Contemporary Culture

Church Inside or Outside: 1st Amendment and the Separation of Church and State

COVID-19 has raised many issues about religious liberty for many people of faith, including Christians. In California, where my wife and I live, everyone has been ordered by Governor Newsom to stay at home unless we need to go to the grocery store or go to the...

How Should Christians Respond to Current Events?

In light of recent developments, I feel compelled to write. I do not pretend that I have a major platform, a huge sphere of influence, or all the answers to every situation that our nation faces today. As a follower of Christ, I’m compelled to speak as it is our civic...

The New York Times and the Pursuit of Truth in the Marketplace of Ideas

Recently the Executive Editor of the New York Times said of his publication that “they don’t get religion.” Keep in mind this is the New York Times considered the newspaper of record for the United States. This is the same newspaper that proudly espouses a liberal...

Who’s The Boss?

As I sat in the coffee house working away on my sermon for the upcoming weekend - as stereotypical...

Seven Ways Christians Should Speak During a National Crisis

Seven Ways Christians Should Speak During a National Crisis

Last week another horrific mass shooting—this one a terrorist event—happened in California. This followed a shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado, which followed a horrific, ISIS-led mass attack in Paris. We’re living in a dangerous world. Terror and all kinds of...

The Absurdity of Abortion and the Importance of Life

The Absurdity of Abortion and the Importance of Life

While sitting in a moral philosophy class at a community college in Washington State, the professor stated that he could disprove any view by using an extreme example. To prove his point, he stated that there must be exceptions to the pro-life position, therefore, the...

What To Do About Planned Parenthood and Abortion

What To Do About Planned Parenthood and Abortion

The news of late has been filled with the disturbing news of Planned Parenthood trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies. Anyone who has watched the horrific videos that have been circling around social media can’t help but notice the sickening glee by which...

The Evil of Planned Parenthood and the Hope of the Gospel

The Evil of Planned Parenthood and the Hope of the Gospel

“And when he entered his house, he took a knife, and taking hold of his concubine he divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel. And all who saw it said, ‘Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day...

The Future of Marriage in America and the Response of Christians

The Future of Marriage in America and the Response of Christians

Over the past several years, I’ve written quite a lot on marriage. I’ve done so because I believe that marriage is a divine institution established by God between one man and one woman for life. Today the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of gay marriage. The gay...

The Supreme Court, Perverted Sexual Logic, and the Judgement of God

The Supreme Court, Perverted Sexual Logic, and the Judgement of God

Today, marks the first day of deliberation between the Supreme Court on the issue of gay marriage. This issue is not a new one. I’ve written on this issue so much because I believe it’s an issue that Christians must stand clearly and loudly on. Following Genesis 1-2,...

The Cruciformed View of Wisdom and Power

The Cruciformed View of Wisdom and Power

The Cruciformed View of Wisdom and Power Living in a pluralistic society where relativism is the norm it is inevitable someone is going to be offended. Those of us who live as witnesses of the Crucified Christ know all to well that mentioning the statement "Jesus is...

Three Ways Pastors Should Address Cultural Issues from the Pulpit

Three Ways Pastors Should Address Cultural Issues from the Pulpit

How do pastors preach on contemporary cultural issues? Or should they? This is a question every pastor faces as he contemplates both the spiritual needs of his congregation, the questions swirling in society, and the weighty commission to preach the Word of God. When...

Three Ways Christians Should Process the News Headlines

Three Ways Christians Should Process the News Headlines

We live in a time where we are exposed to more news headlines than at any time in human history. In the ancient days of news, anchors checked the AP newswire for stories and reported on them and people in their homes watched or people in their cars listened to radio....

Authentic Living in Christ

Authentic Living in Christ

Authenticity is a buzz word. Do a search for authentic living and you’ll find thousands of articles explaining how to do it—from secular, eastern, western, traditional, progressive, and missional perspectives. Each of these groups offers a different liturgy (religious...

Three Ways to Pray and Support Persecuted Christians

Three Ways to Pray and Support Persecuted Christians

From Asia to Europe, Africa to Latin America, Christians are facing persecution for what they believe. We live in an increasingly hostile culture that no longer values the foundation upon which it was built—that is biblical Christianity. As I have been thinking and...

Donald Sterling, Secret Conversations, and the Image of God

By now you’ve heard reports about the reprehensible and racist comments of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. This is a news story that now transcends sports, with repeated calls for boycotts of Clipper games, demands for punishment for Sterling, and even...

Guns and Bibles: Why Do They Go Together?

At the outset of the American Revolution, many of the early colonials didn’t struggle to connect their faith with their moral obligation—as they understood it—to secede from England through war. With a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other, the American militia...

Gay Marriage and America: The Changing Face of a Nation

In thirteen years since graduating high school a lot has changed, not just in my own life but in the life of America. We’ve gone from having President Bush to President Obama. I’ve gone from being single to being happily married, graduating seminary and leading...

The Myth of Neutrality: Government Education and Non-Religion

When I attended government schools, we said the pledge of allegiance, which was about the only time I heard about God in school—“one nation, under God.” I did hear the name “Jesus Christ” once, but only when the gym coach stubbed his toe. Teachers weren’t allowed to...

A Biblical Approach to the Gosnell Verdict

Recently, I’ve written quite a lot on the Gosnell case. In my opinion it’s one of the watershed cases of our generation as it has opened many people’s eyes to include myself regarding the horror of abortion. Before this case I believed abortion was wrong but I was...

