September 25, 2018

[GUEST POST] The Chimpanzee and the Zoo – A Parable by Bruce Welch   My name is Jimmy and I’m a chimpanzee.  I was raised in a zoo and my parents were raised in the zoo.  Life in the zoo is all I knew. Our life in the zoo was safe, the zookeeper gave us the food we needed and would take care of us when we were sick.  Everyday was pretty much the same as every other day; we… Read more

September 21, 2018

The Kingdom of God is for losers. Those who are blind, broken, forgotten, poor, marginalized, weak, sick, sinful and sad are right at home in the Kingdom. In fact, those who consider themselves to be healthy, self-sufficient, popular, rich, strong, righteous and in control aren’t even able to see the Kingdom of God, much less find the door and enter in. Even if they did, they honestly wouldn’t want to continue living in a place where their riches, popularity, righteousness… Read more

September 20, 2018

The thin line between art that communicates a scandalous truth and art that is sheer shock-sensationalism is something that takes time to explore and courage to proclaim. When does art begin to confront the culture in the same way that the parables of Jesus perplexed and challenged and offended the culture of His day? When does art stop pandering to our basest desires and begin to challenge us to shrug off our complacency? Shouldn’t real art have the power to… Read more

September 19, 2018

On the last night before his execution, Jesus gathered at the table with some of his best friends for one last meal. During the meal, He pointed back to two of His early miracles. He took the bread, broke it, and gave it to them. Just like the time He fed thousands with two fish and five small loaves of bread. Once He had done His work, there was enough for everyone and plenty left over. Later, He took the… Read more

September 15, 2018

Quite often when I suggest that believers today can hear the voice of Jesus and be led by the Holy Spirit, people are quick to say that the Holy Spirit would never contradict anything that had already been written down in the Scriptures. This knee-jerk reaction is meant to do two things: First, it is meant to maintain the Bible as our ultimate authority. Nothing new or different can ever be introduced into our faith system because God’s Word (the… Read more

September 13, 2018

  Over 4,400 pastors signed John MacArthur’s “Anti-Social Justice Proclamation” a few weeks ago. Over 7,000 have now added their names to that statement, making it crystal clear that they do not follow Jesus in any way, shape or form. One of the most troubling statements they all agreed to was this: “We emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as… Read more

September 13, 2018

  A little over 11 years ago, my wife Wendy and I responded to a calling that, at first, sounded impossible: To start a church that gives everything away. That idea came after we had accepted the Lord’s calling to leave the church we had helped to start only 3 years previously, to plant a brand-new church here in Orange County, CA. The first idea was exhilarating. The second idea seemed impossible. “How will I support my family?” I wondered…. Read more

September 7, 2018

A passage in Psalm 18 really stood out to me this morning: “With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless you show yourself blameless; with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.” The conception among most Christians is that God is angry with us and that if we don’t repent then He will pour out His wrath on us. I’m not saying this is completely wrong, but I believe God… Read more

September 6, 2018

Have you ever come across a verse and said to yourself: “Hmm…this verse can’t mean what it says because that goes against what I’ve been told to believe”? If we’re honest, we probably come across verses like that all the time – if we’re reading the Bible on a semi-regular basis. The other day I came across this verse and it stumped me for a second: “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by… Read more

September 5, 2018

  It happens all the time. Christians who disagree over a particular doctrine decide that they can’t continue to be friends with another Christian simply because they hold another perspective. It can be a different view of hell, or of the end times, or of the atonement, or of baptism or election. Or, in my case, it can be a different view about homosexuality. That’s why my friend – who I’ve known for over 30 years – called me on… Read more

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