Jesus is the light of the world. As profound as that statement is, it gets crazier. Because this is a title that Jesus claims for himself, and then also bestows upon us. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on...
The western church, as you know, wades around in a thick sludge of individualism. We admit it. We bemoan it. But sometimes we don’t realize just how deep our individualism runs. As I peel back the many unforeseen layers of my presuppositions, I often see individualistic tendencies governing my...
In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in books published on Christianity and the arts. This seems to be increasingly on the radar in many of our churches and theological circles. Unfortunately, this renewed emphasis on art stands in contrast to the past four or five hundred...
I recently re-read Rob Bell’s best selling book Love Wins and was pleasantly shocked at how much of it I agree with. Well, I agree with about 80% of it. The problem is that the other 20% is not just off, but terribly wrong and misleading. In any case,...
Church discipline is a big deal. If you’ve never been in a church that has practiced church discipline, it basically means that a person is caught in some type of sin, refuses to repent, and therefore is put outside of the church body until they do repent. Church discipline doesn’t...
My parents’ church is relatively small. As you travel north through California, their little town is nestled right at the end of wine country and the beginning of the Redwoods. It’s both beautiful and sparsely populated (both great reasons to live there!). But this also creates unique challenges for leading...
It’s clear that our churches are meant to worship (Rom. 12:1). But when we gather to worship in song, what should that music sound like? That can be a tricky question to answer. When we look in the Old Testament, we are told to praise God with the trumpet, harp,...
Let’s be honest. Philemon is an odd little book. I know it’s not okay to call sections of the Bible “odd” or “random,” but I remember reading Philemon for the first time and thinking, Why is this in here? If you haven’t yet read it, go ahead! It will take...
I have recently been struck by a very simple verse in the first chapter of Romans: “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (vv....
I’ve never been a member of a house church, but a big part of me would like to be. I love the idea of a stripped down, no bells and whistles, authentic gathering of believers making disciples and living on mission together. And I’m sympathetic with the house church...
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