On Building Fences Around Fences (Part 2)

Click here to read part one of this post.It takes a lot of hard work to work in community to hammer out convictions about how to apply Scripture to our lives. Even if I don't agree with the particular conclusions of particular church or group, it's been my experience that the evidence of the hard work often shows in the way in which they apply those rules. They are rules after all, which means there are lines and boundaries, but the hard work tends to rub off the rough edges of the way in … [Read more...]

On Building Fences Around Fences (Part 1)

Recently, I ran across this list, reprinted from Wayne Grudem's* 2006 book about gender roles in the church. Others are far more able than I to debate just how "Biblical" the content of lists like this really are. Suffice it to say that there are many other wise and faithful scholars and practitioners I respect who would debate the both the structure and the content of this list. Their debate may itself be the truly Biblical response to excruciatingly hair-splitty lists like Grudem's. I am … [Read more...]

Turns Out, I Needed Those Crayons For Seminary

In September, I brought my textbooks, my computer and a brand-new box of crayons to my first day of class at Northern Seminary. Since it had been thirty-five years since I was last in a classroom, I figured I'd better come prepared for any eventuality. When I showed my crayons to a couple of classmates during a break, one of them broke out the neon pink and blue Doc McStuffins folder he'd brought along to hold his course syllabus.It turns out that both of us may have been on to something. … [Read more...]

A Digital Pause

I've been blogging since 2006. I had no grand plan or Big Message when I signed up for my first Blogger account. I simply needed a place to deposit some of my excess words.I've blogged pretty consistently since then, through some serious family crises, the birth of one of our beloved grandsons, two moves, rotator cuff surgery, the death of my mom and another significant friend, a few jobs, a couple of churches, six trips to Israel, and four cats (not all at once). I have gotten a little more … [Read more...]

No Swimming Allowed (Final)

Click here to read part one of this story I'm sharing as a response to the recent Strange Fire conference. Click here for part two. No Swimming Allowed (conclusion) Dave was a left-brained guy, and decided to wait and see what the fruit of his encounter with God was before he talked about it with Christy. She'd always seemed content to stay on the shore and read about swimming, rather than diving in.A litmus test for his new level of engagement with the Lord came when he was driving home … [Read more...]

No Swimming Allowed (Part 2)

Click here to read part one of this story I'm sharing as a response to the recent Strange Fire conference.  No Swimming Allowed (Part 2) Imagine what it would be like to live your life on a flat, waterless prairie and receive your first invitation to visit the ocean. You prepare by packing a huge beach towel, bathing suit, flip flops and sun block. As you arrive at your destination, you can smell the unmistakable scent of the sea, of saltwater and fish and tangible warmth. You … [Read more...]

No Swimming Allowed (Part 1)

John MacArthur's recent Strange Fire conference was a hot topic around the Christian blogosphere last week, and not just because Mark Driscoll mixed it up with a few conference organizers. We spent years worshipping in fundy circles, where John MacArthur functions as a sort of ad hoc pope. Of course, no one in these circles would ever elevate MacArthur with a title like this, but his radio programs, writing and Bible school certainly give him a platform of great quotable authority in his … [Read more...]