Make room for suffering

make room for suffering

There is a strain of Christianity that promises material blessing as a sign of God’s favor: cars, homes, bank accounts, etc. Given the economic downturn over the last few years, this strain should strain all credibility. Did God decide to…

Stepping upon Christ’s back

stepping upon Christ's back

Getting your theology from pop lyrics is usually a poor idea, but there are wonderful exceptions. Take Terry Taylor’s 1998 solo album, John Wayne. Known better for raucous numbers like “Hide the Beer, the Pastor’s Here” and “Darn Floor, Big…

Why we don’t bear fruit

Parable of the sower

One of Jesus’ many well-known parables is the parable of the sower, which imagines a man with a bag of seed, casting the kernels this way and that. The seed, which represents the gospel, lands on different types of soil,…

Defending absolutes

In our culture today, to believe in — much less confess and defend — absolutes is deemed arrogant. To insist that something is one way and not another provokes charges of egotism, presumption, and superiority. That’s tricky for Christians because…

The cult of agreeableness

Joel Osteen’s disturbing inability to say that Mormonism is something other than Christian reflects a particular affliction from which our culture suffers. I’m not sure what to call it other than the cult of agreeableness, a widespread tendency to avoid…

The kindergarten rules

kindergarten rules

Here are some lessons you’re supposed to learn as a child that will definitely serve you when you’re older: Don’t touch that. Say please. Use your words. Say your prayers. Don’t beat up the little guys; they might grow up…

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