Sorting out the Bible | Sarah Bessey Brings a Good Word on Jesus-Centered Faith

How Jesus changes the way I read Scripture Forgot to share this one a couple weeks ago - I absolutely LOVE how Sarah is expressing the impact of Jesus-centered interpretation on her faith. Especially her view of Scripture.Amazing quote here: Jesus reveals the Scriptures to us. How we read the whole of Scripture must be informed by the person of Jesus Christ because God is exactly like Jesus. The entire Bible—the whole story arc—must be read and understood through the Cross and the Res … [Read more...]

Neo-Calvinism, the Nonelect, and Planned Parenthood: a Grand Kind of Farce

Last week I made a statement on Twitter about neo-Calvinists' passion for defunding Planned Parenthood. Namely, I said it's a little suspicious: the purposes of this rather short post, my reasoning is simple: Neo-Calvinists (rightly) believe that God is the essence of perfect justice and holiness. But they also (wrongly) believe that it is perfectly just and holy for God to arbitrarily select a tiny minority of humanity for eternal … [Read more...]

3 Reasons Seth Haines’s New Book “Coming Clean” is a Must-Read

The image above is my endorsement for Seth Haines's new book Coming Clean, out TODAY from Zondervan.And I meant what I said.In fact, I want to quickly break down my endorsement into three parts, which are really three reasons this book is an absolute must-read. Here goes: 1. Coming Clean is one of the most honest books I've read in ages - or ever. I guess you might expect this from a book that is called Coming Clean and is (at least in part) about addiction and recovery, honesty being … [Read more...]

A Few Differences Between Preaching and Teaching

One of my core callings (you know, besides writing and binge-watching prestige dramas) is preaching. And there's a difference between preaching and teaching.Over the years I've struggled to understand and express this, and honestly I've heard it expressed rather poorly in the past. Some folks (who lean more charismatic and pentecostal) will denigrate teaching, implicitly if not explicitly, as being too intellectual, too "mind-y," and not spiritual enough. Prophecy is one of the "best gifts," … [Read more...]

We’ve Seen Megachurch. But How About Micro-Church? (Because How We Do Church Matters)

What happens around tables designed to encourage the people of God to see one another, face to face? I would argue that justice, too, begins on a micro-scale at our church. I thought this was a great complement to the Zahnd piece I shared yesterday. As this apocalypse of faith decline in the U.S. unfolds, how we do church will matter. It's not that a particular form will be the silver bullet, but rather that learning from the baggage of the past and innovating in the Spirit of the present, into … [Read more...]

Do We Still Need the Church? Brian Zahnd Gives a Compelling Answer

The church is always in danger of being ditched as a superfluous burden. The church is always just about to be jilted. The church is always down in the count and on the verge of striking out. The church is never as beautiful and winsome as Jesus, and at every moment the disillusioned are composing their “Dear John” letters. This may be the best thing I've read on "why church" in a very long time - and it just so happens to be in the form of a short blog post!But when the post is written by B … [Read more...]

I Believe the Light is Winning: a Sermon at MeetingPlace

I had the privilege of preaching at a new church in Bangor, Maine called MeetingPlace. To be honest, this might have been the most honest sermon I've ever given - in many ways, it encapsulates a (painful) three year journey and highlights a major turning point in that process. And, it's as clear a message on Jesus-centered faith that I've ever had the privilege of expressing.Ok, enough intro. Hope you enjoy it! … [Read more...]

We’re Never Gonna Survive Unless…We Get a LOT More Jesus-Centered

Back when I was a neo-Calvinist, there was a lot of talk about a "Christological" hermeneutic - or, in laymen's terms, a Christ-centered interpretation of the Bible.The big idea was that we needed to "see Christ in all of Scripture," including the Old Testament, in order to get the Bible right. And this seemed really good and even exciting for a while as we all tried to rethink our understanding of Old Testament stories and characters.King David, we all knew, was a "type" of Christ. But … [Read more...]

Bernie Says Her Name: The Story Behind Sanders and Sandra Bland

This is such a moving post about how Bernie embraced the Sandra Bland case to the extent that he said her name specifically in Tuesday night's debate (and said, "Black lives matter" more clearly than any other candidate): “Hello, I’m sorry, are you Mr. Sanders?” I asked. “I am,” he replied. “Well, I’m just over there having dinner with the mother of Sandra Bland and I thought maybe you’d like to meet her.” “Yes, please,” he replied. I got up to walk back towards our table only to see that Sh … [Read more...]

Is the Conversation About Consent Enough? Or Do We Need to Talk About Intimacy?

At the Washington Post, Jonathan Zimmerman is pushing for the latter - and it makes sense. And from my perspective, the church should be setting a very high bar here (we are not) in modeling the centrality of intimacy, and covenant commitment, in Christian coupling. And this, not as a way of shaming sex or bodies or even those who engage or have engaged in casual sex, but rather as the high call to which we are graciously invited, that completely affirms the goodness of sex and bodies and is root … [Read more...]