January 23, 2016

To follow up on my post from two weeks ago in which I contended that the phrase “just a sinner saved by grace” proves futile and untrue, I thought I might elaborate a little more. A few commenters accused me of heresy–that’s always fun–but it is worth it to me to flesh this out since understanding who we are in Christ deeply influences how we relate to God. That’s no minor, peripheral issue. Even as I said very plainly that God’s grace grants us no permission to... Read more

January 15, 2016

I’m a hymn lover. While there are some wonderful anthems and songs of adoration being produced today, most (but not all) hymns of old are besotted with profound revelation about the character of God, saturated with beautiful phrases that usher the human soul into His presence. I am convinced that when the Spirit breathed “Holy, Holy, Holy” into John Bacchus Dykes that God was giving his people a song they will sing for eternity. As a musician and songwriter I can attest that the right tune can make or break... Read more

January 8, 2016

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the problem with being “just a sinner saved by grace” is that it is, quite simply, untrue. It is high time to discard this tired phrase and the thinking that surrounds it. Here’s why. Only the grace of God can indeed save us and all too frequently it is distorted to mean something it does not. I could certainly opine about the excesses and errors of hyper-grace theology, of which there is no shortage. But suffice it... Read more

December 31, 2015

I feel a little self-indulgent doing one of these being such a newbie to the blogosphere but I figure the end of the year is as good a time as any to reflect on, well, my own reflections and musings that the whole world can now read. It has been a tremendous learning curve writing here on Patheos, commenting on theological matters, current events, and exploring what God is doing as his Kingdom continues to advance. I have long fought with my writing and... Read more

December 22, 2015

Here we are yet again at the end of another year. 2015 is winding down and I have already been making plans and resolutions for the new year, casting vision and dreaming with God for what is ahead. One of my goals for 2016 is to spend a lot less time in front of a screen. These days anytime I can get away from one and interact with real people in real time sans digital devices is really worthwhile and refreshing. And I... Read more

December 14, 2015

If someone receives prayer for healing and a miracle happens, should not medical evidence corroborate it? Because spiritual things cannot be subjected to empirical, scientific scrutiny, how can remarkable healings–something that even 1/3 of NON-charismatic Christians from 10 countries reported experiencing or witnessing to Pew Forum in 2006–be tested? In a May 2012 cover story, Christianity Today showcased the ministry of Heidi and Rolland Baker (now called Iris Global) where credible reports of many healings, particularly of deaf people, sparked the interest of... Read more

December 7, 2015

It has been almost a month since the gruesome terrorist attack in Paris and not quite a week since the mass shooting in San Bernardino. We have become so numb to these massacres that we expect them and barely blink when yet another one happens. Our nerves are raw and even expressions of goodwill are the targets of mockery. Prayer-shaming on social media is now a thing, though it is curious to watch those doing that argue for the same kinds of policies that were already on the books in... Read more

December 3, 2015

With Advent now upon us, a season of preparation for the coming of the Lord, I have found myself wondering what Peace on Earth and good will toward men might look like on a global scale in a world more interconnected than ever before but still painfully disconnected on so many levels. In 2015 in the United States we can watch earthquake victims in Kathmandu valley dig out from under the rubble in real time. We can then send them aid even though many of the Americans who wire... Read more

November 24, 2015

Great and timely words from the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks in yesterday’s New York Times. This article hit home for me down to the smallest details. It was quite an endeavor for the newly-married Brooks to find a turkey in Barcelona, Spain to roast in order to give his in-laws a taste of American Thanksgiving. I faced something similar when I was an exchange student at the University of Barcelona ten years ago as I can remember asking my Catalan... Read more

November 16, 2015

A few months ago (see below) I blogged about my good friend Elijah Stephens who is making a documentary film about the intersection of science, the supernatural, and miracles of healing. I share his passion to bridge the divide that has existed for way too long between intellectuals and charismatic Christians, and we long to the see the good news of Jesus reach skeptics and the scientific community. As Spirit-filled believers we have often failed to speak their language and this... Read more

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