The 20th century, in many ways, represented the climax of Christian influence in the United States as churches established a massive physical footprint, exercised significant social and political power, and sent missionaries to every corner of the map. While there were contributing factors to this rise of Christian influence in the West (mass transportation, telecommunication, urbanization, a strong economy, and a growing sense of American … Continue reading Fruitful Ministry In A Changing Age
[Originally published at The Gospel Coalition] In the early 2000s, Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) experienced an inordinate number of morally failing campus ministers. Men and women in various ministries and varied contexts—who’d seemingly followed the Lord faithfully for decades—embezzled money, harbored addictions, and cheated on their spouses. Under the leadership of Marc Rutter, and with the help of Henry Cloud, Cru examined these moral … Continue reading 5 Signs You’re An At-Risk Pastor
As we walk through Joshua at Orlando Grace Church, the elephant in the room is God’s commanding the deaths of entire groups of Canaanite people. Why would God do this? Is the God of the Bible promoting genocide? More than one genocidal movements have pointed back to this book to justify the horrible things they were doing. Is this a God we can trust at … Continue reading Does The Bible Promote Genocide?
The city of Orlando is gearing up for the arrival of President Trump on June 18 when he will come to announce his candidacy for re-election. The Amway Arena is booked, security details are being finalized, news agencies are trickling in, and more than a few of us are hoping to get a good look at Air Force One on approach. Many, though, believe God … Continue reading Is God For A Presidential Candidate?
It isn’t my habit as I preach through books of the Bible to spend a lot of time introducing the book. Maybe a few paragraphs to understand the context, but no more. Some pastors devote whole sermons to introducing a book well and I have benefitted from those types of sermons, but the truth is that there is an abundance of good introductory information at … Continue reading A Primer On Joshua
Christmas is my favorite time of year. In my house, the tree is up the day after Thanksgiving, the fire is going even though we now live in Orlando, the hot chocolate is flowing and, yes, the elf is making his way around our shelves. I love the Christmas season and all its sentiments, stories and traditions. Some of these stories and traditions are so … Continue reading Six Christmas Corrections
Every Christmas season there is an increase in the number of people who ask me about Jesus and the Bible. This is partly because Christmas brings a non-church going crowd into church and it is partly because hurts, stresses and anxieties have a way of increasing in this season. One of the most common questions I am asked goes something like this: “Can we really … Continue reading Christmas And The New Testament Canon: How We Can Address Some Hard Questions
Lights up or down in worship? At what age do kids join us in ‘big church’? How long is too long to preach? Cajon or drums? Acoustic or electric? Jeans or khakis? VBS or Sports Camp? It’s hard to imagine a Christian reading this article who hasn’t disagreed with another Christian on these topics. You may have left a church over some of them. Why … Continue reading How Much Does Context Affect The Call?
When I first moved to Mississippi from Italy, this native Floridian felt like he was moving from one foreign country to another. Eleven years later, this place is home and I am so thankful for every day I have had here. Like any state, it has its baggage, but as I leave Mississippi, I am overwhelmingly thankful for my time here. We have lived in … Continue reading A Farewell (And Thank You) to Mississippi
Outside of parenting, I can’t think of an area where more Christians feel guilt than prayer. We all know we can pray more often, more specifically and more Biblically. So the guilt level is already high and then Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2 to pray for all people. First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercesssions and thanksgivings be made for … Continue reading Pray For All People?