During the first season of Verity podcast I shared podcast versions of each chapter in my book Stop Calling Me Beautiful: Finding Soul Deep Strength in a Skin Deep World. Two thirds of this book is “applied theology”: how the gospel directly impacts our struggles with sex, legalism, shame, and – in this episode particularly – anxiety.
Salvation by Allegiance Alone probably makes a few people a bit wiggly when they see the title because we’re used to the Five Solas (grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, etc.) and none of those Solas mention the word “allegiance”. But actually… one does. Sola Fide, or “faith alone”, links us to Matthew Bates’ topic. He argues that how we define “faith” results in either an authentic Christian life or one riddled by uncertainty and lack of fruit. If “faith” is just a vague mental assent (“I asked Jesus into my heart” or “I believe in Jesus”), nominal “Christians” should not surprise us. But what if faith – as Jesus and Paul and Peter describe it – isn’t just “belief”? What if it’s more than that?
In between posts about theology, critical thinking and my latest book review, I talk a lot about creating a family culture that is biblical, joyful, and fulfilling. If you’ve never heard the term “family culture”, you’re not alone – I pretty much made it up. Ha! But it’s not a new concept with me (Jefferson Bethke has been talking about similar things for a while!) and it’s one that will serve families well if they take it to heart.
There are few topics that divide Christians with such ferocity as baptism. This sacrament – necessary to the Christian faith – is modeled in Scripture by Jesus as well as His disciples in the early church. But when it comes to how we practice baptism, Christians are divided. Some churches practice infant baptism (paedobaptism) while others practice believer’s baptism (credo-baptism). Some believe you are saved through baptism, others believe it is a symbol of salvation, and others think it is somewhere between.
Christian grief does not require pretending everything’s okay. It does not mean we cease to feel or to hurt or wonder if the void will never again be filled. It does not mean we’ll be healed, but it does mean that we face all the pain and loss with the presence of a loving and faithful God.
I love a good book on the Holy Spirit.
He is, as Francis Chan put it, “Forgotten God” – often overlooked and misinterpreted, either ignored in our churches or emphasized beyond what Scripture says. That’s why so many Christians struggle either to embrace the Spirit’s role or to understand Him outside of sensationalism. When Jeannie Cunnion released this book, I was thrilled to provide a resource for my community.
Dear Grieving Christian,
You think you have time to prepare. Sometimes you do. But all the preparation in the world can’t stop the way it overwhelms you. When that photo falls out from the album, or the world stops at the party where they should have been, the hollow carved by their absence cannot be ignored.
Since The Chosen – a TV series about the life of Jesus and His disciples – launched in 2020, I’ve received a plethora of questions about watching the show, what I think of it, how to interact with it, etc. Per the usual, I don’t plan to tell you what to think; I would rather teach you how to think through the show and get the most out of it. This led me to write a quick post outlining some tips for engaging with the show and including your kids or friends in the discussion of it.
This episode is an overview of the nature of the Trinity and why God as triune is a fundamental Christian doctrine! We look at the fights within the early church to defend Christ’s deity (including Athanasius’ On the Incarnation) and how these fights were finalized in the Apostles and Nicene creeds. We then look at teachings like modalism, oneness and eternal subordination of the Son.
We pass the basket for “tithes and offerings” without blinking, but have you ever stopped to think about those words? Tithes and offerings. It’s an indication there is a difference between a tithe and simple giving! And there is. A “tithe” means a “tenth”, and it’s a principle we see in Scripture primarily in the Old Testament.