continue reading Christian Hospitality

Quarrelsome, Argumentative, and Angry Church Leaders

“Which qualifications for leadership have you observed are the least-emphasized when church leaders are appointed to their offices?” This is a question I sometimes ask my students when I teach a class called Life & Letters of Paul. As my students read through the qualifications for overseers/elders in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, they … Continue reading Quarrelsome, Argumentative, and Angry Church Leaders

One Way to Stay Fresh as a Teacher

I know that quite a few teachers read this blog, so let me offer a suggestion for one way to stay fresh as a teacher. Here is my suggestion: Make improvements to a lesson immediately after you teach it. This suggestion, obviously, is for people who teach the same classes over-and-over again. It doesn’t apply … Continue reading One Way to Stay Fresh as a Teacher

Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2021

I read quite a few good Christian books in 2021. Here are seven of my favorites, plus a bonus book. Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm, by S. T. Antonio. What should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? Solid and readable Christian ecclesiology … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2021

Modern Miracles: A Short Book Review

There is no better time than Christmastime to read a book about miracles, is there? I have just finished reading Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. But this book is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles … Continue reading Modern Miracles: A Short Book Review

One Thing You Can Do to Improve the Way You Pray for Other Christians

Do you ever struggle to know how to pray for other Christians? One possible (and common) approach is simply to pray for whatever people ask you to pray. That’s fine, as far as it goes, and we do see the Apostle Paul sometimes asking people to pray for him (Col 4:3; 1 Thess 5:25). Another … Continue reading One Thing You Can Do to Improve the Way You Pray for Other Christians

Advocating for Biblical Literacy

I just returned from a weekend in Philadelphia where I spent two days with individuals and organizations laboring to counter a dangerous pandemic. No, not that pandemic…. I’m talking about the pandemic of biblical illiteracy. I enjoyed numerous conversations with some really dedicated Christians who are on a mission to address a pandemic that ultimately … Continue reading Advocating for Biblical Literacy

12 Awkward Metaphors in Worship Songs

I’m writing these comments as someone who has great appreciation for the modern worship movement.  Still…. Am I the only one who has noticed a spate of unusual metaphors popping up in our worship songs in recent years? There isn’t anything profound that I’m trying to communicate in this post. I’m simply issuing a plea … Continue reading 12 Awkward Metaphors in Worship Songs

How Wide is the Sphere of Ministry God has Given You?

After an extended time of prayer in the mountains last year, I left with one perspective that has proven extremely helpful to me. Here is that perspective: God has apportioned to each of us who are part of his kingdom not only specific ministries to build up the church and extend God’s kingdom work in … Continue reading How Wide is the Sphere of Ministry God has Given You?