I recently received an email from a former student living in a challenging country in the Middle East. He asked me a question that I would assume most of you have never had to answer. His question was: What do we do if we receive death threats? He asked this question because he remembered that … Continue reading Stay or Leave? How Should a Christian Missionary Respond to Death Threats?
My wife is remarkably hospitable—far more than I. For ten straight years at her instigation, we invited all of my enrolled college students over every week during the academic year for dinner and spiritual conversation. (Fortunately, it never happened that they all showed up on the same evening. Whew!) We have scaled back a bit … Continue reading Christian Hospitality
I read quite a few good Christian books in 2021. Here are seven of my favorites, plus a bonus book. Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm, by S. T. Antonio. What should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? Solid and readable Christian ecclesiology … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2021
There is no better time than Christmastime to read a book about miracles, is there? I have just finished reading Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. But this book is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles … Continue reading Modern Miracles: A Short Book Review
I recently read through Stephen Payne’s new devotional book, I Lift my Eyes to the Hills: God’s Help in Times of Trouble. Steve is a former college housemate and long-time friend. He sent me an advanced copy. What makes this book different from other devotional books you may have read in the past is that … Continue reading A Truly Beautiful Devotional Book
Not every door that appears to be is an open door. And not every door that appears to be closed is a closed door. Just because a ministry setting looks like it’s going to be hard doesn’t mean that it is a closed door. For the Apostle Paul, an open door was a God-given opportunity … Continue reading What is an “Open Door”?
A few years ago, a delightful young college student came up to me and asked, “Would you like to see my tattoo?” “Um…OK,” I mumbled, somewhat unsure of where on her body the tattoo might be located. She lifted her long hair so I could see what was engraved on the nape of her neck. … Continue reading Tattoos and Biblical Greek
In a former post, I tried to answer the question of whether Paul was a literal tentmaker. In this post, I ask whether Paul was a figurative tentmaker—one who was self-supporting in ministry. I often interact with Christians who say, “I want to be tentmaker like Paul.” What they mean is that they want to … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?
Twenty years ago, my wife and I were living with our two daughters in a suburb on the northern edge of New York City. The shock waves from the two planes that slammed into the World Trade Towers reverberated across the nation—and indeed, around the world—but it was categorically different living in New York on … Continue reading Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11
After an extended time of prayer in the mountains last year, I left with one perspective that has proven extremely helpful to me. Here is that perspective: God has apportioned to each of us who are part of his kingdom not only specific ministries to build up the church and extend God’s kingdom work in … Continue reading How Wide is the Sphere of Ministry God has Given You?