Easter’s Big “If”

What are we saying when we gather to worship on Easter Sunday? We are actually saying something radical, are we not? We're saying that an itinerant rabbi who lived 2,000 years ago in a backwater town in the Middle East is actually God. But we're saying more than that, aren't we? We're not only saying that we believe Jesus was God, but that his life and death and resurrection proved this. We're saying that Jesus' predictions of his future death and resurrection tell us that He was no ordinary human, but that he was God in the flesh. But we're saying more than that, aren't we? We are not only upholding the apologetic of the Resurrection, we're not only affirming that the historic Jesus did indeed rise again and was seen by 500 witnesses. We are also saying that "if" this is true, then it changes everything about us, about the world, and about...

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Thy Kingdom Come

I'm currently in the midst of a series on The Lord's Prayer. This past Sunday I preached on the phrase: "They Kingdom Come." I came across some great quotes in preparation: From Ray Pritchard's excellent book, And When You Pray:  Consider the matter this way. Every time you pray you must say one of two things. Either you pray, “Your kingdom come,” or you pray, “My kingdom come.” Those are the only two possibilities. But note carefully: When you pray, “Your kingdom come,” you must of necessity also pray: “My kingdom go.” God’s kingdom cannot “come” unless your kingdom is going to “go” They both can’t coexist at the same time and place. From D.A. Carson's commentary, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount:  "Your kingdom come.” Christians ought not to pray this prayer lightly or thoughtlessly. Throughout the centuries, followers of Jesus suffering savage persecution have prayed this prayer with meaning and fervor. But I suspect that...

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The Rise of the Thin-Skinned Radicals

I was in a conversation the other day with some friends about some of the latest debates in the evangelical church. One of the things that struck us is just how thin-skinned we tend to be when our ideas are challenged. What's particularly interesting is how intolerant we are of people we think are intolerant. A few examples come to mind: There's a rich market of progressive evangelicals who like to skewer the evangelical church. Every day, it seems, a book comes out that essentially makes the case that the church has gotten it all wrong and should should reexamine orthodoxies and beliefs. A good example is Rob Bell's infamous book, Love Wins and his recent marketing of his latest: What We Talk About When We Talk About God. Many of Rob Bell's fans (though not, seemingly, Rob himself) seem to wince at every criticism of Bell and label it "mean-spirited" and "ugly." To...

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A Big Announcement

So I have a big, really cool announcement about my blog. Over the past few years, I've had the privilege of interviewing all kinds of Christian leaders on this blog in a feature I call "The Friday Five." I've learned a lot, made some great friends, and have heard from lots of people about how much they enjoyed learning from this diverse group of Christian leaders. Well, starting in April, I'm moving The Friday Five over to Leadership Journal, the fine print and online publication of Christianity Today. I'm excited to team up with my friends Skye Jethani and Drew Dyck and Marshall Shelley and Paul Pastor who operate this incredible publication. This is a great opportunity to bring these types of interviews to a wider audience. And I'm pinching myself, because LJ has long been one of my favorite publications both in print and online. I've learned so much from the terrific...

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