Devoted to God

Christians are called to the most difficult of all tasks. Over the course of our lives we are to be sanctified, to grow in holiness, to begin to act like and look like Jesus. We are to stop being what we once were, to put aside old dreams, desires, and habits, and to start being something new, to put on new dreams, new desires, and new habits. This work begins the moment of conversion and ends only with death. Between …

The Daniel Plan

Rick Warren is one of the bestselling Christian authors of our time. While he has written too few books to compete with the likes of Max Lucado for the greatest number of books sold, the few books he has written have uniformly made their way to the bestseller lists. Where most successful Christian authors have their books sell in the thousands or maybe the tens of thousands, Warren’s sell in the millions or even the tens of millions. I have …

Jesus > Religion

Jefferson Bethke is a YouTube sensation who exploded onto the scene in January 2012 when he released a spoken word poem titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” Within three days it had been viewed 6 million times and as of today it has been viewed 25 million times. He went from unknown to celebrity in the blink of an eye. Now, nearly two years later, he has added “author” to his portfolio with Jesus > Religion: Why He …

Crazy Busy

Busyness is a funny thing. We have a love/hate relationship with it, so that when we are not boasting in it we are apologizing for it, and when we are not overwhelmed by it we are wanting more of it. We hate what busyness does to us, how it keeps us from friends and families and how it skews our priorities. On the other hand, we love that it validates us, as if the fact that we are busy someone …

Resisting Gossip

Don’t you just love a good bit of gossip? There is nothing quite like it, though perhaps a good comparison is to a juicy and succulent bit of food. The last mouthful of steak perhaps. You put it in your mouth. You let it sit there for a few moments. You celebrate the flavor. You savor it. You chew it slowly. You enjoy it to the very last chew. Then you swallow it and go your way, content and satisfied. …

Accidental Pharisees

For some time now people have been telling me, “You need to read Larry Osborne’s Accidental Pharisees.” Based on the title I was not sure whether they meant this as a compliment or insult; now that I have read it, I am still not sure. But I sure am grateful they encouraged me to read it and glad I finally did. We who consider ourselves “gospel-centered” or “Young, Restless, Reformed” (or whatever monickers we prefer) tend to focus on reading …

Not By Sight

Sometimes I read a book and can later point to a page or a chapter and a specific idea I drew from it. When I later write a review of these books I can usually point to that idea and say, “Here is what I learned; here is what the author taught me.” I love those books and in many ways can chart my spiritual growth through them. But these are not the only books that are valuable to me. …

The Circle Maker

I didn’t know what The Circle Maker was about until I began to read it. Neither did I know anything about Mark Batterson, its author. I knew the book only as a Christian bestseller and its author only as a name that often appears in my inbox as people ask if I know anything about him or have read his books. “My pastor gave everyone in the church a copy of this book. Have you reviewed it?” Finally I read …

Serving Without Sinking

You may be one of those Christians who serves. And serves. And serves some more. When you head to church on Sunday you are preparing yourself to serve and when you return home you are exhausted. And if you are one of those servant-hearted Christians it may just be that the more you serve, the more you see how so many other Christians serve sparingly and half-heartedly. You may find that it is a challenge to serve Christ and to …

Crucifying Morality

No one could possibly claim that the Beatitudes (see Matthew 5:1-12) are overlooked or underappreciated. They have been the subject of countless books and sermon series. But this is not to say that the Beatitudes have been widely understood and properly taught. As often as not they have suffered from moralization, reduced to the level of the fortune cookie and with all the spiritual power of a fortune cookie. In Crucifying Morality, R.W. Glenn takes a new look at the …