If you’ve ever perused the Facebook comments on a popular Christian page, you know exactly why I’m writing this article. Facebook comment threads are a window into raw humanity, are they not? And this is true of all social media, not just Christian pages! So why do Christian commenters seem no different from their unbelieving associates? The attitude, tone, and name-calling is exactly the same – maybe with a few less swears. It doesn’t take a biblical scholar to say: Something isn’t right.
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Christian Life & Theology
We know God is holy. We know is kind, good, just, gracious, and all the spiritual qualities we observe in Scripture. But if we are image-bearers of Christ… created to echo His creative and loving power… is our playfulness an echo of His heart?
In my interdenominational work I frequently see a “theological pendulum swing”: negative experiences in one corner of Christendom driving believers into the opposite persuasion. Changing opinions are not a problem; they’re often a sign of maturity. The problem? When those believers turn and shout at the corner in which they used to stand, worried everyone who remains there is on the brink of deception.
I can feel the pain and sadness without even hearing their voices. I can read it every Monday when questions are sent in; every week when emails come to the inbox; even face to face in the lives of people I love.
“I’m growing, but he’s not,” they whisper. “What do I do?”
If you’ve been in my corner of the internet for any span of time, you know I use church history to discuss theology, culture, and discernment in this present day. Church history (and history in general!) tells us why we are where are; it offers an explanation for ideas and cultural shifts. It gives context, background, and meaning. Basically – it’s important!
A few months ago I shared on Instagram that we don’t teach our children a gospel message using language like, “Ask Jesus into your heart and…” Many questions arose from what I shared and I want a permanent place to store this information! I think more parents (and pastors) are moving toward clarity in the gospel message, and as we do, I hope this post serves as a jumping-off point for prayerful discussion.
I’ve talked about bible reading plan options, why bible study matters, how to create a bible study spot in your home – but what about when to QUIT a bible plan that isn’t serving you? Did you know that was even an option? Because it is! Believe it or not, bible reading plans that worked in one season might not work in another. Even plans we’ve loved in the past can stop being enjoyable or effective in the present. Here are three reasons to quit a Bible reading plan and what to do instead.
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.