Life is Christ

“What do you want out of life?” The trained interviewer appeared relaxed—even casual—as she asked me this question, but I could tell she was intent on figuring out who I was. In the context of interviewing for a summer job at a local department store during my break from college, that only meant that she … Continue reading Life is Christ

Christian Hospitality

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

When Have Been the Most Sorrowful Times of Your Life?

This probing question was asked me by a young man with whom I was spending regular mentoring times a few years ago. Now, I cannot answer the question for you today with specifics (though I tried to for my younger friend). But there is one insight about suffering that came out of that discussion that … Continue reading When Have Been the Most Sorrowful Times of Your Life?

Church Bells, Biblical Bells, and Redemption

In the Christian world, at least before the advent of modern telecommunications, church bells were the most common way of reminding Christians that a worship service was about to begin. But there is another kind of bell—a “bell that goes off in your head”—that is really useful when you read the Bible. For years I’ve … Continue reading Church Bells, Biblical Bells, and Redemption

What is an “Open Door”?

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”?

Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?

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?

Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 1: Did Paul Make Literal Tents?

In today’s post (part 1), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul literally sewed tents. It turns out that this is a disputed question. In a follow-up post (part 2), I will try to answer the question of whether Paul was a metaphorical tentmaker, that is, whether he worked with his hands … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 1: Did Paul Make Literal Tents?

Chronology of the Apostle Paul

Here’s a blog post that contains more footnotes (historical notes) than main text. That’s because this is my own attempt to sort out the chronology of Paul.[1] Have you ever wondered when Paul did what? Here is a possible chronology. 33 A.D.Death of Christ[2]34Conversion of Paul[3]36First Jerusalem visit (Gal 1:18)44Famine visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29-30/12:25, … Continue reading Chronology of the Apostle Paul

“Let Go and Let God”?

I grew up in a church setting that was really into “higher life” teaching. This teaching goes by many different names, including “victorious Christian living,” “the exchanged life,” and “the crucified life.” A particular stream of higher life teaching that continues to be influential is known as the Keswick Movement (pronounce KES-ik), named after an … Continue reading “Let Go and Let God”?

Are You a People Pleaser?

Are you a people pleaser? Do you do things for others so they will like you, thank you, or just not get upset at you? The Urban Dictionary facetiously remarks that when people-pleasers die, it isn’t their own lives that flash before their eyes; they see the life of someone else flash before their eyes![1] … Continue reading Are You a People Pleaser?