Christian Virtues for Civil Disobedience

What attitudes should Christians display when compelled by conscience to disobey the government? Before addressing that question, let’s review one thing. Christians normally should not disobey the government. Quite the opposite is the case. In most situations, Christians should obey the government even when governmental directives appear unreasonable or overreaching. There is one broad biblical … Continue reading Christian Virtues for Civil Disobedience

A Different Kind of Bucket List

This morning I talked with someone who was describing some items on their bucket list. A “bucket list,” if you don’t know the term, is “a list of things a person wants to achieve or experience, as before reaching a certain age or dying,” according to Dictionary.com. Such lists routinely include fun activities to do … Continue reading A Different Kind of Bucket List

Persecution and Scripture Memorization

In the early 1950’s in Communist Russia, three charismatic pastors came up with a risky idea they thought might be worth doing despite the risk. Nik Ripken, in his outstanding book about persecution, The Insanity of God, explains that: “…they planned and organized a youth congress in Moscow and invited all of the young, unmarried … Continue reading Persecution and Scripture Memorization

I Abandoned My Lord: A Good Friday Reflection

Last year, I was at home with my family on Good Friday because of Covid-19. My home church streamed a somber and beautiful online service. One of our church leaders led a soul-searching time of reflection on the passion narrative, interspersing six pre-recorded readings from the biblical text with solemn songs led by our worship … Continue reading I Abandoned My Lord: A Good Friday Reflection

Muslim Insider Movements and the Church: An Interview

Muslims are coming to Christ all around the world. But what should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? I recently read an outstanding book dealing with the central biblical-theological and missiological questions surrounding this central question: Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm. The book's author, … Continue reading Muslim Insider Movements and the Church: An Interview

What is the Unforgivable Sin? What is Blasphemy against the Spirit?

Some years ago, I counseled with a student who was paralyzed by a fear that she had committed the unforgivable sin because of some terrible words she had uttered. Her concern came out of Matthew 12:31, “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall … Continue reading What is the Unforgivable Sin? What is Blasphemy against the Spirit?

Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2020

Following are seven books I read in 2020 that I found beneficial in my Christian life. This year I read quite a few biographies, so three of my entries are biographies. Unfortunately, none of the academic books I read this year made the list (compare my list for 2019), even though most of the books … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2020

How Do You Identify?

If you fundamentally identify yourself as being in Christ—as opposed to all the other options for self-identification—you will regularly respond differently than those who closely identify with the world’s lesser alternatives. Let me offer some examples of responses that might proceed from people who view themselves fundamentally as “in” a lesser alternative rather than viewing … Continue reading How Do You Identify?

How to Live an ‘In Christ’ Life: A New Book Announcement and How to Use the Book

I am excited to let you know that my newest book, How to Live an ‘In Christ’ Life: 100 Devotional Readings on Union with Christ has just been released in both print and electronic formats. Each chapter is exactly two pages long, and is packed full of analogies and illustrations to connect the Bible to … Continue reading How to Live an ‘In Christ’ Life: A New Book Announcement and How to Use the Book

Bible Memorization and the Problem of Changing Bible Translations

This post will address two sets of questions: 1) What translation should I use when I memorize the Bible? and 2) What if I have already memorized a passage? Should I try to update what I have already memorized to a new or updated translation? My family of birth began attending church when I was … Continue reading Bible Memorization and the Problem of Changing Bible Translations