I just finished reading A Supreme Love: The Music of Jazz and the Hope of the Gospel, by William Edgar. I enjoyed this book. It has a good chance of making my top-seven list for 2023 when I post my favorite Christian books at the end of the year. (Like this, this, this, this, and … Continue reading Is Jazz Music Christian?
“Greet One Another with a Holy Kiss”? (Q&A)
Four times the Apostle Paul instructs his readers to greet each other with a holy kiss (Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Thess 5:26; cf. 1 Peter 5:18). Let’s work through a few questions related to these verses’ social background and address the question of whether we should bring back the practice … Continue reading “Greet One Another with a Holy Kiss”? (Q&A)
Polycarp’s Final Days and Martyrdom
One of the most famous Christians in history—and, truly, one of my historical heroes—was an early Christian named Polycarp. Polycarp ministered to the church of ancient Smyrna (modern Izmir, on the western coast of modern Turkey—a city I resided in for two years). Polycarp lived into the middle of the 2nd century A.D., and because … Continue reading Polycarp’s Final Days and Martyrdom
Dramatic Drop in Bible Reading: Why?
In 2011, the percentage of Americans who “used the Bible at least 3-4 times on their own, outside of a church setting” was around 50%. Again in 2012—around 50%. Then again in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Always around 50%. But according to the American Bible Society, in 2022, that … Continue reading Dramatic Drop in Bible Reading: Why?
What was Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7)?
Paul’s thorn in the flesh was some sort of unusual, long-term, intermittent, stabbing, face pain that was viewed by others as shameful and the result of black magic attacks, but by Paul as attacks of a demon permitted by God. This is the conclusion of my newly-released book focused on answering one of the most … Continue reading What was Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7)?
What is Christian Revival? Three Resources to Help You Understand Revival
A Christian revival is a moment in history when 1) the hearts of many of God’s people are awakened to greater love and commitment to Christ, 2) many who consider themselves Christians (but are not) get converted, and 3) many people who have never known Christ are drawn to faith in Christ through what God … Continue reading What is Christian Revival? Three Resources to Help You Understand Revival
Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2022
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
Should You Pray to the Holy Spirit?
The short answer, I believe, is that there is nothing wrong with offering a prayer to the Holy Spirit since God the Spirit is, of course, fully God, just as is God the Father and God the Son. However, most prayers in the New Testament and in the church of the second and third centuries … Continue reading Should You Pray to the Holy Spirit?
Personas, Platforms, and Profits
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
The Relationship between Revival and the Bible
The final two pages of J. N. Morris’s study on the history of spiritual renewal (Renewed by the Word: The Bible and Christian Revival Since the Reformation) draw a clear relationship between revival and the Bible. Morris’s comments are worth the two minutes it will take you to read them: "If it is the conviction … Continue reading The Relationship between Revival and the Bible