Created in Christ Jesus to Do Good Work

“The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) Like a sculptor, God took the stuff of the ground and shaped the first human being. And he breathed life into him. God’s workmanship. God’s masterpiece. Created for a Purpose In Genesis chapter 1 (which is another telling of the story of Creation, only with a poetic vibe), we read… Read more

Re-sparking our Imaginations about what Happens After We Die

Several years back, MercyMe produced a song that was a Christian hit – “I Can Only Imagine,” where they wonder what they will do once they get to Heaven. “Surrounded by Your glory / What will my heart feel Will I dance for you Jesus? / Or in awe of You be still? / Will I stand in your presence? / Or to my knees will I fall? / Will I sing hallelujah? / Will I be able to speak at… Read more

Tom Nelson: The Day I Confessed Pastoral Malpractice

“Years ago, I stood before my congregation to make a heartfelt confession. It was indeed difficult to do, yet it would prove transformative for our entire faith community. More than a decade has passed since that day, but I still remember it clearly. Against a backdrop of pindrop silence, I asked the congregation I served to forgive me. Not for sexual impropriety or financial misconduct, but for pastoral malpractice. I confessed I had spent the minority of my time equipping… Read more

Discovering the Joy of Being Generative

It’s a game we often play. We jockey for position based on what we’ve accomplished – and not just for the social prestige, but also for our self-esteem. Some of us have come to believe what American society has told us – those who really matter have titles that impress, degrees from prestigious institutions, careers as high-level corporate leaders (or, in the current trend, as entrepreneurs), or thousands of followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. Christians are not immune…. Read more

The Great (and Worrisome) Irony of APEST

There is an irony that might be missed by those who have embraced the APEST typology advocated by Alan Hirsch, Mike Breen, and others in the Missional Movement. In our desire to overcome an overbearing leadership structure that was found in putting so much power in the Shepherd-Teacher, we are in danger of creating yet another overbearing leadership structure but with different leaders. We worry so much about the destructive nature of institutionalism that we shift the focus from 2/5… Read more

A Caring Critique of Alan Hirsch’s APEST Paradigm for Churches

So, I was going through my Facebook feed and came across a post on April 12 from Brad Briscoe, the director of strategic development for Forge America (the organization that Alan Hirsch founded when he first came over from Australia) that stated, “I am convinced that if a person denies or discounts the importance of #APEST in Eph 4:1-16, they simply haven’t dealt with the topic in a serious manner.” I was astonished at that bold statement, so I had… Read more

Good Friday and Easter Accomplished a Whole Lot More Than We Think

We have been led to believe that the only thing that the shed blood of Christ accomplished is our personal justification. Perhaps, like the churches and seminary I attended, the focus of your church was very much on the Book of Romans. I had come to the conclusion that all I need to know about the shed blood of Christ on the cross is found in Romans. Romans is, after all, the primary document of the New Testament, spelling out what… Read more

The Mission of God is Not Limited to Humanity, But Humanity is the Key to It All

What is the Mission of God? And what do we humans have to do with it? I agree with Christopher Wright in his book The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission, that the missio Dei is “The story of how God in his sovereign love has purposed to bring the sinful world of his fallen creation to the redeemed world of his new creation…It is a vast, comprehensive project of cosmic salvation.” The mission of God… Read more

Jesus is More (But Not Less) than a Carpenter

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3). Tom Nelson writes, “As I slowly pondered these words, I began to reflect on the significance of Jesus spending so much of his time on earth working with his hands in a carpentry shop. Here was the Son of God sent to earth on a… Read more

Are There Two Kinds of Grace?

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. As God created everything in the cosmos in an orderly way, we read in Genesis 1 that “God saw that it was good.”  After God made it all, we read, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Think about it. It was very good! How dare we think that our sin can nullify that which God has made! But that is exactly the implication… Read more

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