Serving Him, of course.

Evangelical Guilt in Evangelism–and How John 3 Helps

Do you struggle with guilt related to evangelism?  Do you feel like you do very little as a Christian to “draw” lost people?  I sometimes struggle with this feeling–and sometimes, it’s justified.  It’s a very healthy thing to examine one’s evangelistic witness, and to push oneself out of one’s comfort zone (read: the evangelical church/parachurch bubble, oftentimes) into the pathways and patterns of lost people.

But it is also possible to carry the weight of the lostness of the world on your back.  If so, here’s a helpful text from John 3:20-21:

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

Sometimes, we can think that we are repelling lost people by living a God-glorifying life.  In fact, this may be true.  People don’t want to be around the light when they live in darkness.  They want to stay in the darkness.  They are justly ashamed.  They hate the light.

This doesn’t give us a permanent excuse for not evangelizing lost people, of course.  Just as Jesus did, we need to

The Endless Evangelical Quest for Ultimate Transformation

obamaA few days back, CJ Mahaney posted on Kevin DeYoung’s message from the “Next” conference in May 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  CJ lauded Kevin’s call for “plodding visionaries” and listed several points from Kevin’s talk that developed his understanding of this term.

This term and the idea behind it caught in my filter, as the kids say nowadays.  I don’t know how it strikes you, but that term seems to me to nicely sum up biblical Christian living as a “missional” believer.  This isn’t necessarily the line of thinking that sells the most books, but it captures, I think, both the Christocentric idealism and the conscionable realism of the biblical authors.  I want to look into this below (and would commend Hunter’s To Change the World, which has stimulated my thinking).  This will be a bit lengthy–I’m warning you up front.  Adjust your goggles; set phasers to stun.

There is a need for this kind of thinking and communication in our day among young people.  Twentysomethings are notoriously and historically idealistic, of course.  This isn’t new to our day.  But it’s interesting to survey the culture at present.  Idealism–even an unnuanced idealism–is alive and well.  This despite a twentieth century marked by devastating wars, political corruption, the overturning of …

Salvation by Conversation–Or, How an Hour a Week Can Save Your Marriage

Mike McKinley posted a few days back at 9Marks on how pastors serve everyone but their wives.  That caught my attention.  Wow.  What a scary and damning reality.  It made me think of a helpful article by Biola theologian Rob Lister on husbands leading their wives in regular conversation on the state of their marriage.  This is by no means the solution to adultery; however, it could aid husbands in creating a strong “culture” for their marriage.  Some husbands just died a quiet death; stick with me.
Here’s Rob’s intro to his piece:
Thanks to Jiffy Lube, most of us know the drill by now: either do it yourself, or take your car in for a regular tune-up and oil change every three months or three thousand miles. Fail to maintain your vehicle in this fashion, and you run the risk of your engine locking up and stranding you on the side of the road somewhere in the middle of rush hour traffic.  How odd, then, that many of us would be so committed to the routine maintenance of our vehicles, and yet so often overlook the necessity of giving similar routine attention to our marriages. Clearly, one of the main purposes of marriage is to function as a