Too often, we use phrases to try to simplify the Gospel message, but they end up obscuring the Gospel. Possibly the worst offender in this category in the phrase, “God gives second chances.” We love second chances. We love the idea that God gives us unlimited do-overs when we mess up. We love to hear that God gives second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances. It makes it sound as if God is tolerant, reasonable, and kind. I want… Read more

We struggle to get the right things done more than we ever have. Between constant distractions, text messages, and overflowing inboxes, it can be hard to know what we should do next and how we should work hard so that we produce good work that brings us joy and benefits other people. Matt Perman helps us break the logjam in his new book How to Get Unstuck, which makes a great companion to his previous book What’s Best Next. Perman… Read more

All Christians experience spiritual dry spells. There are no exceptions. We will go through periods where God seems distant, prayer is difficult, Bible-reading feels dead, worship doesn’t excite, and a sense of purposelessness descends on us. When you run into a spiritual desert, what do you do? I want to suggest ten strategies for dealing with a spiritual dry spell. I am not advocating that you try all ten, but rather that you try several of them in order to… Read more

Recently I was in a restaurant and a Bible study group was meeting at a nearby table. The leader had a voice that carried, so I could have heard a good portion of the study, but the first thing I heard him say so captured my attention that I missed the rest of it. He said, “I love non-denominational churches because doctrine is not life-giving.” I will set aside the comment about non-denominational churches not having doctrine for another day…. Read more

On a Thursday morning, twenty-one years ago last week, I woke up thinking I was a Christian but dealing with the growing realization that there was little fruit of conversion in my life. Later that afternoon, sitting under the preaching of God’s word, I came to the realization that I didn’t know Jesus and called out for him to save me. Then, the light came on. I can’t think of any other way to describe it. A flood of joy… Read more

Many of life’s most important lessons cannot be learned in a classroom. This is especially true of life in the ministry. While Seminary can give you tools for wrestling with the meaning of the biblical text, there’s little it can do to prepare you for the rigors of everyday life in the local church. In 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me, fifteen pastors share lessons they learned in the trenches. This little volume, edited by Collin Hansen and Jeff Robinson, contains… Read more

  At the beginning of 2018, I had never heard of Jordan Peterson, but that changed drastically over the last few months. Like many, he first came to my notice because of his interview with Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman. She began the interview by asking Peterson why he tells men they need to grow up. As he started explaining why it was good for all of society to have strong, competent men, she started peppering him with adversarial questions…. Read more

Last week, many applauded a father whose son had been banned from the bus for bullying other children. The father forced his son run to school in the rain while he drove behind him. Then, he posted about his creative discipline on Facebook. The father received praise for his return to “common sense” parenting and for disciplining his son instead of making excuses for him. Indeed, there are reasons we should applaud this father. He accepted responsibility for his son’s… Read more

For the last three years, I have been slowly making my way through a biography of each American President. While I have not completed the journey, (I am 2/3 of the way through,) some important lessons have emerged from my reading. There are many lessons to learn from the courageous acts of the men who have served as President of the United States and also many to be learned from their flaws and shortcomings. There are many little nuggets I… Read more

Many times, Christians use unfortunate language when talking about our jobs. For some reason, we have often called work that is not for a church “secular work;” in much the same way that we call music not done by “Christian” artists, “secular music.” When we call work “secular work,” we imply that it is somehow inherently unspiritual. However, when we read our Bibles, we see that God created work before man fell into sin. Work existed before the ministry existed…. Read more

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