Last semester a young college friend challenged me (dared me?) to try to use the contemporary slang word “based” during one of my college class lectures. Honestly, it was a bit tricky, since I first had to figure out what my twenty-something-year-old students meant when they used this word. But once I got a basic … Continue reading “Based”
I read a lot of helpful Christian books this past year, but here are my seven favorites. Surprisingly, I read the first five before the end of January! Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, by Mark Vroegop. The author first teaches how to lament, and then moves on to explain what we … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2022
I dislike playing the part of the Grinch, but can we as Christians admit that there are some really awful “Christmas” songs that have become standards on many Christmas playlists? None of the songs I have included today on my least-favorite list are actually Christian Christmas songs at all; but they all commonly get included … Continue reading My Three Least Favorite “Christmas” Playlist Songs
Contextualization is putting the gospel into cultural forms that are easier for recipients to understand and receive without changing the gospel. Syncretism is mixing the gospel with false philosophical or religious ideas, resulting in the gospel message getting changed or substantially diluted. Contextualization is good and necessary. Syncretism is dangerous and should be avoided. Although … Continue reading What is “Contextualization”? What is “Syncretism”?
I recently sat in (yet another) seminar about how to counsel Christians who are tempted toward same-sex sexual activity or tempted to embrace a gender contrary to their birth sex. I left the seminar helped in a number of ways. But I was struck once again—since I have begun to identify this as a pattern—that … Continue reading Reclaiming the Language of “Temptation” in Christian Discussions of Human Sexuality
About a year ago I spent a couple hours talking with my long-time friend, Adam Day (a professor at Tyndale Seminary in Amsterdam, the Netherlands), about the question of how much and in what manner it is appropriate for a Christian author to promote his or her writings. We talked about pitfalls, motivations, and the … Continue reading Personas, Platforms, and Profits
What is the average amount of time it takes to solve a Wordle puzzle? I can’t locate any hard data on this question, but a guy who wrote a computer simulation to figure out the best two starting words for Wordle—and who claims he has played Wordle “a million times”—estimates that it takes about 15 … Continue reading Wordle or God’s Word?
“We pray against this stronghold…” Have you ever heard someone utter this line in prayer—or have you uttered it yourself? If you have ever used this expression, what did you mean when you used it? What is a “stronghold”? The answer to this question depends upon 1) whether you are trying to define the word … Continue reading What is a “Stronghold”? (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Authenticity. Now there’s an important word in our generation. Young people are fed up with fakeness and sick of sham. Not long ago a youth pastor told me that the kids in his youth group preferred listening to unpolished or even stammering speakers whom they perceived as genuine over speakers who were slick but inauthentic. … Continue reading “Authenticity”
“If only God showed me an extraordinary miracle, I would believe.” Really? Are you sure that you would actually start believing in the existence of God and in what he has said about his Son Jesus Christ if you experienced a dramatic miracle? I think such an assumption is highly questionable. My skepticism is not … Continue reading Would You Believe If God Gave You a Miracle?