Worldviews in Conflict: Secular Spirituality’s Hearthold on Women

The Bible never promised that sharing the gospel and making disciples would be easy. What we are told is that in all ways we should represent Christ with a love for others that doesn’t call into question our integrity or compromise the message. Even further, 1 Peter...

Are The Creed The Cure For The Chaos?

Cultural engagement is essentially the objective of gospel preaching and the ministry of apologetics. Ultimately both are about conversion, seeing lives conformed to the image of Christ in terms of justification as well as sanctification. Today, a great deal of the...

Gosnell, The Future of the Abortion Debate and Revival

Today, I posted this on social media, “I think the Gosnell case is going to fundamentally change the way abortion is not only talked about in our culture, but also how its argued.” That statement generated quite a lot of conversation and I told people engaged in the...

True Love and the Culture Wars

Being a follower of Jesus seems like an easy enough way to live. How difficult is it, for example, to obey the Great Commandment and simply love your neighbor as yourself? We know the answer to that. Fortunately, a life devoted to Christ and his mission does not find...

Atheism and Biblical Christianity: Worldviews in Conflict

Introduction Atheists are “coming out of the closet” and becoming more vocal about their message that “there is no God.” Professor Richard Dawkins (Britain’s leading atheist) is encouraging those who share his views to express their opinion. Author of the God...

10 Years Later and Worse

The Peace and Love Hippie Hostel is one of Paris’ most budget-friendly, a dingy sanctuary for under-showered backpackers. It was there that I met Derrick. Derrick didn’t believe in organized religion. Derrick didn’t believe in unorganized religion. He didn’t believe...

The Gospel, Connecticut, and the Great Commission

The tragedy in Connecticut struck a national nerve today as children were harmed and families were left scarred in the wake of the murder of innocent victims. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these kinds of tragedies happen, and it won’t be the last. The fact, is...

Boundaries, Mere Entertainment, and a More Joyful Way

The problem at the heart of living in a media saturated world is that, like everything in life, media is made up of truth and lies interwoven into a complicated web. All of life is a mixture of grace and idolatry. No created thing is so good as to only be full of...

Being Honest With Our Kids About Death

I wanted to wait at least a week to write about my own response to last week's tragic shooting in Aurora. Partly because I can't even begin to imagine the horror, shock and (just now, I'm sure) onsetting grief of the families who lost loved ones. Like many of you, I...

Will They Find Us Singing or Whining?

What will Christian witness look like in a society that affirms gay marriage? After President Obama's expression of support, Christian reaction was all over the map, from the usual apocalyptic doomsday stuff to serious and thoughtful biblical opposition to progressive...

Why They Dislike Us: Christians and “Branding.”

"and this is why so many people reject the church . . ." How often have you read this in the last year? In the last month? In the last week? It's a premise for a wide variety of ideas about the Church, a repeated refrain that has almost become a cliche. It goes...

Five Favorite Christian Punching Bags

I've never boxed. I've only seen Rocky I. And I think Mike Tyson is crazy. But as a Christian I do have a punching bag. In fact, I have several of them and so do you. These are rhetorical targets, things we love to hate as preachers, writers, bloggers, etc. I've you...

Why Christians Are Not the Point of Easter

I'm studying for my Easter sermon. I have to be honest, sometimes I get intimidated by Easter sermons. It's not that I don't enjoy preaching about the pivot point of our faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's just that I know on Easter there are those people...

5 Attitudes for Christians in a Political Season

So another Presidential campaign season is upon us and Christians are engaged at all levels and on both sides of most debates. As a recovering political junkie, I realize how easily my time, my energy, my attitudes can get sucked into the life force of Presidential...

Sex, Speaking the Truth in Love and the Gospel

Introduction           Recently there has been a buzz in the Christian blogosphere about how Christians should think and talk about biblical sexuality. While much of the conversation has been helpful, even clarifying, and I’ve benefited from some of it, I haven’t seen...

Atheism, Hitchens, and the Resurrection of Christ

Death plays no favorites, has no enemies and is the great equalizer of all mankind. The death of Christopher Hitchens yesterday should come as no surprise as everyday people die, have funerals and are buried. Hitchens was a member of the “New Atheists,” a group...

Homosexuality, New York and Marriage

Introduction Yesterday June 24th, 2011, the state of New York became the sixth state in the United States to legalize gay marriage. The New York Senate passed the bill earlier yesterday evening (June 24th, 2011) and then Governor Andrew Cumo signed it into law. New...

Four Threats to Incarnational Evangelism

1. Evangelism is for trained ministry only. This is by far the most expressed comment concerning evangelism. For some reason believers think that only the pastor, or a trained vocational minister, should be involved in evangelism. However, the Word of God (i.e. 1 Cor....

Bin Laden, Justice and the Gospel

Last night President Obama announced that the United States Military- specifically the U.S. Navy Seals team six raided the house of Osma Bin Laden and killed him. Before I get into my remarks on this issue, I want to preface them by giving you a brief history of my...

Rep. Gifford, National Tradegy and the Gospel

On Saturday, January 8th, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona an event called “Congress on your corner” occurred at a local Safeway. The goal of the event was to give the people a place to voice their opinions and also meet the Rep. Gifford. This event turned tragic as a Jared...

Burning the Quran, 9/11 and Islam

Like many Americans, I remember where I was on September 11, 2001. A friend and I had spent the night outside in his tent, and his dad had come outside to let us know that the World Trade Center had been hit by an airplane. At first I didn’t believe my friend’s dad,...