If You Question It, Delete It.

“Kill your darlings.” – William Faulkner. There is an editor inside you. He doesn’t always give you answers, but he often, as you reread, highlights something. It’s the sentence that keeps catching your eye – the one you keep questioning. It’s the point you’re just not sure about. Of course, your inner editor is passive […]

I Need Risk Calculators.

Calculating risk is a good thing.  You may be a risk calculator. You may err on the side of caution. Good – the church, your organization, what have you – we need you.  Or, you may be like me: I tend toward pioneering, Han Solo style: “Never tell me the odds.” Risk? I don’t want […]

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 […]

ScribblePreach Awards 01.14.17

From the Pub: A New Year “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make […]

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 […]

Don’t Speak. Say.

There’s a sense in which you don’t understand anything until you concretize it. There’s a sense in which you’re not saying anything until you concretize it. If I say “Place”, I’m not saying much. If I say “Victorian style home on Michigan Avenue in Chicago,” I’m saying more. In communicating, strive for the concrete. “Climb […]

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 […]