Spiritual Friendship

Have you ever had a friendship that entered into irrevocable decline because your friend just up and moved away? Have you ever had a friendship that ended over matters of convenience or preference? My guess is that most of us have experienced something like this at one time or another. And I wonder if this is an inevitable part of friendship, or whether it may just be a sign that we take friendship too lightly. Wesley Hill has been wondering …

Can You Help Me Find a Good Church?

It may be the email I get more than any other: Can you help me find a church? Sometimes I receive it when a person has come to new theological convictions and realizes that his current church is completely unsuitable, but far more often he has just moved across the country or across the world, has settled into his new home, and has now started the search for a new church. Before I answer the question, can I encourage you …

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God’s Google

Imagine if you could go back. Imagine if you could race back through time and see all of your Google searches plotted out with the date and location of each one. In that unusual way, you would have compiled a short biography of your life. You would have compiled a short narrative of your marriage and parenting. You would see the time your child was going through those temper tantrums and you searched for ideas on how to make it …

Do You Take Care of the Body?

The Bible is a book full of metaphors—word pictures that God uses to explain who he is and what he requires of us. We are sheep and God is a shepherd. We are treasonous prodigals and God is a forgiving Father. We are trees, able to bear good fruit or bad fruit. Jesus is water, able to refresh the driest, thirstiest soul. From beginning to end, the Bible teaches us using vivid pictures. One of my favorite metaphors is one …

Side by Side

Sometimes I read a book and think, “If we all just got this, the church would be so much stronger. If we all just did these things, the church would be so much better.” And Ed Welch’s new book Side by Side is exactly that kind of book. If we could all just agree to do these things, the church would be immeasurably blessed. Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love is practical advice for Christians on …

What Diversity Matters?

In their book Compelling Community, Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop write about the importance of diversity within each local church. While the word diversity tends to draw our minds immediately to racial diversity, they believe the Bible points to a wider kind of diversity. Here is what they say: Many reading this book live in places where churches share guilt for the moral scourge of racism. As a result, we care deeply about the presence of ethnic diversity in our churches. …

Good News: The Church Is in Good Hands

A few weeks ago I announced that I will be hosting a summer internship program for several high school students. For 8 weeks we will focus on theology and worldview while also working on improving writing and communication skills. All of this can and will be done via the Internet, which means that students from around the world were welcome to apply. In the end, nearly 100 people applied for those 3 internships, with the applications coming in from all across the …

Theological Black Holes

Just up the road from our house is a plaza or strip mall, a collection of 20 or 30 stores. This plaza has two large wings and right in the joint between the two wings is what must be the worst retail space in the city. At least, those of us who live here know that it is the worst retail space in the city. Aileen and I have been in this area for the past 15 years and in …

6 Reasons Why Sexual Predators Target Churches

It is terrible but true—sexual predators target churches. In the mind of a predator, a church offers a compelling target and, too often, an easy target. I recently worked my way through On Guard by Deepak Reju and learned that there are at least 6 reasons why sexual predators specifically target churches. Christians Are Naïve Some sexual offenders state it outright—they go after churches because Christians tend to be naïve. Anna Salter says, “If children can be silenced and the …

On Guard

If I could mandate that at least one leader from every church had to read a single book, I don’t think there are too many I would choose ahead of On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church. It’s not that it is the best book I have ever read (though it is plenty good) or that it contains the deepest theology (though there is plenty of good doctrine within its pages). It’s that too many times the …