Lessons from Lull: How to be a missionary in 1285 (and today)

I doubt you have ever heard the name Raymond Lull (or Ramon Llull). You may have heard of William Carey, we like to think of him as the first modern missionary. Few people, however, know the name Lull. But Raymond Lull is a big deal. Lull was doing missions before it was cool again. Way…

What If Our Biggest Problem Isn’t Relevancy?

You do not make the gospel relevant. I want to be careful here, because it is easy to pit two things against each other in Western minds. That is not what I am doing. I am all for contextualization, and I think it is a big concern, especially in the super-diverse urban settings in North…

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…

Foggy Words: “Preaching the gospel to yourself”

A few weeks back, I called attention to the foggy words we often use as Christians to talk about our gospel work and ministry. Today, I want to point out one such phrase. It is real common, nowadays, to talk of "preaching the gospel to yourself." You may have heard someone use this, or you…

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…

Are We Resolved To Love Refugees?

I think back to a day this past summer. It was during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. Those few days were good days for us, but one moment sticks out to me today. The main auditorium was crowded. I was standing to one side, packed in with thousands of fellow Baptist. The proceedings concerned…