Disown, Defend or Neither? Matt Lauer and Talking about Sin

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Kathie Lee Gifford is the best preacher around…at least if handling the doctrine of sin is any measure. Sin, as a concept, is hard to talk about. Many pastors wrestle with how to unfold the doctrine of sin in a culturally relevant way that doesn’t play in to the all-too-familiar brimstoney caricature. Other pastors assume that faithfully talking about the doctrine of sin requires in-your-face offense.

Well, Kathie Lee just showed us how to talk about sin. …Read More.

How to Teach Believers to Share Christ Using the Sharing Jesus Book

This past April my book Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out: Evangelism the Way You Were Born to Do It was released by B&H Academic. Response has been amazing. So many pastors, students pastors, college and small group leaders have used it.

It’s designed to help everyday believers share Christ naturally through everyday conversations. B&H also made an incredible landing page that features an 8-week challenge to help the reader grow in their witness, free videos for each chapter and some role-playing videos as well. …Read More.

Michael Bird and Bruce Ashford Respond to the Benedict Option

Christians can be peaceful public nuisances or counter-cultural practitioners for the common good, argued Michael Bird and Bruce Ashford in a recent Southeastern Seminary event.

Christianity has long held a position of privilege in the West. For a long time in Europe and the United States, Judeo-Christian values formed the normative framework for ethics and morality, and belief in God (even merely nominal belief) served as an asset for advancement in society and securing public favor.

Suddenly, it seems, this is no longer the case. Over the last 50 years, and especially the last 25, the West has become increasingly post-Christian and marches toward militant secularism, where belief in God is synonymous with immorality, where religious language has become flagged as hate speech and where the phrase “religious freedom” has become code for bigotry. Christians may feel the earth has given way under them and fear they will be swallowed up by the increasingly emboldened progressive secularism.

Numerous cultural thinkers have offered their analysis of the religious situation in the West and proposed a wide array of solutions. Some seek to dive into national politics and try to effect change and restore Christian morality through legislation and the judiciary. Some live as spiritual exiles in a foreign secular culture and want to preserve Christian culture through individual practice. Others, in the words of James Davison Hunter, aim to create a faithful presence of Christian disciples who seek to work for the common good of society and serve as a witness of the kingdom of God. …Read More.

The Cure for a Hopeless Christmas

The Christmas season is marked by hope. Well, at least it is supposed to be. But instead of decorating their homes a la Clark Griswold, enjoying Christmas parties and watching cheesy Christmas movies, I’ve noticed among many believers a pervasive pessimism regarding the present and the future.

Yes, we live in difficult times culturally and politically. However, our celebration of the incarnation (Jesus’ first coming) ought to drive us toward hopeful anticipation of the consummation (Jesus’ second coming). In short, our eschatology ought to bring hope, not despair. …Read More.

Oxford Study Tour: I Traveled Through Time, and You Can Too

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When I first heard about the Oxford Study Tour, I was thrilled at the possibility of going. See, every year, students and faculty have an opportunity to journey to Oxford to study, travel and learn — all while getting course credit. With a background in English and a love for travel, visiting Oxford was a dream come true for me. 

I enjoyed the literary thrills of seeing Oxford University, Blackwell’s bookstore and visiting C.S. Lewis’s house. But as I reflect on what I learned and appreciated most from this trip, three benefits of time travel stood out. Yes, time travel. On a trip that focuses on visiting historical places and learning about important figures of history, the importance of time was a constant theme. So, I’ll share three benefits of time travel from my time on the Oxford study trip that could also benefit others who participate in this trip.  …Read More.