Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Jesus enters into the story of His people again and again, with light for darkness, laughter for sorrow, life for death.Amen. Perhaps the central challenge--and treasure--of Christian discipleship is learning to see our story within Jesus'.
Sometimes we find ourselves trapped in stories–even good ones. But we are still so very blind and so very deaf. What do we do?
We bring our successes and sorrows to Jesus, the One who was dead but now is Alive forevermore. We come, we cry, we listen, we wait.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Update: John Schroeder has more: "I am so tired of evangelism that "sells" Christianity as a means of self-improvement, self-actualization, or simply self- help. That's not what it is. Those things happen, but they are by-product, they are not the point."
Friday, April 23, 2010
I find, with the pull of the internet, that I end up thinking about the things that everybody else is thinking about, and I'd rather not do that. I run the danger of lapsing into the unreality of that world.Can you relate?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Just so we're clear...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
One of the first books we're publishing (and by "we" I mean me and the other authors) is Jeff Weddle's The Gospel-Filled Wallet: What the Bible Really Says About Money. If you visit this weblog often, you know I'm quite an admirer of Jeff's blogging at anti-itch meditation. Please go have a look: Jeff's book is just as sharp-witted and idol-smashing as his blogging. I'm having trouble at the moment with the Amazon account, but you can follow one of the links above and buy the book less expensively directly from the printer. There's also a link for downloading the book free from Google Books.
Please note, too, that I'm still looking for authors, especially bloggers. If you think you might be interested in submitting some of your work for publication, please check out the Call for Authors page. I've been in contact with a few of you already, but please don't make me beg. If you have a manuscript or an idea for a book, I'd be interested in seeing it.
This is something new and audacious for me, and I'm really nervous about this announcement. I'd be most grateful for any input you might have, either at the Transforming Publishing Guestbook or, even better, here in the comments section.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
"Those who believe in the death of Jesus are immersed into his death and resurrection and clothed with Jesus. And the emphasis there isn’t on the word believe but on his death and resurrection. Not an ounce of this is earned or something I can take credit for. It’s all a gift from God based on what God has done."
. . . if Jesus is raised from the dead, if the resurrection is true, a fact that is real, then we must change. Resurrection carries with it a claim, a demand that we live in the light of this stunning new reality or else appear oddly out of step. Now we must acknowledge who sits upon the throne, who is in charge, how the story ends. Now we must either change, join in God’s revolution or else remain unchanged, in the grip of the old world and its rulers, sin and death.Amen.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
New thought paths
Cremation and a New Kind of Christianity, and
The Christ of the Folded Napkin
Plato famously believed in reincarnation, as does Hinduism and the varieties of post-modern spiritual experience grouped under the New Age label. Moreover, it seems to take little work on God’s part for a soul to drift off into the ether after the demise of the body.Good points. Resurrection of the body, not soul immortality, is the New Testament teaching.
Even some Christians believe that our ultimate destiny is in an incorporeal state with God in heaven. I recall a funeral in my youth in which the presiding minister conspicuously omitted any reference to resurrection, focussing solely on soul survival at the expense of the clear teachings of Scripture (e.g., I Corinthians 15).Why the reluctance to put the resurrection in the spotlight? Because it is quite simply more difficult for people to accept.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
When a local gathering makes their Lord’s day meeting primarily about the evangelization of the unbeliever instead of the edification of the body through the worship of her Head, a subtle and dangerous shift takes place. The church becomes primarily about man instead of God.Good points. Mike offers further thoughts here.
It is often advised of a church to ask this question of its worship service: “What would an unbeliever think if he/she were attending”? That is a good question, but the better question is this: “What does God think, as He is attending”? Do you see the shift? Rather than asking questions that can only be answered through Scripture we are now answering questions that can be answered through an opinion poll.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
"I look upon Jesus, crucified, and see that once the Lord has come, there is no choice but either to grasp after the delusions of power, or the sillier delusions of pleasure, or to be carried forth with him on the adventure of being, the adventure of love."
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
One of the best Christians who ever lived was the Apostle Paul. He was beat up, run out-of-town, ship wrecked, and on and on. He had plenty of troubles including spending years in prison. He saw the big picture! He called his troubles “Light and momentary”. How is that for a good attitude?Amen.
So my friend, when the rain doesn’t come and the crop dries up, when you lose your job and your house, and Mom might not make it ’til tomorrow night, keep believing in God. Keep walking by faith. There is something better coming.
Monday, April 05, 2010
It was possible to do all the matters of technique but miss this crucial core. . . . I used to think that mission-mindedness could be developed even if I wasn't sure the person's heart was in it. Now I don't. Mission is the overflow of joy in God, or it is useless.Too true. I recommend Marcus's whole essay.
If you get a group that is delighted with Christ, enjoying the Word, full of the Holy Spirit, passionate to get into the things that God is passionate about, they will be irrepressible in mission. And if they aren't like that you can do all the skills training you like but the result will be impoverished and guilt-driven. I have lost count of the number of students I have seen do evangelism out of peer pressure, or feeling that it just goes with the territory. The nasty bit I have to do so I can get on with the nice stuff afterwards.