How now shall we act online?

A while back, I had the opportunity to sit down with my friends Dan Darling and Derek Rishmawy to discuss how Christians should approach using social media and engaging online conversations (and controversy) in a Christlike manner:

Thanks to Dan and all the folks at the ERLC for the opportunity to be a part of the conversation!

5 Questions (Plus One) with Dan Darling

Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and is the author of Teen People of the BibleCrash Course, and iFaith (reviewed here on Tuesday). His work has been featured in evangelical publications such as Focus on the Family, Marriage Partnership, Pray!, In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. His op-eds have appeared in Newsweek/Washington Posts’ On Faith section and other newspapers and opinion sites. He’s also been profiled by The Chicago Tribune, and appeared on TV and radio outlets across America including Steve Brown, etc, Moody Broadcasting Network, Harvest TelevisionThe Sandy Rios Show, American Family Radio, and many others.

Today, Dan’s been kind enough to answer a few questions about his new book—and he’s also offered two signed copies to give away today. Read on to learn how you can win a copy.

And now, here’s Dan:


1. What made you decide to write iFaith? Was there one specific event or was it a series of small things that led to the decision?

It was born out of several years of reflection on the impact of technology on my own personal walk with God. Initially I had this idea for a devotional, “Emails to God,” – like what would we say if we could send God an email. Then it started me on a journey of thinking how we moderns contemplate our relationship with God—positively and negatively. Then the chapters and ideas began to just really flow.

2. As you were writing, how was God working on you in these areas?

Oh, He was working on me in incredible ways. My wife often jokes that whenever I embark on a book, we go through some degree of suffering. It’s almost like God has to wring me through the lesson before I can put it on paper. The first chapter on the subject of waiting was something I really saw worked out in my own life and in my theology. During the writing of that chapter, Angela and I were waiting on several things. I realized how integral waiting is to God’s development of our faith.

I enjoy writing because it forces me into the Word to discover the truth about myself and about who God is.

3. You write that a common belief plaguing believers is the superhero mentality; that is, “the mistaken idea that activity for God is a worthy substitute for intimacy with God.” (p. 81) If this is something that’s come up in your own life & ministry, can you share how you were able to get beyond it?

I’m not sure we ever get beyond this. It’s the holy tension between work and dependency on God. On one level, working hard for God is a biblical, New Testament ethic. And besides the holy calling of building up the body of Christ, work itself is an end, it’s a form of worship. But on the other hand, Christians easily fall into that superhero mentality of Elijah, where we feel like the entire plan of God rests upon our feeble shoulders. We adopt a martyr mentality. And this is really prideful. It is essentially stripping God of HIs sovereignty. [Read more…]

Book Review: iFaith by Daniel Darling

Have you ever stopped to consider the pace of  your life?

Wake up, check your email, your Facebook, head out the door, meetings, work, phone calls, more email, more meetings, home again and collapse into bed.

If we had to be honest, this would probably be a fairly accurate picture of each of our lives, wouldn’t it? (I can’t possibly be the only one, can I?)

But, did you notice what’s missing? God.

Where is communion with Christ? Time for thoughtful Bible study? Prayer? Rest?

What is the hustle and bustle of our über-connected lifestyle doing to our relationship with our Savior?

That’s the question that motivated Daniel Darling, the senior pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church, to write iFaith: Connecting With God in the 21st Century. In this book, Darling examines place, posture and practice of prayer in a world so caught up in the urgent that it’s lost the ability to see the important.

iFaith was a much needed wake-up call for me as a reader. I’m far too guilty of frittering away time and getting so caught up in everything else that’s going on that I neglect my prayer life. But why is that? In large part because I hate waiting for an answer.

Darling writes, “Waiting is considered loathsome to a generation accustomed to having quick answers, fast results and instant gratification” (p. 28). Ouch.

Think about it for a second though. When you pray, how long do you persist? How long do you continue on in prayer before you give up and decide that God must not be saying “yes” to this one? Darling continues, “But we must surrender our hearts to the sovereignty of God who slows us down, because waiting is not wasted time at all. Waiting is the essence of a faith that pleases Him” (ibid). [Read more…]