Category - church

1
A Wakeup Call for the Church
2
The Tension We Face
3
Serving Time in the Pew
4
Making Sense in Meaningless Times
5
What I Learned From Four Countries in Four Weeks
6
The Hope for Tomorrow
7
Our Faceless Age
8
FIGHTING FAITH WITH FAITH
9
Help! Christmas is Coming
10
WHAT THE NEWS DOES NOT REPORT

A Wakeup Call for the Church

Two days ago, I was in the airport terminal of Izmir, Turkey, reflecting with a friend. I have known Sandy since 1969. Our friendship goes back to ministry days in San Diego, but we have hardly seen each other since 1972. I left for seminary training in Portland. Sandy went on to become a Marriage,[…]

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The Tension We Face

Every week, I get the pleasure of dialoguing with future leaders of the church, a.k.a. seminary students. I am confident in them, though I fear for the contemporary church and its waning influence. These students will enter a world that is losing both its mind and its soul. They will step into churches, some of[…]

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Serving Time in the Pew

Last night in class, one of my students asked me how many sermons I have preached over the course of 35 years. A brief calculation suggests approximately 1400 sermons. How many times I have spoken is another matter, given I typically preached 2-5 times per week.  That’s a lot of sermonizing—a lot of my life–a[…]

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Making Sense in Meaningless Times

We can ill-afford to have an insulated, self-absorbed, accommodating faith. Not ever, but especially not today. If the church has any hope of changing this world, it must recover its conviction of the Word’s authority (without picking and choosing what we want to agree with). Believers must be as intentional as ever to engage with[…]

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What I Learned From Four Countries in Four Weeks

I knew it would be an ambitious undertaking, but I and eleven others decided to discover what God is doing in the Middle East. It wasn’t a tour. This isn’t some travelogue. Sure we wanted to see some things—the Pyramids, Galilee at sunrise, the Jordanian desert, and the fortress at Byblos. We wanted to experience[…]

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The Hope for Tomorrow

11:00 am this Saturday, another group of future ministry leaders will join in a seminary processional to be inspired, cheered on, prayed over, and sent out. After the pictures, graduates will set aside their gowns and get on with life. Some (hopefully most) will tack their diplomas on a wall and flourish in ministry. There[…]

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Our Faceless Age

Maybe you have heard of Jordan Peterson. I was not aware of this Canadian psychologist until I read Peggy Noonan’s recent column, “Who’s Afraid of Jordan Peterson?” So now I am reading his 12 Rules for Life (near the top of bestseller lists), and his insights are riveting. I am reading slowly—my mind needs to.[…]

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FIGHTING FAITH WITH FAITH

When I pastored in The Netherlands, one of my first objectives was to gather the church’s formal leadership and wrestle with the future direction of the church. Many of the congregants were corporate and governmental leaders, so I invited one of them to come and advise us. At the time, this man was with Fluor[…]

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Help! Christmas is Coming

Christmas weekend is coming, and I am guessing most pastors are sweating by now. I know they are. For thirty two years, I came into Christmas Eve and morning services with fear and trepidation. What do you say that hasn’t been said? And should anything be said that hasn’t been said? There are things you[…]

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WHAT THE NEWS DOES NOT REPORT

Open the newspaper today, turn to news about the Middle East, and you will read about unrest in Israel, clashes between police and protestors in front of the American embassy in Beirut, and Palestinian rage over Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Throw in the day to day rage between Sunni and Shi’ite[…]

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