Deliver Me From Indifference

When God’s Word is unleashed in a room with passion and fervor, let people drop to their knees with conviction, rise up with cheers of excitement, or form an angry mob and try to throw me off a cliff; just deliver me from the spiritual wet blanket of indifference.

Blue Parakeets & the Bible’s Big Story

I’m rereading the great book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by my teacher, Scot McKnight. I can’t believe its already been nearly 10 years since I first devoured the book (half of it in the bookstore!), and now am studying with Scot! I’m preparing to preach on the importance of grasping the…

Jesus, Rabbinic Judaism & Personality-Driven Ministry Today

This is the concluding section of a research paper on “Rabbi Jesus & the Embodiment of Torah” exploring the Rabbi-Pupil relationships and dynamics in the ancient world — especially the role of charisma and personality in church teaching.  At First Church, Pastor Stern had the difficult task of succeeding the long-tenured and beloved Pastor Slick who…

QUOTABLES: John Calvin on the Word of God

“Let the pastors boldly dare all things by the word of God. . . . Let them constrain all the power, glory, and excellence of the world to give place to and to obey the divine majesty of this word. Let them enjoin everyone by it, from the highest to the lowest. Let them edify…

John Calvin the Preacher

We’re honoring the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation at MainStreet this month by exploring some of the key figures. Last week we focused on Luther, and I preached a portion of a Luther sermon. This week we’re meeting John Calvin! I can’t think of a better place to turn to learn about John Calvin and…

Preaching Luther

We are celebrating “Luther Week” at MainStreet as we honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We watched the 2003 Luther movie on Wednesday night, and we will be discussing the movie and Reformation this Wednesday night at Three Taverns. This Sunday I also spent time introducing this truly one-of-a-kind flawed heroes of the faith….

Naked & Embodied Words

In our digital age, many (if not most) the messages we receive throughout the week come stark naked — i.e., disembodied.  I’m finishing up my first doctoral thesis paper today, and exploring the power of and need for “embodied teaching” in the church and “embodied words” in our lives as a whole. We get sprinkled with text…

Boomers, Millennials & Bible Study

I was reading a piece today in Christianity Today (October ’17) about how Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) is trying to reinvent themselves to reach more millennials. This widely respected Bible teaching ministry birthed just after WWII is almost 60 years old, and is struggling to get people under 40 to attend. I found the following very…