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Showing posts from January, 2018

How To Not Be Spiritually Ugly

Every morning I look in the mirror. It’s a horrifying experience. Seriously, I do look in the mirror, and I see all manner of tragedies which need to change. Some things can’t be changed (like the size of my nose or the shape of my ears), but much of what I see can be changed (like the craziness of my hair, or the fog on the mirror from my breath). The one thing I cannot do is gaze into the mirror for an hour, make a list of all the things that are wrong and then walk away having changed nothing. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:22-25) Notice that those who do not act, but onl

What If Someone Preached a Sermon Using Only Questions?

What if someone preached a sermon using only questions? Do you think it would work? Would people listen? Is it possible that some might find it offensive? Can truth be communicated via interrogation? What would socrates say? Do people engage more with questions or propositions? Is it possible to craft questions which stimulate deep contemplation? What if the questions helped to unpack the text? Don't you think a well-written question can lead to truth discovery? What if some of the questions demanded immediate contemplation? What if some of them called for discussions? Could you ask the people to talk to each other about the answer? Would you ask the person sitting next to you right now what their opinion is? Could you build in time for contemplation and discussion? Do you think some people might be so struck by one question that they might not be able to shake it? What would a question like that look like? Is it better to confront someone's

The Missional Church

"Missional" was a popular word ten years ago. I think it still has legs. The essence of the missional church is that it invests itself outside the walls of the building and apart from the Sunday morning gathering. At the heart of the missional church is a decision to take Christ seriously when he said, "AS YOU ARE GOING, make disciples." Missional churches have decided not to rephrase Matthew 28 to say, "As they come to you, make them disciples"; but rather to assume Jesus meant what He said, and that we are to be in the business of making disciples 24/7 in every aspect of our lives, not just when we gather. Like any good thing, missional living and churching can get out of balance. I see at least a few potential dangers for the missional church: In an effort to be "in the world", there is a constant temptation to become indistinguishable from the world. John, in his first epistle, draws thick lines between the lifestyle of the childre