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

How to Kill an Intercessory Prayer Meeting

Actually, there are lots of ways to kill a prayer meeting. You could display bitterness or hostility to someone just before you start praying; that’s sure to do the job. Or thoughtlessly rush into a prayer meeting, without any spiritual preparation, cracking jokes up until the moment you bow your head. That, too, has a … Continue reading How to Kill an Intercessory Prayer Meeting

Spiritual Ministries Guide

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

Iterative Prayer

Recently, just after morning prayer at “The Birdhouse” community where Trudi and I live, I got into a short conversation with a couple of our residential college students about 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing.”  We realized as we talked that we often tend to think of this command as pointing toward some sort of … Continue reading Iterative Prayer

Is the Bible Clear?

I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from … Continue reading Is the Bible Clear?

Rather than the Enneagram: Let the Bible Highlight Your Sin Tendencies

The key insight of the Enneagram that Christians seem most attracted to—and that, in many people’s opinions sets it apart from other personality and strengths-finding tests—is its diagnosis of people’s sinful tendencies (what some Enneagramites refer to as “passions” and “fixations”).  In other words, the Enneagram is supposed to help us identify nine detrimental paths … Continue reading Rather than the Enneagram: Let the Bible Highlight Your Sin Tendencies

Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen. Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well: “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” … Continue reading Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

Dennis Prager on the Ten Commandments: A Few Reflections

About four years ago, politically conservative news commentator Dennis Prager (Jewish in his faith) posted 11 short videos about the Ten Commandments.[1]  Since then Prager has received an astonishing 2-4 million views on each video.  A friend at my church recently asked what I thought of these videos.  So, for his sake I listened to … Continue reading Dennis Prager on the Ten Commandments: A Few Reflections