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Showing posts from May, 2013

Metrics of Renewal, 1: Can We Measure Church Health?

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It’s hard to know what a healthy person looks like these days.

Take Angelina Jolie for example. For many people, she is the picture of good health. Some tabloids occasionally accused her of being too thin. But most folks idolized her “healthy body.”
How little they knew! She has a genetic predisposition that almost guarantees breast cancer. Her mother died at age 56 from breast cancer. He aunt just died from the disease.
With this scary prognostication in hand, Angelina Jolie did something incredibly shocking. She underwent preemptive mastectomies. Next, she’ll have reconstructive surgery and then have her ovaries taken out for good measure. Talk about a radical cure for a disease she didn’t even have! She knew, however, that her apparent good health was not the complete story.
So who is healthy? And how do we know what good health actually looks like?
Here’s one obvious conclusion:
                        good looks ≠ good health
Of course, the opposite certainly isn’t true either, so I ne…

Galatians 4:1-7 & The Confusing Apostle Paul

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Does Galatians 4:1-7 confuse anyone as much as it does me? After studying this for some time, I am prone to agree with the words of 2 Peter 3:16. "There are some things in [Paul's letters] hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures."

I hope I'm not one of the ignorant and unstable people. But I'm in the camp of folks who can say that Paul's writings are occasionally hard to understand. Let me clarify what I'm having a hard time clarifying.

I don't really think it's difficult to understand Paul's point in Gal 4:1-7. The broader context makes it clear. Paul says that the Law of Moses is inferior to the promise previously made to Abraham. Gentile Christians, he writes, are descendants of Abraham because they share the same faith in God (3:6-7) that Abraham had (Gen 15:6). They therefore don't need to obey Jewish rules and customs. That's his point.

But his movement i…

Decline & Renewal, 25: Renewal & the Reign of Our King

Editor's note: After some great conversations during the Pepperdine Bible Lectures, I’m still hoping to continue this series. We should still have a few more guest articles. Then this series will undoubtedly morph into something related yet new.
Every Knee Will Bow
After my junior year of high school, I got to attend Boys State in Tennessee, a special week-long gathering of the top incoming seniors from across the state. Obviously a few like me snuck in under the radar. It was a big honor!

When I arrived at the college campus where we would be staying, I realized I was in the company of some top-notch people. We were to hold elections for ceremonial positions like governor, attorney general, and so forth as we studied state government. Everyone had to hold some office. My aspiration was quite modest -- to contend for the trash collector of our "city" government.
Out of the several hundred high school seniors, some stood out as ready-made leaders. One started campaigning imme…

Podcast of Session 3 from Pepperdine Bible Lectures

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You can listen to a podcast of today's session (May 3, 2013) on Renewal in Restoration Churches. The session is 50 minutes and contains a conversation that I moderate with Jeff Childers & Jarrod Robinson.
Click HERE for a link to the podcast.


Podcast of Session 2 from Pepperdine Bible Lectures

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You can listen to a podcast of today's session (May 2, 2013) on Renewal in Restoration Churches. The session is 42 minutes and contains a conversation that I moderate with Mark Love and John York.

Click HERE for a link to the podcast.

Podcast of Session 1 from Pepperdine Bible Lectures

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You can listen to a podcast of today's session on Renewal in Restoration Churches. The session is 42 minutes and contains a conversation that I moderate with Ben Ries and Aaron Metcalf.

Click HERE for a link to the podcast.