7 Things to Know About Conversational Prayer

I know I’ll get flack for this, being as I am in the Reformed world, but I regularly practice something known as “conversational prayer”: I speak to God, I listen for God, and no – I’m not necessarily listening for scriptures to come to mind (as Paul Miller recommends in his “A Praying Life”). This […]

Blind, Deaf, Dead: Taking the Metaphor Too Far.

Here are two recent direct quotes I’ve read from otherwise wonderful, gospel-centered, reformed resources: “It doesn’t make any sense to get mad at somebody who is lost. It doesn’t make any sense to make it a matter of personal offense against you. It doesn’t make any sense to condemn a lost person with words or […]

A Theology of Privilege

From the first, I don’t see anything inherently wrong in privilege. But I do – as Jesus – see something inherently dangerous. And I think we white, western protestant types are particular susceptible. Take some case studies: Relativism – A symptom of not having Assad’s bombs hovering over your head every morning and evening. Relativism is […]

Why Must Paul Preach With Clarity?

“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:4 How can Paul say he “ought” to […]

Why Aren’t the Reformed Wise?

One reason is our refusal to look at the situation we’re in. Again, citing the sufficiency/power/what-you-like, we often proudly refuse to lift a finger to help the lost, preach with clarity, strategize for mission, or otherwise do anything to shake ourselves out of traditionalism or passivity. We downplay “techniques” and “strategies” for the contemporary situation […]

No More Channel-Flipping Sermons.

Sermons should not feel like channel flipping. One text here, one text there, one text over there. Citing 20 verses in a sermon does not an expositional sermon make. Just the opposite. If it’s narrative, it should feel like a story. If it’s dialectical, it should feel like an argument. If it’s poetic, it should […]

Three Ways Not to Respond to Culture

Over-simplistic perhaps, but a helpful hand-guide I use with students: Retreat – We can’t run away from the world. It would be like getting a prom dress but only wearing it in your closet. We’re clothed with Jesus to show off: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for […]

Y’all – A Most Excellent Noun.

Y’all is a most excellent noun (or ya’ll, depending). It’s biblical, even. Most of your Bible, in fact, consists of y’alls, not you’s. So many times we feel the burden of weight meant for a community on ourselves: Paul doesn’t say “You” pray always without ceasing. He says “Y’all” pray always, without ceasing. Jesus didn’t […]

The Fear of Hell is Not Enough.

This week the NY Times posted a tragic article called “When Eve and Eve Bit the Apple.” It’s a story about a conservative Christian woman, committed to her church, looking for a husband, but who eventually falls in love…with another woman. In Kristen’s words: “I repented of what Christians call my ‘struggle with same-sex attraction… […]