7 Reasons Pastors Should Write.

I don’t know a lot of pastors who put the pen to the paper as often as they put feet to the pulpit. But I wish there were more. Pastors ought to write, not to be published, but because it’s part of pastoring in the 21st century. Here’s why: 1. Writing is thinking. John Calvin […]

What’s So Wrong With Complaining?

Today I’ve had the great privilege of guest-posting at my good friend and former blog partner Tim Fall’s site, “Just One Train Wreck After Another”. Tim is a judge by day, blogger by night. His insights are always fun and formidable. Some of you will likely recognize the footnotes, here – a lot was taken […]

A Glimpse of Truth: Les Miserables

From Victor Hugo’s version, on hope: “Do you hear the people sing Lost in the valley of the night? It is the music of a people Who are climbing to the light. For the wretched of the earth There is a flame that never dies. Even the darkest night will end And the sun will […]

Why Preaching and Speaking Templates are a Good Idea.

I’ve mulled over the idea of preaching templates for a while. Is it a good idea for a pastor to have the same outline for every sermon he’s going to preach? Is it okay for him to have a mold in which to fit the text of every passage? Isn’t that resisting the variety of scripture? […]

4 Tips for Focus in Prayer

You just cringed. It’s not that you don’t like prayer. It’s just…too mystical, too profound, too hard. There’s no time for prayer. You can’t focus. But Jesus talks as though it’s the ultimate thing; Paul and the great Christians throughout the ages seem to have it down. Martin Luther prayed for 4 hours a day, […]

7 Ways to Choose the Write Word.

You know you’re a writer if you love the process of word-choice. Finding “just the right word” is a beautiful thing. But sometimes trying to sound intellectual or artistic blockades good writing. For beginning writers, this is perhaps the key stumbling block to improving their writing: trying to sound like a writer. Not only does […]

A Glimpse of Truth: Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand on personal justice and absolute truth in her tome of a novel, “Atlas Shrugged:”      “The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the […]

St. Augustine’s 6 Principles for Analyzing Culture Today.

Certainly Augustine’s penetrating analyses of his culture has many principles to teach us in modern times. I’ll extract six. First, Augustine calls us to abandon extreme views of Christ and culture, and be rather more discerning in our approach. Augustine rejects philosophy as a whole, but also praises the work of Cicero, who genuinely led him on […]

St. Augustine on Philosophy, Fashion, Medicine, Education, Science and History.

At the beginning of this series, we looked at Augustine’s foundation for analyzing culture: doctrine. Yesterday we looked at 6 case studies, and today we’ll examine 6 more: Philosophy, Fashion, Medicine, Education, Science and History.      Philosophy: Augustine also spends much of his time contending with the philosophers of his day. While Augustine affirms that […]