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Don’t Believe Everything You Read or Hear

Several years ago, Michael Hyatt (former CEO of Thomas Nelson) responded to a rumor on his blog. In the post, Michael wrote,

“According to the most recent rumor—which I’ve now heard twice—we [Thomas Nelson] are planning a layoff for June 19th … We are scheduled to close the transaction on June 12th, so, supposedly, this will happen the week following. I want to assure you that this is indeed a baseless rumor. There is absolutely no truth to it … If you hear this rumor, I would be grateful if you would help me short-circuit it. You can tell ’em it’s not true, and you heard it directly from me.”

I recall when this rumor was circulating and was saddened (and surprised) at how many Christians believed it without going straight to Michael to see if it was true or false.

Another example that’s much more national.[Continue Reading...]

Resurrection Sunday

Save the Date. My new book, JESUS NOW releases May 5th. Wait to get it on that day from a special online bookstore (to be announced here) and get the Discussion Guide FREE. Plus, that store will beat the price of every other online or on-the-ground bookstore, including Amazon.

Here is a Resurrection song I sang and recorded many years ago: Broken Body, Precious Blood

Here is my favorite Resurrection song of all time, hands down, walkin’ out: My Favorite Resurrection Song

Here is a more recent one that I like a lot.

Whatever you’re going through right now, He’s conquered the grave, He’s alive, and He’s on the throne . . . and ever lives to make intercession for you as your Great High Priest!

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A Review of “Transformed”

Today I’m reviewing Caesar Kalinowski’s book Transformed.

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Caesar wrote the book to try to awaken the hearts of people to their true identity and birthright as Christians.

His premise is that the Christian has been instantly transformed and given a new identity. So what is their new identity?

According to Kalinowski, they have been part of a family of “missionary servants,” sent to serve the world and make disciples of Jesus.

Kalinowski tells stories of people fleshing the above out in real life.[Continue Reading...]

Exposing a Misguided Teaching

The following are excerpts from my upcoming book, Jesus Now: Unveiling the Present-Day Ministry of Christ. They come from the chapter on the High Priestly ministry of Christ.

Don’t buy the book until May 5th. You’ll get the book at a 50% discount and you’ll receive the Study Guide free if you order the book from a certain online bookstore (not Amazon). Check back on the blog May 5th. Save the date.

Most errors circulating in the Christian world today can be found in the New Testament era. In particular, the two main enemies of the gospel—legalism and libertinism (license to sin)—were both present in the early church.

Galatians was written to legalists—hence the strong emphasis on liberty, freedom, and grace. James was written to libertines, those who presumed on the grace of God and turned it into a license to sin. Thus the book of James is strong on obedience, faith that expresses itself in works, repentance (for the believer), and false faith (or presumption).[Continue Reading...]

Becoming the Son

I was asked to review C.D. Baker’s fictional account of Jesus entitled Becoming the Son.

You can read the interview I did with Baker here.

Some people read the book and loved it. For instance . . .

“A first-person encounter with the Jesus who could have been is carefully researched and challenges tradition without disrespecting the biblical accounts.”

Publishers Weekly Select, December 2012

“C.D. Baker has accomplished what few novelists have ever achieved. From his pen flows an engaging story about Jesus that resists literary, theological, or historical compromise. It is truly a rare gem.”

Dr. Bruce Longenecker, W.W. Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University. 

I’m not a fiction reader, so I cannot tell who writes good fiction and who doesn’t. But the writing style seemed good to me.

Note that this is a fictional book. It doesn’t overturn the Gospel accounts, but it adds an enormous amount of imagination to them. [Continue Reading...]

Important Survey: What Is Your Biggest Struggle as a Christian?

Save the Date. My new book, JESUS NOW releases May 5th. Wait to get it on that day from a special online bookstore (to be announced here) and get the Discussion Guide FREE. Plus, that store will beat the price of every other online or on-the-ground bookstore, including Amazon.

As I’ve explained on my About page, this blog isn’t about me. Neither is it for me. It’s about you, and it’s for you.

The same with my podcast, books, and online courses.

They all exist as a resource to help you, encourage you, educate you, challenge you, inspire you, and if I’m able, to help solve problems.

