“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 […]
The average church-goer hears 12 hours of sermons ALL YEAR. Now, who’s discipling who?
Instead of pushing a heavy boulder up a hill, what if spiritual growth was more like stepping into a river and being gradually swept along by God’s life-giving current?
The church needs to embrace the pastoral gift/role of “spiritual writing” as enthusiastically it celebrates the gift of public speaking.
Instead of flinging a relatively impersonal sermon out over a nameless crowd each Sunday, a personal letter to the right person at the right time can fling a shepherd’s arms around wounded or wandering sheep, refreshing their soul.
Here’s another letter from Fenelon (1651-1715): Dear friend, I am happy to hear of your frame of mind, and to find you communicating in simplicity everything that takes place within you. Never hesitate to write me whatever you think God requires. It is not at all surprising that […]
“But among you stands one you do not know” (John 1:26). We’ve all experienced it. A long lost friend you haven’t heard from in years suddenly calls you up. He’s cheerful and so thrilled to be reconnecting. You get caught up on each other’s lives, and the conversation […]
“Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls. For, thus friends absent speak.” —John Donne As part of my doctoral thesis project at Northern Seminary I am exploring the role of letter writing in pastoral care and spiritual formation. In the ancient world, letter writing was a preeminent way pastors […]
During one of my Christmas breaks in college, I came home with an old paperback version of John Bunyan’s 17th century classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. I was going through a radical spiritual awakening, and was voraciously devouring the Christian classics I missed as a non-reading sports jock in high […]
“What is this babbler trying to say?”(Acts 17:18) “In public he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them” (Mark 4:34). “Let your house be a gathering place for sages; And wallow in the dust of their […]
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and puts it into practice is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” Matthew 7:24 Dallas Willard wrote relentlessly urging Christians to place real, rugged apprenticeship to Jesus back at the center of Christian faith and the church’s […]