The Ministry-Impact Gap

Today, my friend Chris Grace[1]  introduced me to a concept that recent social psychologists refer to as “The Liking Gap.” In simple terms, when people converse with others, they normally think that the person with whom they have conversed leaves the conversation liking them less than the other person in fact does.  In other words, … Continue reading The Ministry-Impact Gap

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

Christmas Presence

Two days before Christmas last year I was sitting in church when the worship leader invited us to ponder a question: “What is it that you need to release to the Lord during this Christmas time?” He gave us a few moments of quiet to prayerfully contemplate a response. It wasn’t long before I knew … Continue reading Christmas Presence

A Twist on Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thanks

I love the fact that in the United States we as a nation set aside one day a year simply for giving thanks to God for his good gifts. At some of our tables, we will take a few minutes before we eat to mention the things that we are thankful for: a new job, … Continue reading A Twist on Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thanks

The 10 Lamest Excuses in the Bible

Most of us are amazingly good at making excuses, especially when we do something wrong. I know I am. The other day I was reading my Bible, when I came across one of the most boneheaded excuses I have ever encountered (#1 below). It made me think of how many lame excuses show up in … Continue reading The 10 Lamest Excuses in the Bible

J. C. Ryle on Christ as Divine and Human: An Insightful Paragraph

In his classic book on sanctification, Holiness (1877), J. C. Ryle, an evangelical Anglican bishop, penned a profound paragraph on the importance of Christ being both divine and human.  It is rare to encounter such devotionally-rich reflections in modern Christian literature, so I offer it to you for your meditation today. 

If Your Phone Causes You to Sin, Cut it Off

And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and … Continue reading If Your Phone Causes You to Sin, Cut it Off

How to Become Rooted, Fruit-bearing, Resilient, and Prospering

How would you like your life to be characterized by the following descriptors:  1) Rooted deeply in the Lord, 2) Bearing spiritual fruit, 3) Resilient during suffering, 4) Prospering in your God-given mission? During this past year, I have been trying to memorize more psalms—and boning up on psalms I already know or kinda’ know. … Continue reading How to Become Rooted, Fruit-bearing, Resilient, and Prospering

Even Atheists Knew More About the Bible Than Christians Do Today

In 19th century England, Atheists knew more about the Bible than most Christians do today. So did Liberal Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, Unitarians, and Agnostics. So claims Timothy Larsen in A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (Oxford, 2011). Larsen makes a convincing case that Victorian England was saturated with the Bible. Nineteenth century English people in general cared … Continue reading Even Atheists Knew More About the Bible Than Christians Do Today

“Broken” as an Excuse for Repetitive Sinning

Word meanings sometimes shift.  I have begun to wonder whether one commonplace word has begun to shift recently—aiding certain contemporary Christians who want to minimize their sin and justify ongoing sin patterns.  There’s nothing new, of course, about Christians searching for ways to avoid feeling bad about sinning.  But modern Christians have become remarkably adept … Continue reading “Broken” as an Excuse for Repetitive Sinning