the danger of saying: “I just do what the Bible says…”

"I just follow the Bible" is a potentially ridiculous and dangerous thing to say.  If you've heard of the crusades, the travesties of colonization and land theft, the unholy wedding of violence and the name of Christ, you'll know why.Take, for example, Ezra 7:26 where King Artaxerxes says: "Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of goods or for … [Read more...]

“The Demise of Guys” – a book review that’s going places”

Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan have written a marvelous little book called "The Demise of Guys".  In reality it's little more than an expanded version of this TED talk, and is far more diagnostic than prescriptive.  Still, the first step in fixing anything is determining the extent to which it's broken, and what some of the causes of that brokenness might be.  If exposing dysfunction and it's underlying causes is important, these two shine bright, relentless sunshine on the state of men, and w … [Read more...]

The empire has no clothes. The King has colors of hope

In my last post I wrote: Until I’m willing to see both the idolatry and insufficiency of the present “McWorld” system, I’ll also fail to see the radically hopeful nature of the gospel, which provides an exit strategy from these false hopes as it invites us into so much more than a ticket to heaven.Assuming that I do see the insufficiency of the present worldview (no matter who's in power), only clears the deck of false hopes.  It deconstructs.  It exposes.  And, if left alone, creates a g … [Read more...]

The Empire Has No Clothes – raw truth precedes real hope – Part One

The losses and damages characteristic of our present economy cannot be stopped, let alone restored, by “liberal” or “conservative” tweakings of corporate industrialism, against which the ancient imperatives of good care, homemaking, and frugality can have no standing. - Wendell BerryNow that Mitt Romney has effectively vanquished all other contenders, the real election posturing can begin, and we all know it won't be pretty.  More importantly though, we also know it won't be true, or at th … [Read more...]

The extent of the common good…from bodies to nations

I cut myself Saturday morning, right on the tip of my first finger, which is not the best place to bleed if you like writing.  Immediately, though, things begin happening throughout my whole body to begin a healing process (you'll forgive my layman's understanding of this?):  Elements conspire to stop the blooding.  White cells attack and confine potentially infectious intruders.  Skin is miraculously reconstituted.  Scab falls away.  Done.This is happening all the time in both visible and in … [Read more...]

“Freud’s Last Session” and the Art of Civility

In the span of a few short days, I had two experiences which, together, served to expose a serious crack in the edifice of American culture.  First, I attended a conference in New York where I listened to Os Guinness speak briefly about the serious shortage of civility in the public square.  This was part of a larger conference on science of faith, but the polarization of American culture extends far beyond conversations between young earth creationists, intelligent design advocates, and t … [Read more...]

Loving People, Losing Life – The Gospel made Real

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.  But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Jesus the ChristJeremiah Small was a student who attended the Torchbearer Bible Schools, the family of schools where I am privileged to teach on a regular basis.  Jeremiah was teaching in Iraq until last week, when he was killed by one of his students, before turning the gun on himself.  An e-mail I received from one of his friends remembers Jeremiah this way:  He did much more tha … [Read more...]

Branding & PR vs. The Way of Jesus

As I prepare for Lent, I'm struck this morning by Jesus' admonition in Luke 8:56.  Having entered a house of mourners, and raised a little girl from the dead, he orders everyone not to tell anyone what happened.  This is one of those little bits of the Bible that is either overlooked or explained away.  When I read it though, I wonder if Jesus is trying to warn me, and others who do things in his name, of the dangers inherent when good things start happening in ministry.  Rather than blow our hor … [Read more...]