It’s no secret the church, specifically the broader evangelical church, is in a state of crisis. Attendance and engagement is down, stories of financial, physical, and spiritual abuses are mounting, and any meaningful conversation regarding theology, philosophy, and morality in the cultural mainstream has become nearly impossible. Even the faithful in the evangelical church are becoming disheartened, weary, and have stories of frustration, disenfranchisement and hurt. This growing crisis should cause us to take an honest look inwards through the lens of Scripture, in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and with a heart of great humility before the Lord.
I remember a time when I went shopping on Christmas Eve for some last minute gifts (okay, probably all of my gift shopping was done that year on Christmas Eve) and was reminded why that was a bad idea. On the eve of what continues to be communicated and sold as the most joyful time of the year, a time of making happy memories and a season of giving, the not-so-hidden ugly side of the holiday was exposed. This is a season filled with stress and anxiety.
Writing in the 1940’s during the height of World War II from inside Germany while defending the defenseless, speaking against the tyranny of Hitler and the Nazi regime, and protecting the integrity of the Gospel under threat from the state that eventually led to his arrest and execution, Dietrich Bonhoeffer has earned a rightful position in history. He has joined the ranks of many that have gone before him, and through his writings, those who would desire to identify with Christ today are confronted with a life-changing question, “Am I sure I want to do this?” Continue reading “Count the Cost”→
We are an anxious generation and statistics are painting a somber picture of this reality. Among college students today, anxiety has surpassed depression as the most common reason for seeking counseling services, and this is combined with the doubling of hospital admissions in the last decade among suicidal teenagers. The statistics help reveal the growing epidemic and point to probable causes, but fail to provide a satisfying solution that our society is in desperate need of. The liberating truth we need to hear today is this: Freedom from our worries and anxiety is found in three little words, “God is enough”.Continue reading “God is Enough”→
It’s often been said that “religion is for the weak”. I remember a time in my teenage years when an older man said this to me as I was sharing about my family and our commitment to attending church. I don’t know if he was trying to be helpful by sharing his perspective on life or intentionally attempting to demoralize me. Either way, it stuck with me as being rude and somehow incompatible with the God I knew. Continue reading “Is Religion for the Weak?”→
This weekend, as our country prepares to remember the fallen heroes of our age, the ones who have sacrificed their life for the lives of their countrymen – the majority whom they never, or will ever know – we too, as believers in Jesus Christ, pause to remember their acts of selflessness and bravery.
I have never considered myself much of a reader. I’m typically slow to read through a book and when I do have a moment to sit down with one of the two-dozen books on my “to read” shelf, I usually doze off about 3 pages in. Nevertheless, I still managed to get through a number of books this year, most of them dedicated to topics surrounding church planting (no surprise). So here it is, my top 5 books from 2017: Continue reading “My Top 5 Books in 2017”→