I dislike playing the part of the Grinch, but can we as Christians admit that there are some really awful “Christmas” songs that have become standards on many Christmas playlists? None of the songs I have included today on my least-favorite list are actually Christian Christmas songs at all; but they all commonly get included … Continue reading My Three Least Favorite “Christmas” Playlist Songs
What is “Contextualization”? What is “Syncretism”?
Contextualization is putting the gospel into cultural forms that are easier for recipients to understand and receive without changing the gospel. Syncretism is mixing the gospel with false philosophical or religious ideas, resulting in the gospel message getting changed or substantially diluted. Contextualization is good and necessary. Syncretism is dangerous and should be avoided. Although … Continue reading What is “Contextualization”? What is “Syncretism”?
Nurturing the Spiritual Lives of our Children: 14 Tips
A few years ago, Trudi and I led a session at a parenting seminar. We offered 14 “tips” for nurturing the spiritual lives of one’s children. I’ve included the 14 teaching points here for your own consideration. Our prayer is that many parents will take on the call to intentionally train their children in the ways of … Continue reading Nurturing the Spiritual Lives of our Children: 14 Tips
How to Change from a Prayer Worrier into a Prayer Warrior
Are you a Prayer Worrier or a Prayer Warrior? What’s the difference? Prayer Worriers only pray about things that they’re worried about. The only items that some people pray about are the matters that make them anxious. A person who only prays about their worries is a classic Prayer Worrier. Prayer Warriors, in contrast,battle in … Continue reading How to Change from a Prayer Worrier into a Prayer Warrior
A Biblical Spectrum of Guidance from God (from clearest to least clear)
What if we were to plot biblical examples of the leading of the Spirit on a continuum from clearest communication to least clear? That’s what I propose to do in this post. For years I have been taking note of moments in the Bible where God communicates with his people beyond the written Word. Please … Continue reading A Biblical Spectrum of Guidance from God (from clearest to least clear)
Reclaiming the Language of “Temptation” in Christian Discussions of Human Sexuality
I recently sat in (yet another) seminar about how to counsel Christians who are tempted toward same-sex sexual activity or tempted to embrace a gender contrary to their birth sex. I left the seminar helped in a number of ways. But I was struck once again—since I have begun to identify this as a pattern—that … Continue reading Reclaiming the Language of “Temptation” in Christian Discussions of Human Sexuality
What Does “As the Deer Pants for the Water” Mean (Psalm 42:1)?
I used to love Psalm 42. I still do. But now it’s for a slightly different reason. When I was younger, I often quoted the first words of the Psalm as an expression of passion for God. I understood it to be an expression of zeal to know God…an intense longing to be close to … Continue reading What Does “As the Deer Pants for the Water” Mean (Psalm 42:1)?
Perseverance and Apostasy
Dr. Dongsu Kim recently published a valuable (and very large!) book entitled Perseverance and Apostasy in the New Testament: Unpacking the Dynamic of God's Sovereignty and Human Responsibility. Coming in at almost 1,000 pages, this is the most thorough treatment I have ever encountered of New Testament passages dealing with the question of whether a true Christian … Continue reading Perseverance and Apostasy
Personas, Platforms, and Profits
About a year ago I spent a couple hours talking with my long-time friend, Adam Day (a professor at Tyndale Seminary in Amsterdam, the Netherlands), about the question of how much and in what manner it is appropriate for a Christian author to promote his or her writings. We talked about pitfalls, motivations, and the … Continue reading Personas, Platforms, and Profits
The Chronicler Teaches Us What it Means to “Seek” the Lord
I recently stumbled upon a delightful biblical discovery while doing a word search on the word “seek.” I discovered that the most common place in the Bible where the word shows up in connection with God is 1 and 2 Chronicles. Who would have guessed that? This suggests that seeking God is an important theme … Continue reading The Chronicler Teaches Us What it Means to “Seek” the Lord