The Uncomfortable Circumstance That God Uses To Form A People

One distinctive of the missional movement is the emphasis on fully inhabiting the community in which we’re planted, and to shift from viewing our neighbors in terms of us (saved) and them (unsaved) toward a “we” orientation. This emphasis can be seen in books like Smith and Pattison’s Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus, The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community by Sparks, Soerens, and Friesen, and Staying Is The New … [Read more...]

Follow The Leader

I am of Paul. I am of Apollos. I am of John Piper or Jim Wallis or Jen Hatmaker or Nancy Leigh DeMoss.It was a first century problem, and it is a twenty-first century problem. It is perhaps most pronounced in the Protestant world. Our very spiritual DNA contains a desire to divide. As we lack a single hierarchical authority structure on which we can all agree, we are tempted to form our own tribes.Today, our Bible teachers and Christian communicators are brands™, driven as much by p … [Read more...]

In 99 days…

In 99 days, this painful, divisive election will be history. Who will we as followers of Jesus be after November 8th?As of this writing, I have a number of believing friends and acquaintances who are supporting Donald Trump. I have a number of believing friends and acquaintances who are supporting Hillary Clinton. And some who are planning to vote Libertarian, Green, or Constitution. Others are planning to write in a name, or abstain from voting entirely. After November 8th, at least half t … [Read more...]

Talk Amongst Yourselves: New Conversations

Does it seems as though civil discourse is on the endangered species list? When discussion is reduced to talking heads yelling at one another on cable news channels, posting inflammatory commentary on Facebook, or calling each other snarky names on Twitter, where is there space in our world to ask questions, listen to the experiences of others, and stretch both mind and soul?When my friend Melinda told me she was gathering a group of women for the purpose of conversation, I was all ears. Wh … [Read more...]

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...]