God Hates Conspiracy Theories

This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: 12 “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear and do not dread it. 13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. (Isaiah 8:11-13) If you’re…

An Invitation to Joy

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. 2 For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth. 3 He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. 4 He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. 5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King…

Bernie’s Blunder

Although I’m a tad late to the party (I only blog once a week), I think I should offer some words of response to the comments Senator Bernie Sanders made last week at the confirmation hearing of Russell Vought, an evangelical Christian. I think some response is in order because the views Sanders espouses have broad cultural appeal, even though they betray misunderstanding, illogic, and hypocrisy. It is very likely most evangelical Christians will have…

More Lessons from the Garden

Let me expand on my last post just a little bit. Last time out I shared ten lessons I’ve learned in my garden about the Christian life. Today I’d like to pivot slightly and share a few more lessons from the garden, but this time about ministry specifically. Here are five that come to my mind regularly.   If you want to dig deep, dig wide. I’ve been planting a lot of shrubs lately, and…

A Virtual Gospel

Yesterday, Ezra Klein of Vox interviewed Yuval Hariri, the Israeli author of Sapiens and his latest, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. In Homo Deus Harari envisions humanity’s future (including its likely end) with specific focus on technology and artificial intelligence. Near the end of the interview, Harari makes this claim about religion generally, and Christianity in particular:   You can think about religion simply as a virtual reality game. You invent rules that…

The Great Gospel Opportunity

As I mentioned last week, we are currently living in a culture of division and hostility. Our desire to vilify our political opponents has led many to accept and promote #FakeNews and #AlternativeFacts. We are more wedded to our ideology than to reality, in other words; more committed to our narrative than to truth.   This all feels fairly depressing, I admit. But the current backlash against #FakeNews and #AlternativeFacts also presents us with a…

A Holiday Rant

I’m not in the habit of ranting—at least not this early in the morning—and the holidays don’t bother me much, but there has been something brewing in me for several years now, and I feel it is time to let it out. As I say that, the wisdom of Proverbs assails me, imploring me to hold my tongue: “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,” I hear, “but those who speak rashly will come…

On Marriage, Intimacy, and Evangelism

The elements in the title are meant to be a tad incongruous. While marriage and intimacy certainly belong together, what could they possibly have to do with evangelism?   One of scripture’s most common metaphors for our life in Christ, our relationship with God, is that of marriage. For example, the prophets routinely refer to Israel’s running after foreign gods as spiritual adultery. And at the close of the grand redemption narrative, we witness the…

One Size Fits All?

My kids are at that point in their lives when they have to buy uniforms—lots and lots of uniforms. Inevitably, a handful of these uniforms are “one size fits all.” I’m not sure who came up with this concept, because it is manifestly absurd. The children who need these uniforms are very different dimensions, and my peanut-sized children often swim ridiculously in clothes that fit other children quite nicely. I am not a fan of…

Who Needs Youth Group?

Last week I satirically alluded to the importance of young adults attending church and youth group, lest they should fall into an early, chronic church consumerism. Some might respond, however, that though church is an indispensable means of grace, youth group is unnecessary. After all, neither youth pastors nor youth groups appear in God’s Word; and, indeed, the onus for transmitting the faith to the younger generation falls unmistakably on parents (cf. Deuteronomy 6:7; Ephesians…