Reclaiming God’s Intent For The Sabbath

The Fourth Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy”, tends to invite legalism, rabid antinomian sentiment, or spiritual innovation from Christians. In each of those cases, the conversation about Sabbath-keeping focuses on the individual. Talking about the Sabbath in those terms cuts out the fact that it wasn’t given to individuals. It was given to a community, and is meant to be celebrated in community. What Sabbath Is Not For many, Sabbath-keeping is a rule-laden throwback to … [Read more...]

When Running Away To Join The Circus Is Not An Option

When I was a kid, I was in a giant hurry to be a grown-up. The day after my birthday, I was already telling people I was almost the age I'd be on my next birthday. I think I got my driver's license on July 7th, 1975. If the DMV was open on July 4th (a Friday, and the date of my 16th birthday) or the weekend following, surely I would have gotten it three days earlier. I couldn't wait to vote, drink, sign a lease, bounce a check, and buy a major appliance.Sometimes, being an adult is pretty fu … [Read more...]

The Successor To WWJD

Remember these?      The quintessential 90's Christian accessories, the WWJD bracelet, T-shirt, Bible cover, bumper sticker (and today, an app) were all derived from the 1896 book penned by Charles Sheldon entitled In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?  The titular question got a lot of people pondering what their choices might look like if they'd act as Jesus would. In some cases, the question brought clarity: Q. Would Jesus steal this … [Read more...]

The Blessing Of Missing Christmas

When I was a kid, I knew Christmas as the otherDecember celebration. I spent most of my secular Jewish childhood in a heavily Jewish Chicago suburb. Of course, there were still the Christmas commercials, Christmas specials, and Christmas songs at school, but our family celebrated Hanukkah. Our eight-night “Jewish Christmas” had its own miraculousbackstory. My Gentile classmates had only one day of presents to anticipate during December. I felt pretty lucky to have eight nights of gifts (even if, … [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...]

Giving Thanks From The Valley Of The Shadow

If you have suffered a loss or have a fractured family, holidays like Thanksgiving can be more endurance test than blessing. Memories of happier times in the past and the nagging sense that most everyone you know and all those people you don't know but with whom you're connected on social media are experiencing #blissed #blessed #family #togetherness on the holiday. A few years ago in this piece for the Christianity Today Her.meneutics blog, I talked about the effect social media was having on t … [Read more...]

Making Space To Grieve 11/13

Pope Francis stated we may already be in a "piecemeal World War III" after last Friday's synchronized attacks in Paris. Certainly, ISIS and its spiritual confederates have declared war on all infidels in their sights - their own neighbors, both Muslim and not, as well as the the entire West. One commentator after another has emphasized that there's no foolproof way to prevent these attacks - not when a person is willing to strap on a suicide vest for the Cause.As initial shock and awe over … [Read more...]


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