What Is a “Spirit-filled” and “Spirit-led” Church?

What Is a “Spirit-filled” and “Spirit-led” Church? Recently I engaged in a conversation about the meanings of “Spirit-filled” and “Spirit-led” church. Specifically, we discussed how to recognize such and how to move a church in those directions. What is my opinion about this? How do I recognize a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led church? How would I suggest a church move toward being those?Of course, these are complicated questions that would take much more than a brief essay to answe … [Read more...]

Reading Is Fundamental (And Not Reading Is a Recipe for Failure)

Reading Is Fundamental (And Not Reading Is A Recipe for Failure) The burden of this message is the importance of reading for success in life. Some years ago there was a public service campaign with the slogan “R.I.F. (Reading Is Fundamental).” The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of the importance of not only literacy but also love of reading for success in life. Studies were produced that demonstrated conclusively that reading expands consciousness and is essential to cri … [Read more...]

Can A Christian Support “Physician-Assisted Suicide?”

Can A Christian Support “Physician-Assisted Suicide?” If you expect me to take a definite stand for or against Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) you will be disappointed. This blog is a place where I often reflect about difficult and controversial issues; I don’t always take a stand about them. One of my goals as a Christian theologian and educators is to help people think through doctrinal and ethical issues critically and reflectively but not always to a definite conclusion. I have … [Read more...]

Leaving Behind “Left Behind”

Leaving Behind “Left Behind” I haven’t seen the new movie starring Nicholas Cage and don’t intend to, so this is not a movie review. Instead, I intend to respond to the whole phenomenon of what I call “rapture fever” that has gripped segments of American society for the past fifty years.I grew up in a home and church that fervently believed in the “rapture”—the premillennial, pre-tribulational, departure of God’s true people from the earth by Christ to be with him in Paradise dur … [Read more...]

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? (Part Three)

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? (Part Three) Part Two of this three part series asked why this question is important and answered that. Now I would like to turn to attempting to answer the question. Any attempt to answer this is bound to annoy and even distress some people. There are no simple, straightforward answers in this much controverted subject.In order to help readers understand what I am talking about (and what I’m not talking about), I will offer here an illustration. So … [Read more...]

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? (Part Two)

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? (Part Two) I ended Part One of this series by asking why the question and finding an answer to it matters. Here I will attempt to answer that.It matters because Scripture speaks to it. The problem is that Scripture speaks to it ambiguously. Scripture is not always as clear as we would like it to be—even on very important matters. There can be no question that Scripture urges God’s people, those who profess faith in Yahweh and in Jesus Christ, to be … [Read more...]

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? (Part One)

Is A “Carnal Christian” Saved? (Part One) Answering this question requires a lot of meta-explanation—about the questions and its terms. Some who read this blog will not be interested in the question; it’s a question of interest almost exclusively to evangelical Christians who believe in regeneration—being “born again”—and sanctification—becoming a “holy person” (not necessarily perfect). (And here I am using “evangelical” in a very broad sense that is not limited to any one tradition … [Read more...]