Two years in a row now, my friend Neil Olcott, who runs our local chapter of the C.S. Lewis Institute discipleship program, has made the unfortunate blunder of inviting me to lecture on the topic of the Holy Spirit and spiritual warfare. You’d think the poor chap would have learned his lesson after the first … Continue reading The Indwelling Holy Spirit and Authority in Spiritual Conflict
Note: This article was originally posted on ABWE’s blog. Goals and resolutions are helpful tools in the discipleship toolbox. The Christian life demands self-discipline and an orientation towards the future (Philippians 3:12-16). But resolutions aren’t without their difficulties. Often, we, like Israel, pledge obedience and fail to deliver (see Joshua 24:24). The power of our … Continue reading Pray This Missions Prayer in 2020
If someone were to pinch me ten years ago and tell me that, by the end of 2019, Kanye West would be producing gospel music, the host of The Apprentice would be president, and Joe Biden would be the most conservative name in the Democratic primary pool, I might have asked said person if whatever … Continue reading Have Yourself a Merry, Apocalyptic Christmas
Note: This article was originally published on ABWE’s blog. One of the myriad reasons I cherish the Christmas season is that it is one of the few times when the songs on the lips of the people of God truly match the missional optimism Scriptures associates with the kingdom of Christ. In our day of spiritual, … Continue reading Seven Christmas Carols That Are Undeniably Missiological
Note: This article was originally published on ABWE’s blog. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded … Continue reading Is ‘Obedience-Based Discipleship’ Biblical?
Once, after hearing a very gracious, gentle, nuanced pastor preach a particularly bold sermon warning against false teachers, I commented to him, “It’s good to see a vertebrate in the pulpit.” To my surprise, he replied, not skipping a beat, “I call it having evantesticles.” (He also knew that puns are my love language.) This … Continue reading How Not to Make Friends and Influence People
Issues of same-sex attraction, the Christian identity, and sexual orientation have once more made it to the fore, and a growing contingent of believers are wondering if the whole thing is a matter of semantics. Terms like “gay” and “orientation” used in the context of professing Christians have drawn much ire from various discernment voices. … Continue reading Against Concupiscence
There’s a running gag in our family that occurs every time we dine together as an extended family. My father, a creature of habit, always blesses the meal and thanks God “for the hands that prepared it”—covering all the bases, as it were. After the “amen,” my wife and mother frequently chime in that it … Continue reading The Futility of Thanksgiving
Whether we owe it to the spirit of the age or to the quirks of our own subculture, we evangelicals generally disdain labels. We prefer to be “Christ-followers,” not Christians; “gospel-centered,” not Baptist, Protestant, or Reformed. This isn’t always a bad thing. Labels carry baggage. And besides that, our primary commitment is to Scripture, not … Continue reading How Covenant Theology Clarifies Justice Issues
“Everyone we meet is on a spiritual journey.” I recently came across this statement printed on a brochure for an evangelistic Bible study. When I see language like this used in church and ministry contexts, my response is twofold. On one hand, it is true that we must start with the unbeliever on his own … Continue reading What Should We Do With ‘Persons of Peace’?