Jewish Evangelism In Light Of “The Gifts & Calling” Document

I am not Catholic, but am grateful for my Catholic siblings in faith. I've been strengthened by many Catholic writers over the years, particularly those from the contemplative tradition. I've been encouraged by Catholic pro-life activism and challenged by the Church's commitment to social justice and care for the least of these. I love studying the Bible with Catholic friends.So much kingdom goodness in these things. These affirmations of goodness also carry deep sorrow with them, an … [Read more...]

Reader’s Theater: Where Love Is, God Is

One of my favorite Leo Tolstoy short stories is "Where Love Is, God Is". It is profound in its simplicity at any time of year, but certainly suits this season. A few years ago, I turned the story into a reader's theater for seven voices. It takes about 12-14 minutes to perform. A couple of churches of which we've been a part have used it during Advent or Lent.Avdeich rested his head upon both his arms, and did not notice how he fell asleep. “Martin!” suddenly seemed to sound in his ear … [Read more...]

Review: Strange Fire, Holy Fire

I wish I could give a copy of Michael J. Klassen's Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience (Bethany House Publishers, 2009) to every person I've ever met in the various Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Third Wave/Vineyard congregations of which we've been a part. Whether they're still a part of one of these congregations, have jumped to a different stream within the Church, or have chosen to hang out the "Done" sign on any formal church involvement, … [Read more...]

The Jesus Movement’s Unintended Consequences: The Rapture

We’re a generation removed from the Jesus Movement of the late 1960′s and the Rapture still hasn't happened despite astonishing certainty about when we could expect it on the part of some of the most influential voices of the era. Hal Lindsey had the timetable of the Lord's return all figured out in his influential 1970 book, The Late Great Planet Earth and Earnest Angley's 1950 tome, Raptured, was the Left Behind of the day. Angley's book, which a friend and I took to calling "Raptured, raptu … [Read more...]

The Jesus Movement’s Unintended Consequences: Those Campfire Praise Songs

When a renewal movement hits the church, things are bound to get messy. Some of the mess is the work of the Holy Spirit as he reanimates dry bones. Some of the mess comes when a bunch of broken human beings try to touch, help, hinder, or profit from the beautiful chaos. We're a generation removed from the Jesus Movement of the late 1960's. Poll after poll tells us that Evangelicalism, the primary beneficiary of this Movement, is having an identity crisis. Our children aren't sticking around in … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Reformation

Martin Luther had some serious chutzpah.Though his well-documented anti-Semitism sowed some noxious weed-seed in both his theology and throughout the Protestant church culture that emerged from the Reformation, I've always admired the stories of Luther's battles with unhealthy church culture. Luther was a monk, a Catholic church insider. He had every reason to support the status quo of the church at the time, which had grown into a bloated, powerful bureaucracy designed to benefit people in … [Read more...]

Old Testament Foundations And Hebrew Roots

I wish more Christians would take an interest in learning the Jewish foundations of their faith. Too many of my Christian brothers and sisters wave off the Old Testament except for a few stories from Genesis and Exodus, the book of Psalms, and, recently among some streams in the church, some out-of-context texts about blood moons. The default setting for many believers is "Now that Jesus came, we don't need to worry about the Law anymore." For some, "the Law" translates to "Pretty much the … [Read more...]


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