How Pride Month Taught Me the Power of Spirituality Since it was Pride Month, I googled the pride flag to explain to my eldest the meaning of the flags around town. I went with the traditional rainbow flag and explained the basics of the acronym LGBT. When the conversation was over, I decided to do some exploring, knowing that there was at least one... Daniel McCoy
Some Uncommon Thoughts About the Book of Ruth The scriptural narrative of the promised land that Israel would come to inhabit included two different streams of thought: one of total separation from the surrounding nations, and another that recognized a possibility for inclusion. Deuteronomy and Joshua include commands of a fierce and unyielding separation from the nations that Israel would come to inhabit.... Jonathan Lichtenwalter
Sermon on the Mount: Salt and Light When Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth/light of the world (Mt. 5:13-14), remember that his direct audience is the disciples. The “you” refers to those people who actually live out the things he is saying. But he immediately puts these folks in context: they are living out his principles in the world.... Jeremy Bacon
3 Steps to Passing Along the Faith: Repeat (Part 3) Here is Part 1 (“Hear”) and Part 2 (“Obey”). The Shema, recorded in Deuteronomy, was originally spoken to the Israelites on their way into the Promised Land. This section of Scripture was so important that the first part of it became a daily prayer for Israelites. Moreover, it was from the Shema that Jesus quoted... Rachel Younis
On Gender and the Bible: A Summary (Part 12) This post is a summary of what Scripture teaches about gender in leadership roles, specifically within the Christian home and the church. It is a recap of the multi-part series that has been written by scholars and practitioners at Renew.org (here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11). We have included relevant links to the more in-depth...
Why Did Jesus Pick Fishermen? Answer: The Gospel. A good joke leads an audience down one path (the setup), but then jolts them with an unexpected turn at the end (the punchline). In the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel, we may not read any jokes, but we experience an unexpected twist. Mark 1:15 gets us going down one path. Jesus begins his ministry... Daniel McCoy
3 Steps to Passing Along the Faith: Do (Part 2) How do we pass along the faith to the next generation? The Shema, a famous section from the book of Deuteronomy, gives us a threefold pattern of passing the faith onto the next generation, which can be put like this: Hear Do Repeat Right after reminding Israel of God’s uniqueness (“Hear O Israel…the Lord is... Rachel Younis
Exposing Our Self-Deceptions: Review of Daniel McCoy’s Mirage: 5 Things People Want from God That Don’t Exist What’s the best way to expose self-deception? Daniel McCoy’s Mirage: 5 Things People Want from God That Don’t Exist is a concise work which exposes some of our most potent self-deceptions through colorful story, paraphrase, and metaphor. The reader gains an enlightened concern for several deceptions currently plaguing the church in Western post-Christian society. Yet,... Brett Seybold
On Gender and the Bible: Thoughts of a Theologian and a Therapist on the Transgender Debate (Part 11) *Editor’s Note: The previous articles in our series “On Gender and the Bible” have asked what the Bible says about God’s purposes for creating men and women and how those purposes can be lived out in the church and home. This is Part 11 in our series exploring what the Bible says about gender. Here...
This Pastor Doesn’t Know the Sky Is Falling. Is He Right? I recently took an afternoon to hang out with a pastor friend of mine. Nice guy. But the impression he left me with as I got on the highway to head back home was that his ministry, though effective, was missing something I had come to expect from conversations with other Christians in 2021. What... Daniel McCoy
Gardening and Spiritual Growth Last year I built a 4’ x 8’ raised garden bed in the backyard. Other than watching countless YouTube videos of people discussing their secret soil formulas and watering schedules, I talked to my good friend and mentor Danny for advice. Danny grew up on a farm and always had a flourishing garden. His backyard... Joshua Branham
A Spiritual Slaughter We Aren’t Talking About *Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of articles pointing our focus on the persecuted church in many parts of the world. This first article, however, reminds us that the Devil’s tactics are not exclusive to physical persecution in foreign countries. He is busy in the Western world as well, with subtle yet... Jake Sutherlin
My Favorite Paragraph of Disciple Making: The Core Mission of the Church Buried deep within my house is a treasure chest. By “deep,” I mean it’s in my office in the basement. By “treasure chest,” I mean exactly what it sounds like: it’s an antique, wooden treasure chest, maybe 10 inches long and 8 inches high. And what’s inside is a literal treasure. I feel safe putting... Daniel McCoy
Can a Christian Lose Salvation? (Part 2) The question of eternal security can be an inflammatory one for many evangelicals. Many evangelicals were raised by parents or pastors who taught that it was an essential doctrine. “Never go to a church,” they say, “where they do not teach eternal security.” By that statement they mean, “Don’t ever go to a church that... Bobby Harrington
3 Steps to Passing Along the Faith: Hear (Part 1) For some Christians, “discipleship” might seem like a trendy concept, but we see the practice of discipling people in the faith of God all the way back when Moses gave them the law in Deuteronomy: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart... Rachel Younis
On What Basis Will God Evaluate Our Lives? *Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Disciple Making: The Core Mission of the Church. Jesus claimed that following his teachings was foundational for living life as it was intended: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12)....