The Long Journey of the Word

If you read the Book of Acts carefully, you’ll discover it isn’t really about Paul’s (or Peter’s) journey to Rome. Its a travelogue of the gospel message about Jesus! Its all about the movement of the Word from Jerusalem to Caesar’s Palace. Its the long and winding road the Wisdom of the Ages traversed to get from the backwater of the Palestinian foothills into the heart of the ancient world’s power-brokers and influencers. Today, we still need that Word to travel!

Immigration Reform & the Tower of Babel

I wrote this piece 10 years ago! In light of the latest DACA decision and ongoing conversation, I want to repost this today. As a pastor I do not believe its my place to tell folks how to vote on complex political issues, but I am called to help folks think biblically about such matters….

Jesus on the Ancient School Bus

Tomorrow morning we send off our firstborn, Peter, to his first day of kindergarten. And he wants to ride the bus. [Cue the tears.] So, as we all behold those yellow buses on the move, shuttling precious loads of anxious, squirmy, hyperactive, pimple-faced, (hopefully!) potty-trained rug rats, let us pause and ponder their place in our…

Wisdom Culture & the Juvenalization of American Christianity

“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 Churches are busy with many good endeavors, but seeking and passing on wisdom seems to have fallen down the list of priorities. According to my teacher, Scot McKnight: “People today care less about growing up or gaining wisdom and far more about staying young, maintaining relevancy, and dressing according…

Writing Your Dreams in Ink

It was our first Christmas together. You knew it was serious because we would be spending Christmas with each other’s families for the first time. Dun-dun-dun. Do you remember the pressure from all the “firsts” in those early days of dating? First date. First embrace. First time your hands touch. First lingering goodbye at the door or in…

Teaching & Interpersonal Relationships

Matt Friedeman’s book The Master Plan of Teaching (1990) examines Jesus’ teaching style and suggests the following formula emphasizing that content alone is not enough, but the teacher-student relationship is a central ingredient: COMMUNICATION = CONTENT + RELATIONSHIP He then offers some steps toward effective interpersonal relationships in the graph below. Pastors and teachers who want to…

Jesus’ Call to Discipleship

Just skimmed a little book by the great NT scholar, James Dunn, on Jesus’ Call to Discipleship (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992). If you’ve ever wanted a short, concise summary of the heart of Jesus’ radical teaching and summons to discipleship, here’s a great summary from pp. 121-122: 1) It begins from God and…

Ekklesia: A Radical Social Experiment

My heart breaks for our country and world today. Racial inequality, deep seated mistrust, increasing violence and boiling hatred fill our headlines daily. I write this in the aftermath of the horrific white nationalist rally and car crash in Charlottesville. Followers of Jesus must denounce such evils clearly and in the strongest terms. (Read  statement from…