COVID-19 is spreading across the globe as I write these words. In my section of the world, people are stockpiling hand sanitizers, facemasks, toilet paper, and bottled water, and some have already self-quarantined. The focus of these efforts, naturally, is protection of self and others from the spread of the virus. But in the midst … Continue reading How Did Early Christians Respond to Plagues? Historical Reflections as the Coronavirus Spreads
As I reflect on the books I read in 2019, I note seven Christian books that have impacted my own Christian thinking and spiritual life more than any others. This year’s list is a bit more academic than last year’s, though it ranges from easy-to-read to serious academic. Nevertheless, these are the seven books that … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2019
“The key to missions is contextualization.” “The key to growing the American church is relevance.” If we could put the Christian message in just the right form, and set up our churches to be places where visitors felt comfortable, a lot more people would come to Christ. Right? No, I’m afraid that’s not right. But … Continue reading Is Contextualization the Key to Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth?
More than a generation ago, Don Richardson popularized the idea that Christians who share Christ across cultures might encounter—and even ought to look for—“redemptive analogies” in those cultures. The idea was that God has pre-placed customs or stories into cultures that prepare people to respond to the gospel. I think this idea has some merit. … Continue reading Blood Brothers: A Redemptive Analogy
Sometimes people skeptical of Christianity claim that the Apostle Paul, not Jesus, was the primary innovator of many things we think of as “Christian.” Some take it even further and claim that Paul so radically changed the teaching of Jesus that he, rather than Jesus, should be viewed as the true founder of Christianity. I’m … Continue reading Did Paul Invent Christianity?
Where might God want you to serve in ministry? I have just added a Spiritual Ministries Guide to my Resources Page. The Guide can help you think through various ministries God may have for you to build up his church and extend his kingdom work in the world. The Guide is an alternative to spiritual abilities … Continue reading Spiritual Ministries Guide
Years ago, when Trudi and I lived in the Middle East, I wrote a prayer letter employing the poetic structure of “The Night Before Christmas.” I share it with you on this Christmas Eve. ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through our house Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept Trudi my spouse She stirred … Continue reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in the Middle East
Recently, Trudi and I hosted six of my current college students for dinner. (Note: as is our custom, we invited all my current students, but this time only six came). In addition to those six were my wife, Trudi, and my daughter, Grace. The nine of us had a great time together, and a wonderful … Continue reading What kind of person do you hope to be in twenty years?
In 1859 and then again in 1904 a deep and penetrating work of the Holy Spirit engulfed the country of Wales. Wales had already seen many other periods when God had moved in revival—perhaps more than any geographical location in the history of Christianity. But these two spiritual awakenings were two of the most significant. … Continue reading Revival Without the Bible Won’t Last