Why you need to listen to Brian Zahnd

I'm about to leave on a youth retreat so I don't have time for a full post on this, but Brian Zahnd's Friday night and Sunday sermons from last weekend blew my mind. He is the pastor of non-denominational Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, MO and a leader in the exciting movement among evangelical churches to embrace the sacramental and spiritual practices of the ancient church. In his Friday sermon "Ring them bells," he talks about the way that church bells used to serve as the city's call to … [Read more...]

Why I hate success and love the Beatitudes

Success is the American virtue. Its pursuit is what drives just about every aspect of our society, whether it's success in school, success in sports, success in dating, success on the career ladder, success in parenting, success in retiring comfortably. I would argue that the American worship of success is what causes American Christians to minimize the importance of Jesus' most prominent body of teaching, the Sermon on the Mount which has a lot of problematic things to say to people whose … [Read more...]

Beatitudes (The Original Prosperity Gospel)

Sermon for 1/29/2011 Text: Matthew 5:3-12When I was in middle school, my dad got season tickets to see the Houston Rockets at the Summit where they played in Houston. It was an amazing experience to go and see my hero Hakeem Olajuwon “dream shake” and juke his opponents around the basket. When I finally returned to Houston a few years ago, I drove by where the Summit had been and Hakeem’s face had been replaced on the billboard by a guy named Joel Osteen. The Summit was no longer a basketball a … [Read more...]