• Context: the Game-Changer

    Context: the Game-Changer

    I have recently been revisiting a classic book that Wendy & I both read back in our early college days at Prov: Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart’s excellent How to Read the Bible for All its Worth. To be honest, both of us recall feeling like we “had to” read the book, back in the […]

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  • So… What is the Gospel?

    So… What is the Gospel?

    “Jesus died for your sins, and that’s good news!” So ended the form-letter that my friend wrote, emailed to me, and asked me to read (and edit) for him. My friend wrote the letter so that he could cut and paste the names of various family members and friends onto the top of it as a […]

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  • A Disciple Making Movement Becomes a Church Planting Movement

    A Disciple Making Movement Becomes a Church Planting Movement

    While I love the complex issues related to deep theological frameworks, I also really appreciate that Jesus boiled down the alleged 613 Laws of the Old Testament to two things: love God, love people (Matt. 22:36-40). And while I can appreciate the numerous purposes, goals, and values that churches and ministries list as being important to […]

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  • Lukan Christology – The Virgin Birth

    Lukan Christology – The Virgin Birth

    My hope is that this post will be the first of many focusing on Lukan Christology. Speaking of “Christology” To begin with an aside, I wish we could come up with another primary word for the theological understandings of Jesus besides Christology. I think that word belongs under a larger category heading like… “Jesus-Ology” or… (as above) […]

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  • Roots Go Deep

    Roots Go Deep

    Some call it “roots”. Others refer to a “spiritual heritage”. Still others have suggested (less charitably) that it’s a “resumé stain“. (Ouch… was that really necessary?) Whatever you wish to call it, I have history with Vineyard Canada. And this past weekend, I revisited some of those roots. It’s been just under two decades since I […]

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  • Is it really being soft on the gospel to not use the word “sin”?

    Is it really being soft on the gospel to not use the word “sin”?

    If you pay attention to certain theological circles, you’ll have heard someone say something like this: “Preachers who do not use the word “sin” in their sermons are watering down the gospel. If you aren’t willing to name sin, than you are deceiving people and offering a people-pleasing message.” There is certainly reason to worry […]

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  • Dastardly Pastors

    Dastardly Pastors

    Y’all remember this archetypical villain, right? Snidely Whiplash, twirling his handlebar moustache and cackling maniacally as he planned deviously devilish plots that would make even The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns faint due to their pure and unadulterated evil. Strangely enough, you may have noticed in recent years that it’s become popular to portray Pastors & Theologians […]

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Biblical, theological, & practical reflections from the trenches.

Biblical Studies

Context: the Game-Changer

Context: the Game-Changer

I have recently been revisiting a classic book that Wendy & I both read back in our early college days at Prov: Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart’s excellent How to Read the Bible for All its Worth. To be honest, both of us recall feeling like we “had to” read the book, back in the […]

The War of the Church vs. Academia: A Call to Cease Fire (Part 8 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

The War of the Church vs. Academia: A Call to Cease Fire (Part 8 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

#8.  The church and Christian Academia need to stop viewing each other as mortal enemies. The Christian academy needs to stop bashing the church as a bunch of caveman fundamentalists who know nothing about the Bible and assume their rightful place in assisting the church in its function of fulfilling the Great Commission. The church […]

Why Bible Formatting and Layout Matters (part 7 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

Why Bible Formatting and Layout Matters (part 7 of 10 ways we must read the Bible differently)

#7.  Single column text, normal paragraph formatting/layout and, dare I say it, removing verse numbering from our Bibles will go a long way toward helping people to read the Bible as if it were actually a real book! Truth be told, I have already written a fair amount on this topic previously on this blog, […]

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Theological Studies

So… What is the Gospel?

So… What is the Gospel?

“Jesus died for your sins, and that’s good news!” So ended the form-letter that my friend wrote, emailed to me, and asked me to read (and edit) for him. My friend wrote the letter so that he could cut and paste the names of various family members and friends onto the top of it as a […]

Soteriology: Smooth & Easy or a Deep Struggle?

Soteriology: Smooth & Easy or a Deep Struggle?

Soteriology, the theological category related to “salvation,” is one that theologians still dispute over. Actually, pastors and lots of other Christians debate about it too. In addition to the ordo salutis (order of salvation) and nature of salvation (Calvinism vs. Arminianism), many of the discussions I have are related to a shift that has happened […]

Lukan Christology – The Virgin Birth

Lukan Christology – The Virgin Birth

My hope is that this post will be the first of many focusing on Lukan Christology. Speaking of “Christology” To begin with an aside, I wish we could come up with another primary word for the theological understandings of Jesus besides Christology. I think that word belongs under a larger category heading like… “Jesus-Ology” or… (as above) […]

Reviews

Hope for Miscarriage (a review)

Hope for Miscarriage (a review)

Shortly after my wife and I were married we were expecting our first child… which we quickly learned was actually two children, twins! The excitement of expecting children was pretty incredible and almost impossible to explain. Sadly, we lost that first pregnancy and our twins to a miscarriage. Nothing has been more difficult for us in the […]

Citizens of the Kingdom: Mount Up!

Citizens of the Kingdom: Mount Up!

In 1989, David Bebbington wrote of four qualities that defined Evangelicalism and one of them was “activism.” Evangelicals were, according to Bebbington, committed to expressing the gospel through their efforts in society. Unfortunately, Evangelicalism has received (earned?) a reputation of not doing much beyond talking about the gospel. Those who want to revitalize evangelical identity certainly need to […]

Reviewing a book on Mentoring Women

Reviewing a book on Mentoring Women

This review, to be honest, is a bit awkward feeling. How can a man review a book on women mentoring women? On one hand, I have a great mother, five sisters, three daughters, and a fantastic wife who is involved in mentoring women. On the other hand, I’m a dude. Nothing I write will change […]

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Practical Theology

Mission Equates to Church Planting

Mission Equates to Church Planting

Similar to what I argued recently about how a disciple making movement becomes a church planting movement, I was scanning through portions of one of my favorite books ever written… Total Church, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. If you do not own this book, stop what you are doing and go purchase it immediately. Total Church lays […]

A Disciple Making Movement Becomes a Church Planting Movement

A Disciple Making Movement Becomes a Church Planting Movement

While I love the complex issues related to deep theological frameworks, I also really appreciate that Jesus boiled down the alleged 613 Laws of the Old Testament to two things: love God, love people (Matt. 22:36-40). And while I can appreciate the numerous purposes, goals, and values that churches and ministries list as being important to […]

An Open Letter to the Dad doing Porn

An Open Letter to the Dad doing Porn

Dear Dad, I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this effects only you, or even your and […]

General

Should pastors endorse candidates from the pulpit?

Should pastors endorse candidates from the pulpit?

It’s the day before a mid-term election, so we can’t let the day go by without some theological, biblical, and practical reflection on Christian engagement in the political process. I wasn’t in church yesterday, but even if I had been, I’m sure our congregation would not have participated in the so-called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” happening […]

Remembering My Dad and the Spirit of Adoption

Remembering My Dad and the Spirit of Adoption

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15  (NIV) This will be a very personal post with some important reflection on the biblical idea that God himself […]

“A God to call Father” – A Father’s Day Reflection

“A God to call Father” – A Father’s Day Reflection

Have you ever heard someone refer to God as “The Man Upstairs,” or perhaps more piously, “The Lord?” Certainly, the Bible is full of titles and descriptions of God, which are appropriate to use when we refer to Him. But there is one sense in which God reveals himself which truly shows the depth of […]