Perhaps you’ve heard the catchphrase: “God helps those who help themselves.” It might have come up at a dinner table during the election. In our day, this phrase comes up in political banter more than any other place. One side claims that Jesus gives everyone a fair go at life, so all you have to do is work hard to succeed. At one level I agree: we should strive to be personally responsible where we can be. The other side… Read more

One of the challenges in any era is what to do when there is a difference of opinion. Two key areas come to mind: theology and politics. Yep, so-called Christian politics. When I was in my 20s I deconstructed my faith and politics like crazy. I encountered the idea that the good news of Jesus was so much bigger than I had ever known. Not only did Jesus die and rise to save me from my propensity towards the way… Read more

We attribute lots of things to Jesus and/or the bible. Lots of things. We go to the bible for our political views. We give Jesus credit for our slogans. We use ideas that have been handed down to us without testing them, and assume they are biblical. We all have likely done this at one time or another. After all, we are human beings. Not only do we hand ideas down through the various channels of culture, but we have… Read more

If you follow my social media channels, you likely already saw this. I am honored and perplexed. Here’s the video to check out! Thank you World Impact with Billy Wilson! The quote comes from my varied work on Revelation. I have an archive of work on Revelation here at Patheos as well as a great book/commentary list at my resource site. After seeing this episode, I’m hopeful for a shift in evangelical Christianity. TBN has been known for promoting one… Read more

Recently, I’ve spent some time thinking about the kingdom of God. I continue to come back to the availability of God’s kingdom–that it is an already and not yet reality. It is a kingdom that can be summarized by the word, shalom. Shalom, in the broad sense is a word meaning “peace.” This Hebrew word goes beyond this idea to mean things like “welfare,” “harmony,” or “right relationships.” When the world is as it should be–under God’s creative vision of the… Read more

[Kurt Note: Zach is someone that I respect. A lot. In fact, he and I are kindred spirits in lots of ways. I hope that this excerpt from his brand new book, The Light is Winning, will inspire you today!] In the early days of my Reformed and Calvinist fervor, I made a mistake that has stuck with me. I’m sure I made a bunch of them back then, but this one, in my mind, represents the big problem with… Read more

Last week I wrote about the problem the church is perpetuating: we create atheists by dealing with the question of evolution poorly. Young adults continue to leave over the perceived posture of broader church culture toward science (this exists in every tradition to a point, but certainly in my home tradition of evangelicalism). One of the biggest challenges when we come to a topic like creation and evolution is that the rules of the conversation have already been set. Evolution… Read more

Both on The Paulcast: A Podcast All About the Apostle Paul and at Pangea Church (Seattle), I have been walking through series on science and scripture. How I go about that now is quite different than I imagine my methods if I were 19. Back then, evolution was off the table. In fact, it wasn’t even something I gave any thought to until 2008 (mid-20s). I was a creationist by default. I had deconstructed (or at least beginning this process):… Read more

During the Season of Lent at Pangea Church (Seattle), we’ve been walking through a series called “Encounters by the Sea.” The basic idea is that Jesus is the one who defeats evil. Here’s a longer summary of the talks: Much of the New Testament narrative of Jesus’ ministry takes place “by the water” – specifically by the Sea of Galilee. In the gospel of Mark especially, some of the most significant and astonishing events in Jesus’ ministry are on or by… Read more

In this post, I continue a bit of a series on books I recommend on the Apostle Paul. This list isn’t exhaustive, in any way. In fact, I have several others I like (sometimes more, perhaps). But this is still the list that I’d say would be a ‘go to’ for where I’d invite people to start in the category of “intermediate” level reading or “academic but accessible.” Last post, I gave a list of intro-level books. If you are… Read more

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