A second chance to love a stranger

I got an email yesterday from a church member that made my heart swell and she gave me permission to share it on my blog. I had preached this past weekend about Jeremiah's call in Jeremiah 29 for his people to "seek the welfare of the city to which they had been sent." What I said was that in addition to contributing to the various campaigns and efforts to stop poverty, we need to make the world personal for the strangers that we encounter, because loneliness is a huge problem in our day. This … [Read more...]

From self-justification to mercy

Like many other evangelicals in my generation, I've got a kind of rage inside of me that keeps me awake at night. It comes from looking around and feeling convicted that we Christians have become exactly what Jesus came to Earth to stop us from being. We have become the same as the Pharisees who made it necessary for Jesus to come to Earth in the first place. We have taken the Word that was given to us as a gift and turned it into a means of one-upping each other and winning political power for … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy for the Sake of Orthopraxis

So for those of my facebook friends who don't know, this week there’s a virtual "Rally to Restore Unity" being held by Christians on facebook and other places in response to some ferocious theological debate that has taken place on the Internet largely as a result of Rob Bell's controversial new book Love Wins. The idea is that we as Christians ought to promote unity in the church rather than saying that anybody who disagrees with us isn’t a true Christian. I don’t endorse everything that’s being … [Read more...]

If You Want to Be Good, Be a Samaritan First!

Sermon for 7/11/2010 Text: Luke 10:25-37If you want to be good, be a Samaritan first. Most people reading the Good Samaritan story put the focus on being “good”; I want to put the focus on being a Samaritan. We can do all the good in the world; we can stop and help every person with a flat tire on the beltway; but unless we have a Samaritan heart, the good that we do won’t do us any good at all.It’s hard to get past a surface level reading of the Good Samaritan story since everybody knows it. … [Read more...]