Published during: August 2012

Dancing with glee: God and our prayers

One cannot make it very far in the New Testament – perhaps especially in Paul’s letters – without being confronted by the centrality of prayer in Paul’s spiritual life, especially as regards the churches he loved so dear.

I wonder if the same could be said of us. Of me.

I was recently talking with a friend about Wildwood, about things we both wished were different, and reflected that I don’t pray enough. I’ve seen this reality all the more clearly in the last three months because God has answered my prayers for our church in several areas. In the last three months, I have seen distinct, recognizable answers to specific prayers I have offered over the last two to three years. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Epitaph: Write This On My Grave Stone

When they put a headstone over my grave, I hope they chisel on it, “He proclaimed the supremacy of Jesus Christ in all things, and he lived like he meant it.”

If I die having spent every day proclaiming – to my family, to my friends, to my coworkers, to my neighbors, to everyone I can – that Jesus is the center of everything, that the Triune Godhead is the point of all existence, it will be a good thing. If I do so having lived in such a way that no one can say I did not mean it, it will be a better thing. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Encouragement and Critique: A Resolution

Courtesy of our sin, it is always easier to criticize than to encourage. I was forcefully reminded of this recently when I had a friend look over the draft of a writing project I was working on. He rightly noted that it came off as angry, attacking the same old targets in evangelicalism that have been hammered for years. I scrapped that draft and I’m working on a new one.

I was reminded in another way when Jaimie and I visited my family in Colorado last weekend. I was having a conversation with my youngest sister about her church, and I disagreed with some of the approaches they take. (If you’re curious, this piece on Pillar on the Rock will about sum it up.) As I’ve slowly been learning in my relationship with Jaimie, though, it’s easy to overload people in that sort of discussion – especially when it comes across as attacking our church, an institution rightly near and dear to our hearts. (At least, hopefully our local church is dear to our hearts!)

When we see things amiss in the world – especially things that involve the people or institutions we love most – it is easy to simply jump into a critical mode and assume that people will understand where we’re coming from. This is particularly true when the issue is significant and clear in Scripture. Because we see it clearly, and recognize its importance, we can assume others will be quick to understand the point as well. Read on, intrepid explorer →

If you knew Jesus were coming back on Friday…

“If you knew Jesus was coming back at the end of this week, how would you live your life? Okay, so, why aren’t you living your life like that? He might come back at the end of this week!”

I’d ask you to raise your hands if you’ve heard a variation on this theme from a pulpit in your lifetime, but I’m blogging, so I couldn’t see your hands. It doesn’t matter: they’d all be up. We’ve all heard a variation on this theme. It’s a good theme, in a way: the people who preach this way usually have a strong sense of the urgency of the Great Commission and a real grasp on the doctrine of Christ’s imminent return – both good things. But as with many good things, they can become bad things when carried too far, or carried thoughtlessly without regard to other good things. Read on, intrepid explorer →