Some of the most heartbreaking episodes in my Christian experience have been the occasional encounter with someone who has become disillusioned with the Gospel or defeated in their spiritual life and concluded “Jesus is not enough.” They may say it differently, but that is the reality. Having passed through a particularly difficult event or hardship or test of obedience, these once enthusiastic followers of Jesus were left joyless, crushed, and hopeless. They “tried Jesus,” but found their Savior was unable to fix a broken relationship or absorb their grief or “help” them to “be good enough” in the Christian life.… Read the rest
Nothing is more helpful than a handy chart. You can find these 6 Counterfeits that Lead Away From the Biblical Gospel in this blog post at The Gospel Coalition, along with some resources to help you and others steer clear of some of these counterfeits that are often so close, but so far apart.
If you haven’t already read it, this is a fine book about cultivating healthy, Gospel relationships within the Church. I read Ken Sande’s first edition of The Peacemaker years ago and have to say this revised and updated Third Edition is greatly improved. I skimmed over my highlighted copy about a month ago and was pleasantly surprised to rediscover this gem, buried among so much treasure:
… Read the rest
People who use escape responses [to conflict] are usually intent on “peace-faking,” or making things look good even when they are not. (This is especially common in the church, where people are often more concerned about the appearance of peace than the reality of peace).
While I appreciate the emphasis on humility, I think Karina Kreminski’s take is predictably defensive and thin. Here’s the post: The Church Is In Post-Christian Exile – But Should We Really Respond Like It’s a War?
The short answer to the question she poses in the title of her essay is, Yes. If we take Jesus and the apostles at their word, standing on the shoulders of the prophets and patriarchs, we are in a war. The Bible uses colorful language, simile, metaphor, and other figures of speech to describe or illustrate the Christian life. Jesus followers are both in exile and at war. … Read the rest
Have you ever noticed how one-sided your relationship with God is? You would almost get the impression that it’s all about Him. I was thinking about this today and, as it turns out, it’s probably more accurate to speak of His relationship with me. Consider this:
- God took the initiative. We love because he [God] first loved us. (1 John 4:19 ESV) I wasn’t consulted, when the Lord first loved me. Nor, was I even around when He decided to embrace me (we’ll talk about that in a moment). I’m not eternal, contrary to the fantasies embraced by some religions. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Last year, I joined a group of men reading through the Bible in a year, with the aid of this Biblical theology, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. It was an incredible experience, hearing the Story of God in a cover-to-cover reading of the Scriptures. So, it was both shocking and delightful to hear Nancy Guthrie express many of the same discoveries our men’s group made, covering essentially the same ground. I highly recommend a good listen to this podcast for anyone, at any stage in your story, following Jesus: WHI-1254 | Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament, Part 1 – Out of the Horse’s Mouth.… Read the rest
Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience (BH) by Jerram Barrs and Ranald Macaulay – this book appeared at a crucial time in my walk as a young Christian and exerted a powerful influence on my entire life. Its message continues to play a valuable role, causing me to examine and evaluate the perpetual and ubiquitous ebb and flow of new movements, trendy philosophies and sure-fire techniques, rising and receding within the contemporary Christian culture. America has been appropriately described as a disposable society and the church has not only adopted a superficial, sanctified brand of consumerism, but might even teach the folks up on the Mad Avenue a few tricks!… Read the rest
Serious Christians long for revival (or reformation) and I have some good news for you, if you find yourself among that number. Consult the history books or, better yet, dig into the Scriptures. As you survey the collapse of Christian power and influence in the west, when you witness the open hostility and intolerance toward those who follow Jesus from both secularist and nominal Christians everywhere, and you see reports of persecution on an Apocalyptic scale around the world, you can be sure that revival is either here or on the doorstep. By the way, reformation and revival appear to be in full swing throughout Africa, Central/South America and Asia.… Read the rest
… Read the rest
The death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross on Calvary was not an accident; it was God’s work. It was God who ‘set him forth’ there. How often is the whole glory of the Cross missed when men sentimentalize it away and say, ‘Ah, He was too good for the world, He was too pure. His teaching was too wonderful; and cruel men crucified Him’! The result is that we begin to feel sorry for Him, forgetting that He Himself turned on those ‘daughters of Jerusalem’ that were beginning to feel sorry for Him, and said, ‘Weep not for me but weep for yourselves’.