Netflix’s Biggest Competition

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, is like any other business leader in that he is constantly challenged with the question of competition: Who is the competition, and what do you plan to do about them? He was asked this question a week ago during the regularly-scheduled Q1 earnings call, and his answer is both fascinating and a little alarming. One investor asked about Amazon in particular: How will Netflix stay ahead of Amazon and their growing library of Prime videos? …

The Hottest Thing at Church Today

According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching. Not only is it the preaching, but a very specific form of it—preaching based on the Bible. And just like that, decades of church …

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The Worst Consequence of Skipping Church

We are a culture of convenience, of personalization, of individualism. We have a million ways of customizing our lives to perfectly suit our every preference. When things are difficult, we think little of pulling away from responsibilities, of reorienting our lives away from whatever causes inconvenience. This can even extend to something as good and as central as our commitment to the local church. All of us who are involved in local churches have seen people waver and wander in …

8 Sins You Commit Whenever You Look at Porn

We know that pornography is an ugly and harmful sin. We know that those who indulge in porn have committed the sin of lust, but there is so much more to it than that. When you open your browser and begin to look at those images and videos, you are sinning in ways that go far beyond lust. Here are 8 sins you commit when you look at porn. You commit the sin of idolatry. All sin is idolatry, an …

Rule #8: Purpose to be Godly (8 Rules for Growing in Godliness)

We cannot overstate the importance of knowing our purpose. There is no doubt our lives will go awry and even go to waste if we neglect to learn the purpose for our existence and the purpose for our salvation. And central to understanding our purpose is understanding why God placed us on this earth. This is why the old catechism begins with the question of purpose: “What is the chief end of man?” This is the question that has provided …

The Power of a Mother’s Surrender (Christian Men and Their Godly Moms)

Every mother knows that at some point, in some way, she will have to surrender her children. While they are young, she is responsible for protecting and teaching and training them. But all the while, she will be preparing them for independence, preparing herself to release them to the world. Ultimately, she will be preparing herself to surrender them to the will of a sovereign God. In this entry in the series, “Christian Men and Their Godly Moms,” we encounter …

One Very Good Reason to Study Church History

A friend of mine recently became a citizen of the United States of America. Until that point, he had been a mere resident, a visitor, a sojourner, a citizen of some other place. But he followed the process, he fulfilled his obligations, and he at last received the decision of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—he would be granted the privilege of citizenship. So he stood before a judge and took the Oath of Allegiance, and in that moment became …

Rule #7: Fellowship with Godly People (8 Rules for Growing in Godliness)

An ember left alone will soon grow cold, but embers set close together will continue to glow, to burn brightly, and even to set others ablaze. Christians resemble embers, for we, too, must be set close together to thrive. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise” (Proverbs 13:20), which means that those who walk with the godly become godly.” In fact, whoever longs to be godly must walk with the godly, for God has decreed that godliness will not be …

A World of Misery at My Very Door: A Story

Today I want to tell a story. It’s not my story, though I do make a couple of brief appearances along the way. It’s actually a story about a church, and if it’s a story about a church, it must first be a story about Jesus. After all, every church is his church. To tell the story right, we need to begin in 2004 and turn our attention to a young lady named Sarah. Sarah loves Jesus and she loves …

What We Gained When We Lost Our Hymnals

A few weeks ago I wrote an article titled What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals and was rather surprised to see 300,000 people stop by to read it! I meant to point out that there are consequences in shifting from one medium to another—in this case, shifting from hymnals to PowerPoint projection. (I use “PowerPoint” to stand in for all forms of projection.) It is true of every new technology that it brings benefits and drawbacks. Neither hymnals …