Saving Us from Me: Cultivating Honor and Shame in a Collectivist Church

Today, I’m releasing my recent conference talk “Saving Us from Me: Cultivating Honor and Shame in a Collectivist Church.” The honor & shame conference at Wheaton was an amazing blessing. The various plenary talks and other resources will soon be released at honorshame.com. Check out the conference tweets at #honorshame. For just the audio, click [Read More…]

The Bible Tells a Dystopian Story

Dystopian stories contextualize the anxieties of Western culture. If so, how might the Bible address concerns of a genre that is relatively young and distinctly Western? Or is it? In this post, I suggest the Bible itself tells a dystopian narrative. That might sound odd. Isn’t the Bible more utopian by nature? This point is [Read More…]

How Metaphors Make Us Moral

“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.” Arguably, John Sanders’ Theology in the Flesh from beginning to end attempts to show the significance of this statement by Orson Scott Card. He demonstrates how metaphors both shape moral reasoning and determine meaning. What if the church grasped the subtle yet [Read More…]

How do we “embody” theology?

John Sanders says all theology is embodied. On the surface, this doesn’t seem noteworthy. People for many years have aspired to “embody the gospel.” However, this is not Sanders’ meaning. His recent book Theology in the Flesh: How Embodiment and Culture Shape the Way We Think about Truth, Morality, and God (2016) will be a [Read More…]

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…]