What’s Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?

I was recently in Quito, Ecuador, to do some historical research, to preach at a local church, and to participate in an Ask Me Anything session. I thought you may be interested in this question and answer about the prosperity gospel. And I thought you might find it interesting to see what it’s like to work with a translator. (A note on working with a translator: The main challenge I find is that I need to speak in phrases to …

Entertainment Choices and Compromise

At a recent Ask Me Anything event in India, I was asked if I felt Christians often disconnected their entertainment choices from their faith, especially in the area of watching Hollywood and Bollywood films. Here is my response. Transcript Do you think that Christians often disconnect their entertainment choices from their faith? It’s actually a really good question and I think one of the big areas of compromise into the Christian life. One of the ways compromise comes into our …

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Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and Milkshake Ducks

A few years ago a video went viral among Christians, and I wonder if you remember it. It showed a preacher laying a verbal beat-down on Joel Osteen for his unwillingness to publicly declare that Jesus is the only way to the Father. This preacher went on to call Christians to be unashamed of the gospel, to preach it widely, and to declare it fearlessly. He rebuked the church growth movement for fostering an environment where unbelievers can comfortably remain …

As Innocent as a Snake

There is something deep within the human heart, even the regenerate human heart, that enjoys evil. There is something within us that is drawn, almost magnetized at times, toward those things that are improper or even outright vile. At times each of us wants to see, taste, touch, or experience what God forbids. We want to watch things that glorify evil, to participate in what is off-limits, to experience what God says is unfitting. One of the responsibilities of every …

Keep a Close Watch on Yourself!

It happens with alarming, distressing regularity. And it hurts every time. It hurts every time we see a person we love or admire fall into a great sin or deny a precious doctrine. We are always left asking ourselves how it happened. What went wrong? How did we not see this coming? How did they not see this coming? Every one of these situations is unique and uniquely complicated. And yet there is always an inevitable, terrible simplicity as well. …

Lay Aside Every Suitcase

On August 3, 2016, Emirates airlines flight 521 crashed at Dubai International Airport. The pilots had just set down the plane when they received a warning that they had landed too late—they would run out of runway before the plane could come to a safe stop. They initiated the go-around procedure which would allow them to lift off, circle the airport, and try again. The plane rose off the runway and began to climb, but then suddenly sank back down …

3 Quick Questions Before Quitting Your Church

We all know there are times and circumstances in which the only right course of action is to leave a church. If the church leadership has apostatized or proven themselves unqualified for ministry, if they are preaching a false gospel, if they have surrendered to the culture, we need to get out. We can leave these churches boldly and without looking back, shaking the dust from our feet. But more often than not, we leave churches for what we might consider …

Is Seminary Really Necessary?

The church has been well-served by pastors who ministered without formal seminary training. John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones are standout examples of men who had impactful and long-lasting ministries even though they never attended seminary. No wonder, then, that the question often arises: Is seminary really necessary? Might it be better to get straight into ministry instead of expending so much time and effort in preparing for ministry? Jason Allen provides an answer in his book Discerning Your …

The Beginner’s Guide to Conflict Resolution

One matter of continual concern to me is interpersonal conflict within the church. It’s not the existence or even the quantity of conflict, but the inability or unwillingness to deal with it when it arises, and this despite the Bible’s clear teaching that Christians are to resolve conflict and how Christians are to resolve conflict. It’s simple: As believers we are not permitted by God to have open, unaddressed quarrels with other believers. We are to work to bring any …

Discerning Your Call to Ministry

We know the concept and are well-familiar with the phrase: “called to ministry.” We know that some men are called in a special way to a special task—the task of gospel ministry. But exactly what constitutes the call, exactly how to understand it, exactly how to know we’ve experienced it—these are matters of more than a little confusion. Thankfully we have been well-served in recent years with books attempting to bring clarity. New to the field is Jason Allen’s Discerning …