1) I Hate Porn
I hate porn for the fear it induces in the hearts of parents everywhere that their child could stumble upon a sight and get addicted.
But I love Jesus.
It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out.” That stunningly clear sentence reflects one of the most amazing, tragic, and lamentable characteristics of contemporary Christianity: an impatience with the Word of God.
Theology in story is a genre that comes and goes in Christian writing and one that, in the past, has been used for good and for ill. I am grateful to see Wax both attempting it and succeeding well at it. Clear Winter Nights is a book, a story, that will encourage the Christian and provide answers to the skeptic. I highly recommend it.
Money given to a stranger in need, a meal cooked for a friend with a new baby, a note of encouragement written to a good friend: rags. Even my time spent studying the Bible, praying, and tithing: still rags. Not one of those things—not one—can earn me the right to be the adopted daughter of the King. All of my actions earn me nothing, except for this: I can choose to believe by faith that Christ died on the cross and in power rose again, defeating sin and—in the ultimate and perfect demonstration of grace—offering me new life in Him. It’s a gift I can never, ever repay, but one I should earnestly desire to share with everyone I meet.
…Father…help me trade my petty frustrations, however valid I think they may be, for peace and gentleness toward those who frustrate me. Jesus, forgive me for my pettiness, and help me to live out even the small things in your name. Amen.
While I don’t like being misquoted — or at least quoted in a false context — there isn’t much use complaining about my name being attached to the misleading promo. The people who know me, and know of my disdain for the “prosperity gospel,” will chuckle at the misrepresentation. And the people who don’t know me won’t care what I think.
When I think of the reasons that have led me to pen this letter, I get sad.
I never intended to walk away from the faith. There is so much about Jesus that I like: his personality, his teaching, his example.
I never wanted to walk away from Jesus or his followers, but I feel like I’m left with no choice.
Stuart Robinson, one of the leading Southern Presbyterian theologians of the 19th Century, set down 8 points of interpretion of Genesis 3:15 in his biblical-theological masterpiece Discourses of Redemption. In short, Robinson was seeking to highlight what our first parents could have known from the first preaching of the Gospel (what he called “the Gospel creed”) when he wrote…
The relationship of homosexuality to Christianity is without doubt one of the main subjects of cultural conversation today. If you are a Christian in New York City, it is nearly impossible to talk about your faith without this subject being raised. Although it is not central to the gospel message at the heart of Christianity, right now the cultural moment requires that we be prepared to address this issue whenever we are publicly identified as Christians.
Yes, there are more theological resources in this country than anywhere else in the world at any time in history. There are more ways to learn than ever before: through conferences, online sermons and lectures, by blogs and interviews and apps and videos. But I believe the church still needs the seminary. There are things the seminary can do that the even the biggest, best, and brightest church won’t be able to accomplish.
As Rosaria Butterfield began her lecture about her journey and “train wreck conversion” from a lesbian professor to a Christian, a pastor’s wife and mother of four, nine students in the front row of the audience stood up silently, took off their jackets, turned their backs to Butterfield and linked arms in front of a packed Oval Theater guarded by two University Police officers and two security officers.
If you are in any form of spiritual leadership, work at your public prayers. It does not matter whether the form of spiritual leadership you exercise is the teaching of a Sunday school class, pastoral ministry, small-group evangelism, or anything else: if at any point you pray in public as a leader, then work at your public prayers.
I found this advice really helpful. I have often felt like a hypocrite for thinking it is important that my public prayers be accurate and well-spoken.
My friend said the conversation is usually over once the caller realizes the church holds to traditional teaching regarding sexuality. He told me he always shakes his head and thinks, Who do we think we are, that we can come to God and tell Him what we will and will not change?
You and I are like the lesbian caller.
It’s another week and thus another interview with Pope Francis. This one, I’m sorry to say, is more than just confusing. It’s a theological wreck.
Here’s what I am learning: It is my first instinct to jump all over this stuff, to sneer and snicker, to correct and nitpick. I have an odd, inflated sense of justice when it comes to these silly, stupid phrases. Even when I’m not correcting people, I’m thinking I really ought to. But this impulse says more about me than them. It is not the Spirit of Christ to ambush my brothers and sisters with smug nitpickery. It is not the way of Jesus for Christians to mock God’s children for their affectations, to bite, to self-righteously manage, or to otherwise shame. I am not the Holy Spirit of social media.
I thought I was the wittiest Calvinist on the block. Until I followed Jared Wilson.
It’s the elephant in the room, isn’t it? We can’t all be right and we can’t both be right. Sooner or later we have to have a discussion about charismatic (continuationist) theology and whether or not the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit remain in operation in the church today (or, if you prefer, about cessationist theology and whether or not the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased in the church today). We have wanted to make sure New Calvinism is large enough for both, that it will not fracture along this particular line, and this has delayed the conversation. But at some point we just have to talk about it.
Finally, Watch this:
Killing Jesus is another account that will be here for a while and then disappear and be forgotten. In the meantime, it will take Jesus out of the realm of fantasy and place him squarely in history, but even as it does that, it will neglect to tell why his life, his crucifixion, his resurrection are of eternal significance, a matter of his life and death and our own.
Woopedy doo. An attempt to “historicize” Jesus as a non-religious figure. Coming from the Religious Right.”
Over the weekend, enemies of Christ made themselves apparent by attacking his followers. One of the attacks was carried out by the Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab, in a Nairobi mall. The attackers killed at least 62 people, injuring 175. Witnesses say they let Muslims go free before they began shooting people. The other attack occurred at the hands of two suicide bombers in a Pakistani church of 500. 81 were killed, and 120 are wounded. The terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attack is a “splinter group” of the Pakistani Taliban.
How are believers supposed to respond to such violent opposition? From 1 Peter, let me suggest six godly reactions.
Isaiah is probably the only seven-year-old who loves to watch sermons on his iPad. One of his favorites is the John Piper video podcast. He’ll pull them up all by himself and just sit there and watch them over and over again. One day I asked him why he liked to watch sermons so much, and he just smiled and said “happy.”
Here are the tweets about my friend Jesus. I hope he is your friend too.