Today I’ll be at ERLC 2016 down at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center. Be sure to stop by the Gospel Project booth and say hi if you’re there. If you’re not in attendance, tune in to the conference live stream or check out the (hopefully helpful) commentary on Twitter using #ERLC2016.
…it is often difficult for me to read a blog post that excoriates evangelical purity culture, and discern where the criticism of legalism ends and the criticism of the Bible’s teachings on sex begin. Sometimes the testimony of a harsh, un-Christian, and even abusive church culture is so obvious that denouncing it is easy and essential. On the other hand, sometimes it is not clear to me that what the person is describing as oppressive “purity culture” is meaningfully different than what Christians have believed about gender, sex, and marriage for two thousand years. Thus, affirming the dangers of purity culture in that context may double as affirming the wrongness of, say, the Bible’s clear teaching about sex outside of marriage, or the need to flee sexual immorality, or the sinfulness of same-sex sexual relationships .
The Louisiana Flooding: On The Ground With Relief Agencies And Why Christians Are Uniquely Suited To Help
Ed Stetzer interviews the leaders of a number of Christian relief agencies on the importance of Christians participating in this arena.
You will never have the voice of that better-than writer. You will never live her life, share her experiences, or see the world through her eyes. Better-than thinks differently than you and has different inputs. You will never be her, be like her, or be better than her. And that is ok. It is better than ok; it is good.
Imagine with me you are in a public place. It’s familiar, one that you’ve been to many times before, and because it’s familiar, you know your way around. The smells, the sights, the people – this is part of your routine. So you saunter around before walking up on a couple of people – people you know and you trust – and seek to join a conversation already in process. Their backs are turned to you, but as you walk up, you clearly hear your name, and you have no doubt that you have stumbled upon a conversation that is not only already happening, but one in which you are the subject being discussed.
Our world is so loud! Every day our hearts and minds are bombarded with a million different voices. We are told that we need more and more to be happy, content, and fulfilled. Even good voices shout that we’re not spending enough time in educational activities with our kids. We’re not writing consistently enough on our social media sites to build a solid following. We really should be switching all of our food and cleaning supplies to more natural items. We need to buy this or get rid of that.
Pastors spend a lot of time in a chair. Consider a quick list of regular tasks that a pastor attends to: sermon preparation, counseling, reading, prayer, meetings, driving to meet someone, answering emails, working on projects, and a host of other (seated) things. We know that without some degree of intentionality a pastor can slouch into a sedentary lifestyle. We also know that this type of lifestyle is not healthy. In this post I want to highlight a few practices that I have found helpful in my ministry to combat this problem. If calling them “life-hacks” makes them more compelling and inviting then so be it, but I’m content to call them suggestions.
A campus ministry can be unmatched in helping students connect with other likeminded believers, especially in an ideologically hostile academic or social setting. A good one will help equip Christian students to defend the faith, serve the poor, and be held accountable to each other.
A good campus ministry is a gift from God. But it is no church.
A favorite from the archives:
My day job exposes me to a great deal of literature and communication from “activist” Christians—folks who are very (VERY) heavily concerned with social injustices, sex trafficking, poverty alleviation, and other causes (which, y’know, we should be concerned about). However, whenever I read books coming from this group, or written by people trying to appeal to them, I get a little squeamish about the language used, which usually sounds something like this:
We’re to be world-changers, partnering with God in redeeming this broken world and building his kingdom.
But if that’s true… why doesn’t it ring true to what the Bible says?