When Christians Just Don’t Read the Bible

A recent study sponsored by LifeWay Research and highlighted by Facts & Trends shares some unfortunate but unsurprising results: “A third of Americans who attend a Protestant church regularly (32%) say they read the Bible personally every day. Around a quarter (27%) say they read it a few times a week.” They divide the results demographically and provide lots more information, but the facts are clear enough: plenty of good, Christian, Bible-believing folk are not spending time in the Word …

When My Children Grow Strong and I Grow Weak

Multiculturalism has a fascinating way of messing with our presuppositions. We find to our surprise that what is normal to one person is foreign to another, that what is good within one culture is evil within another. We find that much of what we believe to be objectively good and true has actually been filtered through a subjective cultural lens. We find that we need to look to the transcultural Bible to ask, “What does God say about this?” When …

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Leave and Cleave Like a Strawberry

Living in a multicultural city and serving in a multicultural church has given me a wide view of some of the ways different generations of a family can relate to one another. As a young generation begins to pair up and to marry, forming new families, they need to learn to relate to the generation or generations that came before. This can take many different forms and I’ve long observed that the most significant determining factor is usually culture. We …

How I Prepare a Sermon

I have enjoyed reading articles by various Aussies as they tell how they prepare their weekly sermons. I always find it beneficial to hear how others set about the task and thought I’d add my voice to the mix. The point in this article and the others is not to suggest that one method is superior to any other or to suggest any of them is worthy of total imitation. Rather, it’s to provide a smorgasbord of options other preachers …

Make Some Return To Your Parents

I’ve recently encountered quite a number of people who are grappling with issues related to honoring and caring for their aging parents. Some have parents who are no longer capable of independent living—Should they be invited in to our home or should we look at nursing homes? Some have parents who are very demanding—Do we need to give them so much time when they are being so overbearing? Some have parents who are impoverished—Should we give them money or should …

Does Your Church Truly Care for True Widows?

An especially important ministry of the earliest church was the ministry of caring for widows. In fact, early in the book of Acts we see that the church’s first conflict was related to widows, when some were unjustly favored over others. The Apostles responded by appointing a body of men of good repute to oversee and ensure the equitable distribution of charity. And though that was undoubtedly the right course of action, it did not solve every problem or answer …

A Pastoral Prayer

Father, your Word tells us that your blessings are not upon those who walk in the counsel of the wicked, who stand in the way of sinners, or who sit in the seat of scoffers. Your blessings are not upon those who deny you, or those who flagrantly disobey you, or those who forsake your will and your ways. Your blessings are not upon those who choose to embrace folly. No, your blessings are upon those who find their delight …

The Coming Millennial Midlife Crisis

One of the things I most admire about the Millennial generation is their desire to make a difference in the world. They are convinced that it’s their responsibility to make the world a better place. Not only that, but they believe they actually can. It’s little wonder, then, that it’s so easy to rally this generation to the sake of causes—climate change or gun control or social inequalities or other matters of justice. They’ve got a high assessment of both …

This Is Not Your Grandparents’ Church

One of the ugliest boasts of so many of the churches created during the era of the Church Growth Movement was this: This is not your grandparents’ church. This was a slogan they proudly broadcast on signs outside their churches multi-function ministry centers, a motto they printed on postcards and mailed to nearby homes. Just about every upper middle class neighborhood in North America got at least a few of these in the late 90s and early aughts. These churches …

8 New and Notable Books for June

It’s that time again! I couldn’t possibly read or review every good book (not to mention every bad book) that finds its way into my mailbox. However, I do like to look them all over and let my readers know about some of the new ones that are most noteworthy. So here are the new and notable books that appeared in my mailbox over the last month or so. In each case, I’ve included the publisher’s description to give you …