Blogging Is So 2010

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. - Mark Twain I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI last weekend. As usual, it was an incredible gathering of writers and readers, and my heart is stuffed to overflowing with the treasures from seminars and conversations.One bit of information I'm still processing are the continuing announcements from famous, infamous, and not-famous-at-all bloggers that they're suspending or greatly dialing back t … [Read more...]

Put Down The Church Attendance Scorecard

Church leaders are bound to remark about attendance. Maybe your pastor emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the Sunday gathering. Maybe the announcements about small groups stress how true commitment to the church means attending Wednesday night gatherings and dedicating extra time to live “life on life” throughout the week. Many hear these reminders as genuine concern for attendees’ spiritual health, but for some of us, it feels like peer pressure. [Read more] … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences Of The Jesus Movement: Liturgy As Commercial

The lights dim, and the band takes the stage.The worship leader welcomes the crowd with a boisterous "Hey, how's everyone doin'? Great to see you all!" before the band slips into a booming, clever cover of a pop song, then segues into a couple of modern sing-a-long worship standards pulled right from heavy rotation on the positive, encouraging Christian radio station.A carefully-curated selection of announcements and a prayer follows, creating space for ushers/hosts to collect the offering … [Read more...]

Praying For Healing: Advance Or Surrender?

I've attended churches that didn't believe in supernatural healing: "Those kinds of miracles occurred in the first century, but God doesn't do that any more now that we have the written Word of God. Except maybe once in a while for missionaries living in far-away places." Prayers for healing among these folks often took the form of asking God to guide the doctor's hands during medical procedures. Interestingly, many of these people who didn't believe in supernatural healing were into alternative … [Read more...]

At The Intersection Of Time & Eternity: Easter Season

It's the day after Resurrection Sunday. Is it just a day to head to Walgreens and buy some discounted Easter candy? (Jelly beans taste even better when they're 60% off.)The Christian calendar proclaims the resurrection in a far different manner. The centerpiece of the message proclaimed by Jesus' first followers was simple: Jesus had risen from the dead. Temporal time and eternity met in the person of the risen Messiah at the empty tomb. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. (Matt … [Read more...]

Rabbi: Passover Is For Christians, Too

One of the youngest head rabbis in Reform Judaism, Moffic leads Congregation Solel in Highland Park, Illinois. Of the three main branches of Judaism in the US—Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform—his takes the most progressive approach to a Torah-honoring lifestyle. Reform Jews are most open to social justice issues, interfaith families, and learning from Christianity, he said. “It is a Judaism at home in America.”As Moffic became involved in interfaith education and dialogue, he discovered t … [Read more...]

Is There A Regret God Can’t Redeem?

I've spent a lot of time pondering the topic of regret. I've written a book about regret. I've written lots of blog posts on the subject. I speak on the topic. My message is always the same: God can redeem and repurpose every one of our regrets.As a result, here's a question no one has ever asked me: Is there a regret God can't redeem?Scripture tells us there is one man who allowed sin, then regret to come between him and the love of the best friend he ever had. He's a key player in the … [Read more...]