#IAmGoing Weekend Reading

3 Things American Citizens Could Learn from Christian Missionaries: Bruce Ashford

We live in a volatile age.

The last decade in American politics and public life has been increasingly dysfunctional, polarized, and vitriolic. Especially troubling is the incivility that increasingly characterizes public discussion and debate.

We shouldn’t be surprised. …Read More.

The Dangerous Gift of Discernment: Trevin Wax

Discernment provokes a negative reaction for many Christians. Perhaps they are familiar with an overly suspicious, constantly negative church member who seems to delight in sniffing out scandals or taking on theological error. Some self-styled “discernment” ministries online establish guilt by association, make leaps in logic, and promote uncharitable assumptions.

When discernment goes wrong, it leads to a hyper-fundamentalism that smears people right and left while slowly but surely drawing the circle of fellowship more and more narrowly until only a tiny portion of Christian people are represented. In the end, even that group turns on each other and begins sniping at the first sign of suspicion. …Read More.

7 Reasons Sermon Illustrations Matter: Chuck Lawless

I’m a firm believer that the best preaching exposits the Word of God clearly. The Word of God changes lives, and it’s our responsibility to teach that Word well. Part of that work, in my judgment, is also to illustrate the Word as we expound it. …Read More.

Are Missionaries Good for the World? Doug Ponder

“Is the Bible really true?” “Did Jesus actually rise from the dead?” “Does the Trinity make logical sense?” Those are the sorts of objections that critics used to level at Christianity. In increasingly “post-truth” contexts, however, the challenges of critics are changing. The central question is no longer, “Is Christianity true?” Now some wonder, “Is Christianity good?”

For missionaries and international church planters, the question carries with it the additional charge of cultural imperialism—the claim that Western Christians are guilty of imposing ethnocentric ideas and norms on international cultures, all while making their lives worse instead of better.

That critique is sharply expressed in the words of Kenyan activist Jomo Kenyatta: “When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, we had the Bible but they had the land.”

But is Kenyatta’s experience typical? Is Christianity truly bad for the world? Are missionaries actually self-centered imperialists who do more harm than good? …Read More.