The Faith of Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens was a fascinating figure. Along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett he ranked as one of the “Four Horsemen” of the New Atheism. With them he popularized a whole new wave of atheism and gave credence to millions who wished to reject any notion of God. He was angry, he was bombastic, he was clever, he was compelling. It is little wonder that he gained a huge following and became a worldwide celebrity. Yet even while …

When the Mormons Come Calling

We live just down the road from a large Mormon congregation—or a large church building, at any rate. Not surprisingly, we receive regular visits from the missionaries dispatched to woo and win our neighborhood. Though the individuals vary each time, the pattern is consistent: Two clean-cut Caucasian young men with American accents, friendly and engaging, are eager to persuade us to accept a Book of Mormon and to ask God to give us the inner testimony that it is his …

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The Most Terrifying Thing God Can Do

Have you ever seen one of those photo collages of a drug addict as she descends deeper and deeper into her addiction? It is startling to see that in just a few short years an addict can be transformed—or perhaps better, deformed—from an attractive, fresh-faced young lady to a hollow-eyed shadow of a human being. Some drugs are so powerful and so devastating that they rot not only the mind and soul but the body as well. The substance that promises …

The Heart of the Unbeliever’s Unbelief

If you pause to think about it, you may just come to agree with me: Nobody really has a problem with Jesus’ atoning death. Not at heart. Nobody really has a problem with Jesus’ resurrection. Not at the foundation. They don’t have a problem with his miracles or coming return. They actually have a problem with Jesus’ incarnation. The problem is not Good Friday or Easter, but Christmas. As J.I.Packer says, “Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this …

What Gives God Pleasure

You can tell a lot about a person by learning what brings him pleasure. Pleasure is good. God has wired us to pursue pleasure. The question is: Will we seek the truest and highest pleasures, or will we settle for lesser ones? Will we, in the oft-quoted words of C.S. Lewis, accept the holiday by the sea or will we continue to fuss about in the slums with our little mud pies? What makes you happy? What pleasures do you …

How To Offend a Room Full of Calvinists

Do you want to know how to make a Calvinist angry? Do you want to know how to offend a whole room full of them? Just bring up the old line about Reformed theology being incompatible with evangelism. We have all heard it, we have all read it, we have all rejected it. It’s the word on the street, though, that Calvinists make poor evangelists. Many people are firmly convinced that there is a deep-rooted flaw embedded within Reformed theology that undermines evangelistic …

She Is a Public Nuisance

My neighbor is a public nuisance. It’s official, actually. She has been declared a nuisance which means the police are no longer obligated to respond to her phone calls. And she calls them a lot. I first encountered Elizabeth a few years ago when I saw her propped up on crutches, trying to sweep several centimeters of snow off her very long driveway. I grabbed a shovel, cleared off her drive, and have been doing it ever since (see here). …

7 Scripture Texts About Evangelism

I find it tremendously valuable to have my prayers guided by Scripture. As I pray about sharing the gospel with others, or as I pray for those who do not yet know the Lord, there are many passages from the Bible that can give focus and direction. Here are just a few of them. 1. There is work to be done Matthew 9:37-38 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray …

Loving Our Enemies

Today we come to our second-to-last reading in John Stott’s classic work The Cross of Christ. We are in a section that discusses some of the implications of the cross, or, as Stott phrases it, “living under the cross.” He wants us to know that the cross directs our conduct in relation to other people which leads to this chapter’s topic: loving our enemies. Loving Our Enemies I sense that the book is beginning to slow down a little bit. While …

Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God

There has been a good bit of talk in the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks about the election of a new President of the Southern Baptist Convention. As you no-doubt know, there are many who have been seeking to build bridges between the Calvinist and Arminian factions within the Convention. Monday’s “debate” between Paige Patterson and Al Mohler was an indication of the willingness of men on both sides of the divide to affirm their mutual respect and …