A Short History of Communication

Over the past few days I have been preparing to preach on Genesis 3, one of those amazing biblical texts that just opens wide as you begin to study it. One clear application from the first seven verses is that we need to know, believe and stand upon the Word of God. Adam and Eve did not do this–they doubted God’s Word. That doubt, that lack of trust, led to sin, led to the Fall, led to this world. One …

Idolatry New and Old

A little while ago my friend Ian loaned me the PBS DVD series The Story of India This six-part series, which runs about six hours, simply tells the story of India from ancient times until roughly the time of Indian Independence. It is a good documentary, even if the host’s excessive exuberance toward all things Indian is a little bit hard to take after a while. “Oh, isn’t that wonderful! Fantastic! Remarkable! Unbelievable! Stupendous!” As one would have to expect …

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Ashamed of Shame Itself

Last night as Aileen and I taught some of the teens at church (as we do every Wednesday evening) we encountered the concepts of guilt and shame. It is a tricky concept this, as it may be positive or negative depending on the context. The Bible makes it clear that, in their innocence, before they invited sin into the world, Adam and Eve were “naked and unashamed.” Written after the fact and written at a time when people could hardly …

Reveling in Humiliation

Some time ago I read Girls Gone Mild, a book by Wendy Shalit. Shalit’s first book, A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue was published eight years ago and caused quite a stir. Shalit, an Orthodox Jew, made the audacious claim that the sexual revolution may not have been entirely beneficial for women. She decried the lack of modesty this revolution has brought about and, according to TIME defended “compellingly, shame, privacy, gallantry, and sexual reticence.” Of course many …

The Death of Shame

Over the past few years, Aileen and I have continually returned to the question of why so many young people these days seem unwilling or unable to grow up. It is a question that has confused us, especially as we look to many of the young people we know. There was a time when young people seemed eager to grow up, to mature, and to head out into the world to make their mark on it. Or that is how …

Halloween – Trick or Retreat?

Will you participate in Halloween this year? Halloween is once again nearly upon us. Articles about the occasion are beginning to make their way into my RSS reader and I thought I’d keep up with one of this site’s few traditions and write an article on the subject. My thoughts on the subject continue to develop as perhaps long-time readers will notice. Just this morning Pulpit Magazine linked to a great article courtesy of Grace to You. The article deals …

Virtual Cheating in a Virtual World

Second Life and cheating in a virtual world. Friday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal featured an article about Second Life, a popular online digital world. It is inhabited by people like you and me, but people who take on a new identity–a second life. It is, by all accounts, an engaging experience. This is borne out by the millions of people who have signed up for an account (almost 9 million according to the company) and the tens of …

New Attitude (V)

People often ask me if some speakers are easier to “blog” then others. The answer is a clear yes. There are some speakers who speak in such a way that they are really quite easy to capture and to summarize. There are others that are very difficult. The primary difference, I think, is between those who provide very logical, clear, alliterated and structured outlines versus those who may not. This would include the likes of Steve Lawson, Ligon Duncan, and …

Radical Reformission (Part 4)

This is the fourth article in a series about Mark Driscoll’s book The Radical Reformission. You can find the first article here and the second here and the third here. We are progressing through the book and have arrived at a chapter in which Driscoll begins to apply his understanding of culture and reformission. This chapter, entitled “going to seminary at the grocery store” has the more helpful subtitle, “connecting with culture in reformission.” Driscoll begins by providing an example …

Preaching U2?

This morning I came across a book entitled Get Up Off Your Knees which is subtitled Preaching the U2 Catalog. It is a collection of sermons based on the songs of U2 that was compiled by authors Raewynne J. Whiteley and Beth Maynard. Eugene Peterson wrote the foreward. Here is a description of the book: A thoughtful and provocative collection of sermons by a group of preachers from across the international church spectrum who have been moved to theological reflection …