Lately I’ve been reading a lot of books on missions for a class I’m teaching. One insight just struck me as incredibly relevant to our Western society. When a missionary plants a church oversees, he is often starting from scratch. As he shares the gospel, he begins to see lives...
Some friends of mine are part of a really exciting church plant. The neighborhood they chose for their church plant is very ethnically diverse. Economically, however, the neighborhood is uniformly lower class, though they are surrounded by booming business, and upper class neighborhoods are not far away. It’s a...
We sometimes view the gospel stories as fairytales. When Jesus called his first disciples, for example, we might picture Jesus floating up to them, with a halo softly glowing over his head, putting his soon-to-be disciples into a religious trance as he says, “Follow me.” But as Jesus called his...
Why is evangelism so difficult? Most Christians feel guilty for not evangelizing more, but few do anything about it. Why is that? Maybe you’re paralyzed by fear. Maybe you don’t know enough non-Christians, so there’s no one to share with. Perhaps you feel inadequate because you’re not up to...
In the last few posts, I’ve tried to show that the Bible highly values ethnic diversity in the church. Ethnic inclusivity is Spirit wrought (Acts 2) and blood bought (Eph 2); it’s not just icing on the cake. But several questions can be raised and I’ve heard many good ones...
In this post, I'm going to argue that the Church ought to be (1) a place to feel at home and (2) a place to feel like a foreigner or a pilgrim. God has so constructed the Church, created as it is through the building material of the gospel, that...
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a...
Christians—evangelical Christians—are those who have a sense of urgency about spreading the gospel. So when a Christian is handed a microphone, he or she knows what to do with it. That microphone, that platform, that position of influence, is to be used for the sake of the gospel. That’s as...
In my previous post, I argued that consumerism has affected the church in ways that we rarely consider. We don’t try to convince church members that they need to be buying more stuff, but our structure and overall approach does tend to communicate that each person’s role in the...
I’d like to start a series of blog posts dealing with what the Bible says about the poor. My interest in this topic began a few years back as I was preparing to teach the book of Ezekiel. With much excitement, I got to chapter 16 in my study, which...
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