Why So Stressed Out?

Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol' days, When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we're stressed out. — Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”There was a time when pop musicians simply went by their given name, like Frank Sinatra or Duke Ellington. But then came the Beatles and the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and Iron Butterfly. There are exceptions along the way, but now we expect musicians to name themselves U2, the Smashing Pumpkins, or maybe even Twenty One Pilots, who just w … [Read more...]

Shalom is Broken (Jubilee Part 5)

The four-part story of the Gospel isCREATION FALL REDEMPTION RESTORATIONSadly, in this post, I am still covering the tragedy of the Fall.No longer does everyone work together for the attainment of shalom. Cornelius Plantinga Jr. defines shalom as “universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight.” According to Plantinga, shalom is the way things are supposed to be. This is the premise of his excellent book, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin.Mike Wittmer, in hi … [Read more...]

Abundance in a World of Choices

I was sent out on a short-term mission trip to the grocery store. “It won’t take long,” she promised. Her head tilted just so and her eyes firing rapid blinks. “Pick up some apples and I’ll make a pie.” How could I resist?The male double-helix shopping code is to “get in and get out without any complication.” So I thought this was going to be an easy assignment. Like the last time I brought home eggs. A couple were broken. You have to check? And they were brown. Who knew? Or when I bravely fo … [Read more...]

Shalom is the Way it is Meant to Be

PEACE. It has the connotation in English of quiet tranquility and calm restfulness.But in my studies in the original languages of the Bible, I have discovered that the word "Peace" means a whole lot more than that. Isaiah foretold of the coming of the PRINCE of PEACE.Jesus Christ is ushering in a peace that is more than what the English word conveys. And he is using redeemed people to do it!God's purpose for every person, every society, everything in this world, is peace. The Hebrew … [Read more...]

2015 top 10 posts to (re)integrate faith, life, and vocations

It’s been a busy year for me writing about how to reintegrate faith, life, and vocations.God has blessed me to be able to write about the subject in a dissertation for my doctoral program at Covenant Theological Seminary.It has been a fun and fruitful year writing here at the (re)integrate blog, which was originally a part of re-integrate.org and was migrated over to Patheos.com in September as part of the Patheos Faith and Work Channel.And for the first half of 2015, I was a writer a … [Read more...]

I Don’t Believe in Being Platonic

The Greek philosopher Plato can be blamed for a lot of our misperceptions about the Christian life. It seems that, from very early on, Christians couldn't take the teachings of Jesus, Paul, the other apostles, or even the Hebrew Torah, poets and prophets at face-value. They had to add the pagan teachings of Plato on top of it all. Brian Walsh and J. Richard Middleton write, "Foundational to all Platonic thought is its dualism, the distinction…between unchanging ideals (‘forms’) and the world of … [Read more...]

What is the “CREATION?” What is God Redeeming?

The mission of God in Christ is to reconcile all things back to himself. According to Colossians 1:15-20, Jesus Christ is the creator (v. 16) and sustainer (v. 17), of “all things” (τὰ πάντα), and God’s purpose is to “reconcile all things”(ἀποκαταλλάξαι τὰ πάντα) to himself by making peace through the atoning work of Christ on the cross.God’s desire to reconcile to himself “all things” is larger in scope than simply individual salvation for human beings. The scope of Creation was … [Read more...]

Oregon and the Casualties of Culture War Rhetoric

The killings at the Oregon college made me very angry.When I read about this mass-murder, I was seething in my fury. The killer had young men and women stand who said they were Christians, said to them, “Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second” and killed them, I thought to myself, This is war!This is where we are going in this culture. With a more and more stark divide between Christians and the rest of culture (especially on hot-button issues … [Read more...]

Kingdom of God: Both Cosmic and Particular

Seventh, and final, post in a series on the Kingdom of God.In my previous posts, I've outlined the theological debates over what the kingdom of God is.Some say it is God's rule in the hearts of believers, others say it is the rule over the nation of Israel in the future.Others say it is an already/not yet thing: God rules (already) in the hearts of believers now and will (not yet) rule over everything physically and spiritually in the future. This is the prevailing view among many … [Read more...]

Kingdom of God: Is it Bigger than the Church?

Sixth in a series on the Kingdom of God.For many in the Reformed tradition, especially those who follow in the footsteps of Abraham Kuyper, God’s sovereign rule extends over every aspect of life. What this means, for these folks, is that the kingdom of God is not limited to the church. Richard Mouw writes, “Kuyper makes much of the fact that the Kingdom of Christ is much bigger than the institutional church. The Kingdom is that broad range of reality over which Christ rules. Actually, Chr … [Read more...]