But For the Grace of God: Tullian Tchividjian and a Better Gospel Through Guilt


Image from video screenshot.On Sunday night, Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian (mega-)Church, resigned because of a recent affair. In fact, he explained that his affair was a response of sorts to his wife's previous affair, though I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that. In any case, Tullian is a famous pastor, author, and speaker who has devoted his public work to a single topic: Grace.After his resignation Sunday, he tweeted … [Read more...]

3 Reasons God Did Not Kill Jesus (But Jesus Still Had to Die)


Right after Mel Gibson's blood-drenched The Passion of the Christ hit theaters and toppled the box office, John Piper released a book called The Passion of Jesus Christ that was intended to seize this cultural moment for the sake of the gospel. Churches, like my Reformed Baptist church in Vermont, ordered this inexpensive book by the truckload in the hopes of educating their congregants and evangelizing their communities alike. I took home a few, and gave a way a couple. At the time, I was all i … [Read more...]

3 Characteristics of Authentic Forgiveness (Sans Denial)


When navigating the topic of abuse and harm in the church, it's easy to trip up on the Christian principles of grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Really, it can seem difficult to hold onto the importance of safety, justice, and healing for victims of abuse and harm while also holding tightly to the gospel, because the gospel seems to level the playing field (we're all sinners) and offer a universal promise (grace and forgiveness for even the chief of sinners). How then can we make a dis … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Mark Moore

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I grew up in an extremely patriotic family. My grandfather was in the Navy and was a Pearl Harbor survivor. He was in the shower when the attack happened and spent the first half of the battle in a towel—the second half without a towel. This is real life Braveheart kind of stuff.My dad was in the Navy and served in Vietnam. He built runways for American planes to land on, all of which are still there to this day. I was proud of him and I was proud of my country.I grew up in the 80’s wat … [Read more...]

#FFFF: Brandon Chase


The idolatry of Salvation has a trickle down effect towards misappropriating a crucial spiritual tenet - that is, of the nature of Heaven and The Kingdom. When we view life through a Salvation lens – we see things and read Scripture with a focus on getting ourselves, and then others, to Heaven. We read the Bible and see words about proclaiming Jesus as Lord, following Jesus, taking up your cross, eternal reward, inheriting the Kingdom, life in the Spirit, faithful living, and on and on and often … [Read more...]

Five Problems With Grace


I know, I know. If there is anything sacred in the American church today, especially among younger, post-evangelical, and charismatic Christians, it would be the concept of grace.While the neo-Calvinists certainly talk about grace - doctrines of grace, irresistible grace, saving grace, common grace, etc. - they are often not so gracious, you know, to people who don't agree with them about homosexuality and hell (the latter being the place where those who don't fit their idea of grace end … [Read more...]

A Covenant in Sans Serif

So I have this tattoo.Sometimes, when my sleeve isn't rolled up quite high enough, it says COVEN.Pretty sure that's the reason it caught the attention of some folks at an event last week. They came over to inquire. I revealed the full word and told them the meaning. They took the picture.Fact is, the tattoo was inspired by the work of my favorite theologian, N.T. Wright (who coincidentally also inspired my second child's middle name). Tom Wright has done some amazing work tracing the … [Read more...]

I Believe in the Gospel, and in Good People

I've spent my entire life so far in the church, mainly evangelical churches of one kind or another.I've also spent the last ten or so years in active ministry in a few different church environments - conservative Baptist, missional church plant, and, now, mainline Methodist.And one hard lesson I've learned on this journey (among a whole hell of a lot of hard lessons) is that not all Christians are good people.In fact, some of them are really bad.(Yeah, you read that … [Read more...]