Get free email updates as I write new articles (no more than once a week):

The Truth of the Bible Still Matters, and It Always Will

The Bible is literally true. If I just lost you, that's okay. I get that this may come across as a weird statement to anyone reading who is 1) not a Christian, 2) a new Christian, or 3) a "progressive" Christian who disagrees. And it's downright laughable to the skeptic who denies it on scientific or historical grounds. I'm okay with that. I made a rather significant decision when I was seventeen years old. I was struggling with God's calling on my life and my …

Keep Reading

You Need to Know Balthasar Hubmaier

Baptists sometimes miss out on great ancient resources found in some great theologians and leaders of the past who probably impacted our theology as much or more than the Reformers, but the Reformers get all the kudos. Take, for example, Balthasar Hubmaier, an early anabaptist leader. (It's not capitalized because the word "anabaptist" was never a particular sect or denomination, but rather a term loosely applied to those who "re-baptized" those who had already been baptized …

Keep Reading

A Biblical Ecclesiology for Church Planting

A casual observer of the modern church planting movement might conclude that we have a generation of leaders who are aggressively launching churches in the same way serial entrepreneurs start new businesses. With the right model, enough talent, and piles of cash, we can build a show sure to attract enough attenders to reach critical mass so that a large church is produced. But underlying any church planting movement blessed by a sovereign Creator must be a theology of the …

Keep Reading

Getting Explicit About the Gospel

Rick Warren said, "If you read only one book this year, make it this one. It's that important." The gospel is a message that never loses its relevancy and always needs retelling. I found Matt Chandler's The Explicit Gospel to be an awesome retelling of it. Chandler's explanation of the gospel is ultra-clear, and while I detect that hint of his Reformed leanings (to which he alludes a time or two), his book avoids extremes, stays between the theological rails, and at least …

Keep Reading

An Interview with Rick Warren on Muslims, Evangelism, and Missions

Pastor Rick Warren has often said that “you never win your enemies to Christ, only your friends.” And he’s gone far past the limits most believers are willing to broach in order to form friendships and love a world in need of Jesus. Because of this, he’s often the target of unfair criticism and unfounded rumors. If you’ve longed for Pastor Rick to clear the air with boldness and clarity, keep reading. Along with another article I wrote about how Rick is a bridge-builder, …

Keep Reading

God Is Love… But Am I?

God is love. We hear that statement but because it has become so cliche, we fail to feel the full weight of it. We, in our unloving and often unloveable finite human minds will never fully comprehend it. And to emulate that which we cannot comprehend is extremely difficult. If only we had a through, biblical description of this word love... Oh wait! Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not …

Keep Reading

Every Pastor Should Read ‘Note to Self’

"Preaching it" is easier than living it. This creates significant problems when our speaking talent outweighs our personal character. Therefore, it is imperative that we, as shepherds, shepherd ourselves - that we hear the Word, do the Word, and preach to ourselves first. That's why I love Joe Thorn's book Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself (Re: Lit Books). We often buy books to help us prepare sermons. You should buy this book to help prepare yourself. …

Keep Reading

John Piper Interviews Rick Warren About Doctrine

For the last year, I've gotten daily reports on the mentions of Rick Warren, Purpose Driven, and Saddleback Church. Sometimes I respond in some way, but most of the time we just like to know what's on the radar. What upsets me is that there are so many believers who sit perched like vultures waiting on Christian leaders to say anything that can be gossiped about in the name of "discernment" or "exposing" error. I've often longed for Pastor Rick Warren to be able, in some …

Keep Reading

Jesus’ Crystal Clear Theological Affirmations

Jesus wasn't always clear. He told parables not for the purpose of simplifying and illustrating truths to make them more understandable, but to present the mysteries of the kingdom to the few who would catch the underlying meanings. Jesus is the greatest philosopher the world has ever known. He could go deep, get confusing, and be abstract anytime He chose to do so. But... Jesus made certain truths very, very clear. For example... …

Keep Reading

Pastor, Don’t Forget Your Soul!

This is the age of innovative ministry techniques and methodologies. We're mad with creativity, which I love, but at times we can be right in the midst of innovation and be missing out on developing something so much more vital - our souls. I went through a period quite a few years ago in which all I was reading were books on growth, health, techniques, trends, etc. What I wasn't doing, and need to be, was soaking in the classics, devotional reading, and deepening my …

Keep Reading