Consequently, please take a moment to answer this question in the comments.

All comments will be anonymous and they won’t show up on the blog. You will be able to see them, but the Blog Manager will make it so that no one else can.

Here’s how I want you to do it.[Continue Reading...]

What’s Your Mission Statement?

“Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

~ Frederick Buechner

Recently, someone asked me to explain my mission. They weren’t asking for a general answer, which would be “I am a follower of Jesus” or “My mission is to fulfill God’s Eternal Purpose.”

They wanted to know how my ministry and work is different from that of other Christian thought-leaders, writers, and speakers.

If you are in ministry and/or you have a blog and/or you’re an author of books and/or you travel and speak, people will want to know what your mission is and how it’s different from the millions of other Christians who blog, speak and/or write books.

So here’s the answer I gave.

All of my work is described by this tagline:[Continue Reading...]

The Only Magazine I Subscribe To

At one time, I subscribed to five different Christian periodicals. Today, I only subscribe to one.* 

It’s Searching Together.

9780991334506-Perfect.ai 

Searching Together began in 1972 with Norbert Ward as the founding editor. Jon Zens has been editor since 1978. Norbert made this statement in 1972, and we continue his sentiment: “[We] make no claim to be the voice of a movement or an organized denomination. We do not, on the other hand, claim to be a lone voice. We believe we are expressing the hope and earnest prayer of concerned believers.”[Continue Reading...]

Interview with C.D. Baker on His Novel

C. D. (David) Baker has written a book entitled Becoming the Son, a novel. I caught up with David to interview him about his book. If the interview intrigues you, you can grab a copy here.

Instead of asking, “what is your book about,” I’m going to ask the question that’s behind that question. And that unspoken question is, “how are readers going to benefit from reading your book?”

David Baker: ‘Becoming the Son’ is a novel that offers a unique encounter with Jesus that remains grounded within the margins of the Gospel accounts. The reader will discover a man more human than what they expected and more similar to themselves than what they dared to imagine.  The novel is written in the first-person and in so doing prompts deep intimacy with the character. Readers tell me that this intimacy has made for a ‘safe place’ in which they found themselves engaging new possibilities about a Jesus with whom they could finally identify.[Continue Reading...]

7 Aspects of Christ’s Present-Day Ministry

3 quick reminders:

1. If you’re new to the blog, you don’t want to buy new book, Jesus Now, yet. Leonard Sweet wrote the Foreword and I dedicated the book to Len. I explain why you want to wait until May 5th here.

2. Only 1 more day to get the entire box set of my 9 books for only $69. That price expires after April 10th. Click here to get the set.

3. My books Revise Us Again, From Eternity to Here, and Reimagining Church or between $2 and $3 (in the USA at least) on Amazon Kindle right now.Click here to get your copies.

We just published the 94th episode of the podcast.

In it, I outline the 7 distinct features of the present-day ministry of Jesus Christ.

At the end of the episode, I climb on a limb and start sawing hard . . . I took a phone call from someone who was very distraught.

They solicited my advice on their situations and I gave it.

I’ll say no more. Give it a listen.[Continue Reading...]

The Well-Played Life Interview: Len Sweet & I Mix It Up

I’ll begin this post with 3 quick announcements:

1. If you’re new to the blog, you don’t want to buy new book, Jesus Now, yet. Leonard Sweet wrote the Foreword and I dedicated the book to Len. I explain why you want to wait until May 5th here.

2. Only 1 more day to get the entire box set of my 9 books for only $69. That price expires after April 10th. Click here to get the set.

3. My books Revise Us Again, From Eternity to Here, and Reimagining Church or between $2 and $3 (in the USA at least) on Amazon Kindle right now. Click here to get your copies.

Last month, I reviewed my good friend Len Sweet’s superb new book, The Well-Played Life. Recently, I caught up with Len to talk about the book. Here are my questions and his answers. Check it out and share it with your peeps. And be sure to get a copy.

Tell us a bit about the experiences that shaped the insights in the book.

Leonard Sweet:  I was devastated a few years back when some of my friends in ministry, who lived to work for the church and pushed themselves relentlessly, died young of exhaustion and early aging. [Continue Reading...]