Making Bricks For Evangelical Pharaohs

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Exodus 20:2

There’s a relentless push for progress that we are being swept up in, and in an era of what I call “Big Eva” – the large evangelical ministry juggernaut replete with conferences after conference, ministry tool after ministry tool, leadership summit after leadership summit, technique after technique, there seems very little commitment to true rest. Apex... Continue Reading

Why Social Justice Is Killing Synagogues and Churches

Data suggests that the more a religious movement is concerned with progressive causes, the more likely it is to rapidly lose members.

Why is there a decline in religion? For one thing, young Americans have different habits. Rather than join institutions, millennials, argued Wade Clark Roof, author of the book Spiritual Marketplace, are indulging in a kind of “grazing,” finding their spiritual fixes in various different places rather than any one organized church. As sociologists Robert Putnam and David... Continue Reading

The Rhetoric of An Affirming Non-Ministry

The recent development in a denomination the size of the UMC is remarkable.

Called for the purpose of considering a Commission on a Way Forward report, which evaluates the church’s official stance on human sexuality (and, by implication, its qualifications for ministry), the General Conference voted to uphold its current standards. Not only does this move maintain the denomination’s stand upon God’s Word, declaring that “the practice of homosexuality is... Continue Reading

History Repeats Itself

Social justice advocacy in the evangelical church recalls the un-Biblical ideology of the social gospel movement.

Advocates of the social gospel believed the church should be engaged in the culture, fighting against injustice and working to uplift the impoverished and downtrodden—all admirable goals. The problem was they unwittingly allowed secular assumptions to inform their theology of cultural engagement.   Today’s social justice debate in the evangelical church feels eerily similar to the... Continue Reading

God Set His Sermons on Fire

Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981)

Many called him the last of the Calvinistic Methodist preachers because he combined Calvin’s love for truth and sound Reformed doctrine with the fire and passion of the eighteenth-century Methodist revival (Five Evangelical Leaders, 55). For thirty years he preached from the pulpit at Westminster Chapel in London. Usually that meant three different sermons each... Continue Reading

The Cardinal Sin of the Pastor’s Wife (Apparently)

There seemed to be a sense that no pastor’s wife worth their salt could possibly find hospitality hard.

Note well, she didn’t say, ‘I don’t do hospitality.’ Nor did she say, ‘I don’t like people.’ Neither of those things are true. In fact, her husband was clear that she does hospitality well. People are always dropping in, stopping over, being fed and whatnot. No messing, no complaining, and – by all accounts –... Continue Reading

Our Witness on Sundays

What we do with Sunday matters.

From NFL games and our children’s sporting events to yard work and homework, we are inundated with temptations to do many other things than worship corporately. Going to church might sound like a small thing to some, but our keeping of the Sabbath by gathering with the church on Sunday is a testimony to the... Continue Reading

The Power of the Broken Body

Hope recognizes that God works through weakness.

Our culture focuses on outward appearance, beauty, physical and social power, self-sufficiency, and self-achievement. But our cultural pursuit of these is idolatry. We have made little gods of ourselves. But Paul tells us that “God chose what is foolish . . . weak . . . low . . . despised . . . things that... Continue Reading

African Christians Rescue United Methodists

With the help of the African Methodists, the liberal plan to affirm gay marriage and gay clergy was defeated in a 53 percent to 47 percent vote.

“A divide of the United Methodist Church, which has 12 million members worldwide, appears imminent. Some pastors and bishops in the United States are already talking about leaving the denomination and possibly creating a new alliance for gay-friendly churches.” This is without question good news. The United Methodists are now the lone hold-out among the... Continue Reading

The Circular Mission of the Church

God works through the local church to build the church.

People are drawn by God to the gospel, they go to a local church where they hear the Word of God faithfully preached, they see other disciples living faithful lives, and they see faithful church leaders watching over the church. People have their gifts and callings verified and are presented with opportunities for service. Some... Continue Reading