How Should Pastors Preach about Caitlyn Jenner Sunday Morning?

I love thoughtful friends who think about engaging the culture in meaningful ways.  When I got this challenging, poignant e-mail from a former pastor friend, I thought I’d share.

Here’s the question my friend posits and answers very powerfully:

If you were a pastor, what would you say about Caitlyn Jenner? [Read more…]

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God Smites and God is Gracious: A Response to Kevin Miller

Shortly after I wrote my post “Is the God of Calvinism a Moral Monster” — inspired by (and quoting) a dialogue between Hellbound writer/director Kevin Miller and the Gospel Coalition’s Justin Taylor — Kevin responded on his own blog.  You should go read his whole post, but here’s the part that really caught my eye: [Read more…]

Are Calvinists Arrogant?

I’m much more involved in political/cultural battles than I am in theological squabbles, but ever since I first dipped my toe in those tumultuous waters, I’ve heard the same criticism again and again: Reformed believers are just so darn arrogant. [Read more…]

Remembering Steve Jobs

I have to come clean.  I’m one of “those people.”  You know the kind . . . the person who talks endlessly about their Mac, who eagerly scans the internet for rumors of the latest offering, and who bought the iPad simply because “Apple made it, so I must need it.”  I was an Apple evangelist before we were all Apple evangelists, and — at some point during those years — I may have even crossed the line from “enthusiastic” to “annoying.” I’m getting the iPhone 4S the day it comes out, even though it’s only an incremental advance, and I agonize endlessly over whether my magnificent new Macbook Air has become — for all practical purposes — an “iPad killer.”

Who knows, I might be the kind of person who needs the (fictional) Apple Friend Bar:

When the news came last night that Steve Jobs had passed, I felt grieved far beyond what one normally feels when a celebrity passes. It’s not that I felt that I knew him the way people feel they “know” their favorite singer or actor through their songs or films. I know remarkably little about his personal life, considering his prominence. Simply put, he made my life better, appreciably better. He made millions of lives better. Through his incredible (and unique) combination of creativity, artistry, technological expertise, drive, and charisma, he created truly transformative products, a corporate community that provides work and purpose for tens of thousands of employees, and fostered a culture of innovation that will live on long after his life story is relegated to a paragraph in history books.

I don’t see Steve Jobs and see an example of “if you dream it, you can achieve it” any more than I would watch Michael Jordan at his height and think, “If only I practiced more, I could do what he does.” I’m not even sure how much we can learn from his example. Of course there are lessons about the power of a brilliant idea to transform a culture, the amazing ability of creative work to provide jobs and purpose to tens of thousands, and the marvelous virtues of free enterprise, but at the end of the day I’m simply grateful. I’m grateful to God for His grace in providing the people and talents that enrich our undeserving lives, and I’m grateful to Steve Jobs for living out the gifts God gave him.

May God comfort a family that lost a husband and father and the thousands who lost a person who was more than a “boss” or “founder,” but also an inspiration and mentor. And as we live in the world that Steve Jobs changed, let’s not forget the man who changed it. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

Lies We Tell Ourselves

I deserve good things in life.

I will have just one more cookie.

If only I could make a few, small changes, I will be happy.

I will cancel HBO after the free six month trial.

If only my spouse could make a few, small changes, I will be happy.

When I express my opinions, people find me interesting.

My job can and should fulfill me.

We will use that treadmill.

God wants me to be happy.

I don’t watch much TV.

My church should meet my needs.

I’m so over Facebook.

My success is due primarily to my own hard work and my intelligence.

I’ll use the credit card just this once.

My failures are due primarily to bad luck or the misjudgments of others.

They don’t like me because they’re jealous.

The God I believe in would not do that.

I’m smart.

I can change the world.

I can change my family.

I can change myself.

I’m a good person.

And now for the truth:  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”