We’re about to Make a Big Mistake – Reflections on Rebecca McLaughlin’s “The Secular Creed” In describing the big mistake our culture is making, I’m going to point you to 2 resources. One is meant to make you say, “Eh.” (This first resource is not going to be super engaging—but hang on, because it makes an important point.) The other is meant to make you say, depending on where you’re... Daniel McCoy
When Life Doesn’t Go How You Expect There have been plenty of times in my life when life didn’t go as I had expected. When I was ten years old, I wrote a letter to a missionary in India, expressing my desire to become a missionary myself. He had recently preached at our church and lit a fire in my little spirit.... Naomi Jones
Q&A – How Does Christianity Relate to Other Cultures? *Editor’s Note: It’s easy to think of your own cultural as superior to others. When you become a citizen of God’s kingdom, how should you interact with other cultures? I recently sat down with four church leaders who are doing this well and asked them questions which get at the heart of how churches can...
Worship Leader Q&A: What Steps Invite the Skeptic Back? *Editor’s Note: Not everyone who comes to church is convinced that the worship songs are true. Songs about God’s goodness and faithfulness strike some people as a mismatch to their experience. Recently I got to host a conversation with four worship leaders about how to lead people in worship who are skeptical about God or...
Are White Evangelicals Responsible for Corrupting the Faith and Fracturing a Nation? A Review of “Jesus and John Wayne” One of the most popular and trending books in Christian circles right now is the book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez of Calvin University. In an interview with Warren Smith of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Du Mez describes her... Guy Layfield
Q&A – 3 Questions We’ve Started Asking at Baptism *Editor’s Note: Sometimes a church’s expectations for a new believer are fuzzy. Is regular church attendance a good goal, or should we be aiming higher? How should we communicate Jesus’ sober call to deny ourselves and follow him alongside his promise of grace and forgiveness for all who call upon his name? I recently had... Ben Sobels
How to Read a Progressive like the Bible *Editor’s Note: For Part 1 (“How to Read the Bible like a Progressive”), click here. In 2014, the late Rachel Held Evans wrote an autobiographical account called Faith Unraveled. It was her story of plunging from robust evangelicalism into cynical unbelief until she settled for a proud progressivism. Although progressivism is often not the ending... Daniel McCoy
How to Read Hard Bible Passages The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth was composed—or more accurately, compiled—by Thomas Jefferson in 1820. What eventually became known colloquially as the Jefferson Bible was constructed by cutting and pasting only the sections of the New Testament that Jefferson liked and agreed with. Some days that solution sounds a whole lot simpler than... Kurt Buhr
Q&A – What Habits Can Break Barriers to Building a Multiethnic Church? *Editor’s Note: It’s easy to think in generalities when it comes to pursuing multiethnic churches. But what are some habits each of us can practice which will lead to multiethnic churches? I recently sat down with four church leaders who are doing this well and asked them questions which get at the heart of how...
6 Principles for Doubting Well Seems like I’ve been talking about doubt a lot lately. Whether it’s being asked to respond to the latest exvangelical publicly denouncing their faith on TikTok or friends asking me to intervene with a loved one who is asking difficult questions about God, doubt–and our response to it–has been on my mind a lot. It... Chad Ragsdale
How to Read the Bible like a Progressive How to read the Bible like a progressive—is that really a good idea? No, I’m not suggesting you try this. In fact, I’m going to suggest that you learn how progressive Christians read the Bible in order to keep yourself from doing it. What’s a “progressive”? I’m using “progressive” to refer to a person who rewrites important... Daniel McCoy
What the Exile Can Teach Us about Returning to Church Greater than the return of the hobbits to the Shire, greater than Dorothy waking in Kansas, even greater than Nemo’s return to the reef is the return of the disciple to an in-person worship service. That return feels like a great deliverance from exile. I arrived at our outdoor service on Easter Sunday, before the sun... Debbra Stephens
Sermon on the Mount: The Persecuted Jesus finishes off the Beatitudes with, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:10). Jesus will mention persecution again (Mt. 5:44), and that will give us a chance to look at why persecution in general happens. But looking at this Beatitude (and the brief coda... Jeremy Bacon
Worry: The Acceptable Sin? “Stop sinning.” My friend, a lawyer who follows Jesus, shocked me with his response when I shared about my worries. I was changing jobs, stepping out in faith, and starting a new organization from scratch. I shared that I was concerned about our family’s finances through this transition and a litany of other very understandable stressors, all... Ken Shackelford
Q&A – What Gets in the Way of Being a Multiethnic Church? *Editor’s Note: Churches which are truly multiethnic and multicultural take a lot of intentionality, and there are plenty of factors that can obstruct the process. I recently sat down with four church leaders who are doing this well and asked them questions which get at the heart of how churches can be more intentional about...
3 Ways to Respond to Mass Shootings Have you heard of the “Serenity Prayer”? Although the original prayer written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr is longer, here is the prayer as it is commonly quoted: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” It’s a popular... Daniel McCoy