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

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

The Fragrance of Christ

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor 2:15-16) One smell you’ll probably never encounter on the … Continue reading The Fragrance of Christ

Dying Daily

I recently read John Piper’s little book, Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ. In this book, Piper wrote three short biographies of Christian missionaries who were martyred for Christ: William Tyndale, John G. Paton, and Adoniram Judson. In the introduction, Piper made a comment that has been stirring and working its way into my heart. … Continue reading Dying Daily

America First? Reject America? Early Christians Offer a Third Way

This week citizens of the United States are pondering once again what it means to be American. Personally, I am deeply grateful that God permitted me to grow up in this incredibly blessed nation. Some people I know, though, act like they are first Americans and only second Christians. That’s a problem. At the opposite … Continue reading America First? Reject America? Early Christians Offer a Third Way

What Does God Require of Me in this Moment?

After two and a half months of living with Coronavirus fear and frustration, followed by a horrific image of a man with his neck pinned to the ground as his life is violently taken away from him, followed by wave after wave of protests—many peaceful, some violent—do you find yourself wondering what God requires of … Continue reading What Does God Require of Me in this Moment?

Civil Disobedience in an Age of Coronavirus

Do Christians have to obey their governmental leaders when such leaders issue specific declarations about: 1) where you can and cannot go, 2) what you should wear on your face, and 3) how far away you should stay from other people? What if you don’t agree that such directives make sense? The short answer is … Continue reading Civil Disobedience in an Age of Coronavirus

One Way to Pray about the Coronavirus Crisis

Many people I know are praying for family members who are currently ill, immunocompromised, or facing other critical risks from COVID-19. Others I know are praying for those who have lost jobs or otherwise undergoing economic hardships. Some I know are praying for governmental leaders, first responders, and medical professionals who are heroically waging war … Continue reading One Way to Pray about the Coronavirus Crisis

How Did Early Christians Respond to Plagues? Historical Reflections as the Coronavirus Spreads

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

Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2019

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