Does the Easter story have authority?

This week, we’ll read narratives about Christ’s suffering and resurrection. But are we equipped to read them? This is what I mean….we easily recognize the authority of epistles since they state ideas quite directly. On the other hand, we tend to think of stories or narratives as descriptive. So, how do narratives carry authority? Here are some [Read More…]

Can Christians eat blood?

An oft debated question among Chinese Christians is this, “Can Christians eat blood?” For some, the answer is a straightforward “no” based on Old Testament prohibitions and on Acts 15:20, 28; 21:25, which record the Jerusalem church’s letter to the believing Gentiles. The Acts verses are not so clear cut. The letter seems to blend cultural and absolute prohibitions. After [Read More…]

Redefining “the elements of the world”

In a significant book, Leithart suggests a novel interpretation of “the elements.” It shifts how we see ourselves, society, and the world. If he’s right, it has important implications for engaging culture. [Read more…]

Word studies when you don’t know Hebrew or Greek

If you don’t know Greek and Hebrew, how do you do a word study? How can we teach those we serve? [Read more…]

Relating the Biblical Covenants (in 1 picture)

What is a simple way to explain the major biblical themes and covenants? If we do not have a sound understanding of the covenants, we’ll struggle to interpret the Bible. The graph below is a helpful tool for you and those you work with. It interrelates essential themes that shape the Bible’s plot. If you [Read More…]

Are you wasting time church planting?

Even Paul knew his labor in planting churches could be a waste of time. If Paul felt this way, shouldn’t we take notice and figure out how to avoid wasting our efforts? To the Galatians, Paul wrote, “I went up [to Jerusalem] because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed [Read More…]

Behave Badly Like Paul

Few books simultaneously entertain, provoke, challenge and instruct. A recent IVP book by just that. It’s called Paul Behaving Badly: Was the Apostle a Racist, Chauvinist Jerk?  (E. Randolph Richards and Brandon O’Brien). The authors previously collaborated to write one of my favorite books Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes. This work has a similar feel to [Read More…]

The Gospel of the Kingdom (video)

In light of the recent election, I can think of few videos more fitting to encourage our hearts. In case you haven’t see it, this is SO, SO good. For more amazing videos like this, check out Save [Read more…]

Must Chinese elders have believing children?

What qualifies a person to be a pastor? Are you aware of a controversial translation in Titus 3 that influences how many Chinese church leaders think about this question? How we interpret the text has important implications (or consequences) for the church. I refer to Titus 1:6. I’ll quote the ESV in context followed by [Read More…]

Building the Biblical Story

In order to teach the Bible and share the gospel, we do best to understand both how stories work and how people learn. If we lack sufficient knowledge of either, we might create unnecessary challenges to our ministry. In mission circles, “story” is often linked with orality and UPG work. Among theologians, the entire Bible [Read More…]