“We want to reach people for Jesus!…Now what?”

The Spirit of God has been working on you. You have come face-to-face with the Bible’s truth regarding God’s mission. It is increasingly dawning on you that God has saved you not simply to “be holy” (i.e., to stop sinning, as some Christians understand holiness), but to make an impact on the world through good work which God has prepared for you ages ago (Ephesians 2:10). You are ready to be used by God! Continue reading

The Nature of the Christian Life, Part III: What’s In a Name?

Most of us who have completed ninth-grade English Literature recognize the immortal words,

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.[1]

As Juliet waxes philosophical regarding her medieval heartthrob, the Christian might likewise wax theological and ponder, Would a saint called by any other name smell as sweet? Does it matter how we talk about ourselves? Continue reading

The Nature of the Christian Life, Part II: Battle of the Wolves?

Several months ago a kindly, seasoned saint warmly introduced himself to me and pressed into my hand a fistful of tracts. The tracts featured an “old Cherokee” story about two wolves—one good and one bad—battling inside each person, with the winner being the one the person feeds.[1] The story is a vivid depiction of good and evil, but does it really fit with what God’s word tells us about human nature? Continue reading

The Nature of the Christian Life, Part I: Snow-Covered Dunghills?

When taking in a good story, I am often drawn to the “wanna-be” people–the characters who are very human-like, but still not quite human: Pinocchio, C3P0, the Scarecrow of Oz. Perhaps the appeal of these characters is that they seem to simplify human nature, as though, if their inner workings were observed, they could be understood  with relative ease.

We often have this same over-simplifying tendency when thinking through what the Bible has to say about humanity Continue reading