Category - church

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Leaders Who Become Weird
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Facing this Difficult World Together
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Looking For God In All Of The Wrong Places
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A Wakeup Call for the Church
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The Tension We Face
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Serving Time in the Pew
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Making Sense in Meaningless Times
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What I Learned From Four Countries in Four Weeks
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The Hope for Tomorrow
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Our Faceless Age

Leaders Who Become Weird

Travel book writer Rick Steves notes, “You learn a lot about your country by leaving it and looking at it at a distance.” He’s right. You can’t help but see how incredibly rich we are. How ethnocentric we can be. How vain we must seem. We sometimes believe the world revolves around us—until we go[…]

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Facing this Difficult World Together

Before beginning class this morning, I asked these Nepalese students—most of whom are pastors—to tell me some of the daily challenges they face. In a Communist country where Hindus and Buddhists make up most of the population (and followers of Jesus make up approximately one percent), it can’t be easy. Here were some of their[…]

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Looking For God In All Of The Wrong Places

In the stifling heat, I set out today to visit a Buddhist temple. Buddhist temples are not hard to find in Kathmandu. They dot the landscape of most high places. Religion is everywhere you look. Hinduism and Buddhism have filled the city with their idols.   Up the steps I walk, passing the vendors, the[…]

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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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