God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel

It is beyond dispute that the prosperity gospel has swept over the world to such a degree that a significant portion of those who call themselves Christians—whether at home or abroad—hold to a version of Christianity that bears little resemblance to “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” It is beyond dispute that this gospel promises prosperity to the many while delivering it to only a few. And it is beyond dispute that there is a clear connection …

A Teen Girl’s Guide To Growing in Christ

It can’t be easy to be a teen girl. Though I suppose there has probably never been a context in which coming of age was free from all challenges, there’s no doubt that the twenty-first century offers some new and unique ones. And if it can’t be easy to be a teen girl, it can’t be any easier to be a Christian teen girl who is already following the narrow road that leads toward Christ but which also leads her …

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Not What You Think

While the gospel remains fixed and unchanging, every generation is different from the one before. While God’s Word is always true and powerful, each generation has its own doubts and questions. This means that each generation needs to be taught about God and his Word in a unique way. Where gen X might have responded well to the clear, straightforward answers of Evidence that Demands a Verdict, today’s millennials are not wrestling with those issues and may not be satisfied …

Affirming God’s Image

It’s sometimes amazing to consider how quickly societal mores change, how quickly an idea can go from unthinkable to acceptable, from having great social stigma attached to its acceptance to having even greater social stigma attached to its rejection. There may be no better example of this than transgenderism. Less than a generation ago, few would have dared suggest that there is no necessary link between biological sex and gender identity. Today, though, it is commonly believed that a person …

Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation

It’s not like we’re hurting for books about a Christian understanding of work. In fact, the past few years have seen nothing short of an explosion of interest in the subject. So when yet another showed up in my mailbox, I was tempted to set it aside. I was tempted, that is, until I saw D.A. Carson’s commendation: “The last few years have witnessed a flurry of books that treat a Christian view of work. This is the best of …

The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read (But Is Too Embarrassed to Ask)

I’ve seen churches where the pastor has been treated terribly—a slave forced to cede to the congregation’s every whim. I’ve seen churches where the pastor has been treated heroically—a superstar who exists above all critique and accountability. Surely the biblical position avoids both extremes and treats the pastor far better than either a slave or a celebrity. It treats him as a shepherd or, better still, an under-shepherd who serves on behalf of the great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus …

Between Life and Death

We’ve all heard the witticisms about death and taxes as the world’s only inevitabilities and about humanity’s mortality rate continuing to stick stubbornly at exactly one hundred percent. We all know we are going to die and that we ought to prepare ourselves accordingly. But what’s equally inevitable and perhaps even more painful, is that people we love are going to die. Harder still, is that we may need to guide them or even make decisions for them in those …

The Gospel-Driven Church

Over the past few decades, evangelical churches have been shaped and reshaped by the church growth movement. This movement held out a model of local church ministry that some have labeled “attractional.” The idea was to make churches attractive to unbelievers so they would have compelling reasons to come to church where they could then hear the gospel message and be saved. Churches most commonly made themselves attractive by emphasizing contemporary music, integrating creative elements like illustrated sermons, focusing on …

A Company of Heroes

I write this review of Tim Keesee’s new book A Company of Heroes at the end of a year-long journey around the world. Twelve times in the past year I boarded a plane and began a long journey to a distant nation. Twelve times I disembarked and got oriented and began a search—a search for objects related to the long and storied history of the Christian church. I scoured colleges and cathedrals, libraries and museums, always on the lookout for …

Budgeting for a Healthy Church

Have you ever wondered why books often have a foreword? Why would one author ask another to write a little mini-chapter at the front of his book? Having been asked to provide one for Jamie Dunlop’s Budgeting for a Healthy Church, I had to think it through. I believe the reason is two-fold. First, it’s meant to give you, the reader, confidence in the author of the book, to assure you he or she is qualified to write about the …