The Happiest Christians and the Happiest Missionaries

Who are the happiest Christians? Who are the happiest missionaries? And what is it that makes them so happy? This is a question Daniel Hames and Michael Reeves answer in their book What Fuels the Mission of the Church? Here’s what they say… If someone were to ask us, “What is God like?” the answer must be “Jesus Christ.” And this is the beating heart of mission. God’s glory—his own naturally overspilling life, seen in his Son—is mission’s rationale and its …

The World Next Door

It can be difficult to know how to tell others about our Christian convictions. It can be difficult to know the best way to tell others about what we believe and why we believe it. And while I am sure this has always been the case, there are new challenges that come with the seismic shifts we’ve seen in Western culture over the past decade or two—shifts that have carried us into what is increasingly obviously a post-Christian West in …

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The One About Calvinism and Evangelism

If you read enough blogs over a long enough period of time, you will inevitably begin to see patterns emerge. You will see that certain subjects are addressed time and again by writer after writer. One such article that has been written a hundred times by a hundred people, myself included probably, is the one about Calvinism and evangelism. Many Calvinists have felt the need to defend their tribe against the age-old charge that Calvinism diminishes evangelism and that Calvinists …

Am I Judged for My Productivity in Sharing the Gospel?

On a recent trip to Rome, Italy, I participated in an Ask Me Anything event that was focused on matters of productivity. One of the questions I was asked was related to success at sharing the gospel, and if we are judged based on our faithfulness in doing so. Here is my answer. (I also thought you might be interested in seeing what it’s like to work with a translator–it forces you to think and speak in short bursts.) Transcript …

How Evangelism Is Kind of Like Fishing

Simon, his brother, and their business partners were fishermen whom Jesus called to a very different kind of fishing. “Follow me,” he told them. “From now on you will be catching men.” They were caught by Jesus so they could catch others. And in much the same way, we have been caught by Jesus so we can catch others for Jesus. We ought to see this as a tremendous privilege. Not just that we have been caught—we know that’s a …

When the Mission Field Comes To You

What Christian hasn’t been moved by the beautiful vision of Revelation 7? John sees a powerful display of what God means to accomplish—and, indeed, what he is accomplishing and will accomplish—through the gospel of Jesus Christ. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying …

Reaching People with the Gospel

On my recent trip to Scotland I participated in an Ask Me Anything event at a local bookstore, and was asked two related questions: What is the best way to reach people with the Gospel in the modern world, and what is your preferred method of evangelism?  Here are my answers to those questions.   Transcript What is the best way to reach people with the Gospel today? People are always reached in the same way, which is through the …

Why Some People Aren’t Christians

I suppose I could be on dangerous ground here, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot and have been eager to “write it out,” (which is how I work through ideas in my mind). I’ve been thinking about why some people don’t become Christians. Why is it that some people aren’t saved even though they had an opportunity to be? As an adherent to Reformed theology I have an easy answer: the Holy Spirit has not yet regenerated them, …

Preaching the Gospel with TULIP’s Tricky “L” in Mind

It’s a fair question for the Arminian to ask: How can you preach the free offer of the gospel when you believe in a limited atonement? How can you preach the “whosoever” of John 3:16 if you cannot be certain that Christ’s atonement was for every person? How can you say, “Turn to Christ and be saved all the ends of the earth” if Christ’s atoning sacrifice does not extend to all humanity? First, a brief theological refresher. The doctrines …

They Have Not Rejected You, They Have Rejected Me

God’s people had rejected God’s prophet. For many years, Samuel had served the nation of Israel. Though his sons had proven wayward, he himself had remained faithful. He had served well. He had spoken the words of God to the nation. He had appointed judges to govern them. But still the day came when the people rejected him. “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, ‘Behold, you are old …