Part II: The Theory Trap

My most recent book was on the relationship between evangelism and social action. It was five-year project and I poured my heart and soul into it. When I was done, I had mixed emotions. I was proud of the work and felt the argument was worth making. But I was troubled. What specifically troubled meContinue reading “Part II: The Theory Trap”

Part I: Reflections on Christian Higher Ed

A few weeks ago, I officially stepped away from a career in Christian higher education, a career that I had thought would take me to retirement. As I move in a different direction in ministry, I thought I would share some parting thoughts on Christian higher ed. So, here goes. I first felt called toContinue reading “Part I: Reflections on Christian Higher Ed”

Spiritual Warfare

Ministry is hard. Its demanding, its time consuming, its taxing, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And for those of us in ministry, we do everything we can here to prepare for those challenges. We study the Bible, we pray, we read books on leadership and church planting and outreach and endurance. But one of the areasContinue reading “Spiritual Warfare”

A Pentecostal Theology of Sickness

As Pentecostals we talk a lot about healing. Or, at least we used to. But that talk often went awry. It far too frequently tended toward the hyper-faith movement wherein the sovereignty of God became subject to the faith of the afflicted (thereby rendering the terms “sovereignty” and “faith” innocuous). But rarely have we articulatedContinue reading “A Pentecostal Theology of Sickness”

Finding Our Way Back

The events of this past week weigh heavy on my heart, not only for the destruction and violence that took place, but for the way that many framed their actions with references to the cross and to Jesus. As Kimberly Winston reported, The Christian flag, an ecumenical white flag with a blue field and aContinue reading “Finding Our Way Back”

To the Graduating Class of 2020 (An Open Letter):

You didn’t bargain for this and you don’t deserve it. You worked hard. Paid your dues. And when it came time to celebrate, the world went crazy. And I wouldn’t dare say anything as tone deaf as “look on the bright side” and then proceed to pretend that I would not be angry and bitterContinue reading “To the Graduating Class of 2020 (An Open Letter):”

Unhelpful (and unbiblical) Things Pastors Do During a Global Pandemic

For the most part, I am inspired by what I see in the church right now. People are being smart, caring, and kind. Two of my students today told me how young people at their church are shopping for the more vulnerable elderly. Some churches are distributing food and others are actually providing testing! ButContinue reading “Unhelpful (and unbiblical) Things Pastors Do During a Global Pandemic”

Why Character Matters (even when there’s not a global pandemic)

I’ve been thinking a lot about character lately, in part because I’ve been working on a book on compassionate discipleship for about three years now and this subject is always bouncing around in my brain. But this afternoon as I was preparing an online lecture on missions for our University of Valley Forge Students, IContinue reading “Why Character Matters (even when there’s not a global pandemic)”

What is Truth?

Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is truth?” never seems to lose its relevance. Yesterday I caught a story on NPR about something called “Deepfake” Technology. Basically, this is technology that allows for the digital manipulation of videos in order to make people appear to say something that they never said. The story reported that thisContinue reading “What is Truth?”

Verbal-Assault Evangelism (and why it doesn’t work)

A few days ago, I had a physical therapy appointment and encountered a fellow who was rather “in-your face” about the Lord. And by “in your face,” I specifically mean, in my face. As I was checking in, he walked up to the counter, loudly greeting the gals working there, and then shouting “Praise theContinue reading “Verbal-Assault Evangelism (and why it doesn’t work)”