“But I tell you, love your enemies…”

If there was any question about whether or not Jesus' kingdom ethic is counter-cultural, the Sermon on the Mount should remove those doubts. Jesus is speaking to his disciples about what it means to live as a citizen of a different kingdom. He repeatedly reminds his listeners of the conventional wisdom of their day. He…

One resource your church may be overlooking

Tips, tools, books, and conferences are the craze in church circles these days. You are, in fact, reading a resource website right now. My work here is no exception. Today, though, I want to step away from simple content creation and make a suggestion. There is a resource right in front of your church, one…

Infographic: The Gospel and Its Three-fold Message

Back in February, I wrote about the multi-faceted message of the gospel and it's translatability into any culture. Cultures tend to focus on one of three paradigms: guilt (that's ours), fear, or shame. Right in the pages of the Bible, the gospel speaks to all of these. We just tend to miss it, because we…

Scenery, Machinery, or People?

I want to challenge you to an intellectual exercise. Way back in 1957, an anthropologist named Alicja Iwanska gave a lecture entitled "Some American Values." This lecture detailed her experience as a Polish outsider observing American farmers. She noted that these farmers would break their environment down into three basic categories for interaction. Everything fit…

A Warning Concerning Religious Categories

Americans love our categories. We love our boxes and labels. Even today, with the postmodern push away from classification, we Western thinkers still organize information by placing "like items" together in taxonomies. Categories can be helpful to understand certain generalizations about a set of items, ideas, or people. However, categories also obscure information. Every time…

Bourdain Tastes the Nations… in Houston (VIDEO)

I love shows about strange food. Maybe it is because I love strange food. I like them even more when I can learn something from them, and this upcoming piece by Anthony Bourdain on CNN's Parts Unknown is all about the radical diversity found in one US city... Houston. I have noted before that Houston…

Church, Stop Measuring Yourself by Past Success

You think back to that time often. Maybe it was a decade ago, maybe a generation ago, or maybe it was just a few years ago. It was an exciting time in the life of your church. The sanctuary was full on a Sunday morning, children were running around before the service. The choir sounded…

Two Reasons You Should be a Missionary

  A few days ago, I described three things that should keep you from going to the mission field right now. They were all character issues, and frankly they are very important. The damage that can be done to the missionary and family, the team they are going to work with, and the work itself…