A Practical Approach to Biblical Contextualization (Session 4 Training Video)

Here is SESSION FOUR of 4 training videos I’ve released over the summer. This final session demonstrates how to apply our model of contextualization within specific ministry settings. This brief overview illustrates two kinds of contextualization––exegetical contextualization and cultural contextualization. In addition, practical implications for ministry strategy that stem from the discussion of the prior sessions will be drawn out. Below, I have links to the video, audio as well as the study guide. SESSION FOUR A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO… Read more

Interesting Stuff in Themelios (August, 2017)

The latest issue of Themelios is out. Here are a few articles and book reviews I think you might find noteworthy. Articles Wendell Berry’s “Risk”: In the Middle on Gay Marriage? by Jacob Shatzer Wendell Berry’s influence has grown in recent years as many people, Christians or not, have found his agrarian vision a compelling corrective to various modern problems. However, Berry publicly took what we might call a “middle road” on gay marriage. This position surprised (and disappointed) many… Read more

A Balanced Critique of Popular Missiological Methods

Few recent missiological articles are as practical and pleasurable as is George Terry’s “A Missiology of Excluded Middles: An Analysis of the T4T Scheme for Evangelism and Discipleship.” In critiquing T4T, he addresses various church planting methods. He provides a theological analysis; yet, his article differs markedly from others. Read more

The Power of “Popularity” in the Church

Few subjects are so paradoxical as popularity. “Popular” kids often are the most liked and disliked people in school. Youth seek it above anything else; as adults, popular kids don’t always fair well. Although adults bemoan the popularity contests of adolescence, these dynamics still exist in companies and organizations. Popularity is both helpful and harmful. These are a few observations noted in Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World (by Mitch Prinstein). In this post, I’ll highlight a… Read more

How does the Bible explain the gospel? (Session 3 Training Video)

There is one gospel yet many ways to present this message. Accordingly, in addition to framework themes, biblical writers use a number of “explanation themes” to clarify the significance of this good news. These themes complement each other as they serve different functions. The explanation themes help us answer four key questions routinely answered in discussions about the gospel. Read more

Chiasm, Oral Peoples, and the Grand Biblical Story

Chiasm is one of the most common memory devices in history and across the world. Yet, I find few people today use it or appreciate how chiasm works within an oral culture. For years, I’ve been one of those people. If ancient oral cultures use chiasm as a mnemonic tool, might there be something about it that we can still use today? Some scholars claim chiastic structures are “circular” and so don’t reflect the “linear” narrative of the Bible. Is… Read more

Does God Love Black People More Than the Church?

I understand the desire for purity and the stain of association. But the church is no mere institution; we are family. We don’t always choose our family. Read more

How does the Bible contextualize the gospel? (Session 2 Training Video)

Here is SESSION TWO of 4 training videos I will release this summer. Below, you’ll find links to the video, audio as well as an accompanying study guide. SESSION TWO HOW DOES THE BIBLE CONTEXTUALIZE THE GOSPEL? This session considers the question, “How does the Bible frame the gospel?” To answer the question, we survey various ways that biblical writers explicitly presented their gospel. Amid a diversity of presentations, readers find that a distinct set of themes frames them all. These… Read more

If only the church were like a gang….

The following is one of the most significant quotes I’ve read in a long while. It comes from Francis Chan’s talk at Facebook last month. Recalling a sober moment he had while at Cornerstone Church, Chan said he baptized a kid from a gang but that kid later left though he was quite involved in the church. “One of my friends asked him, ‘Hey, how come you’re not at Cornerstone anymore?’ He said ‘I didn’t understand church. When I was… Read more

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 here. For the written presentation, click here.   Below are some questions to guide your listening and/or group conversation.   Introduction How does dystopian literature… Read more

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