I’m Finally Responding: Part III

This is Part 3 of my response to your questions from the 2013 Blog Survey.

Click here to read Part 1.

Click here to read Part 2.

I’m confused about elders, pastors, shepherds, and overseers. Have you written about this?

Yes, extensively in Reimagining Church. They are all the same person, but each title describes a different aspect of that person’s function. The New Testament makes this quite plain. Elders are overseers and shepherds (pastors). 

What’s your view of water baptism? 

Answered here Rethinking Water Baptism and The Gospel of the Kingdom. 

Have you done any work in apologetics, defending the gospel? 

Yes, see Missional Living. 

Tell me about the Anabaptists.

Answered in The Anabaptists and The Reformers and Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin (book).

How do I overcome hurts from God’s people as well as frustration, fear, discouragement, lethargy, and rejection? 

I wrote a book that addresses and treats all of these problems. It’s called God’s Favorite Place on Earth. 

When are you coming to South Africa? When you are you coming to England? When you are coming to Miami? When are you coming to New Zealand?

When I’m invited by a church or a conference in those cities, I’ll prayerfully consider a visit.

See my events page on how to book for me for an event.

I’ve written about this previously, but I’m in a season right now where I’m not visiting small churches. I only travel 6 times a year right now, so I’m choosing the larger venues at this time. The truth is, I can reach far more people through my podcast messages and online courses than I can at live events without the cost of traveling, staying in a hotel, meals, etc.

So I’m very selective on what invitations I accept. 

I know you teach on how to live by the indwelling life, but is it possible to really teach on how to live by a life not their own? 

Of course. If not, I wouldn’t be preaching and teaching on it for years. 

Can you put all of the songs you wrote in one place? 

It’s already been done. At least some of them that I wrote. See 7 New Songs.

What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? 

Answered in Rethinking Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh

Spiritual deserts/dark nights/”apparent desertion by God “- how to survive during those times? 

I address this subject in a full chapter in Revise Us Again. 

How did the early church meet? 

Very broad question. I delve into it in Reimagining Church. It’s a presentation of the how the first-century church compares and contrasts with most churches today.

How do I reach the unsaved in my family?

See my post on the unsaved loved ones in the Archives. 

What is your view of the gifts of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit?

I did a lengthy series on these two topics on the blog. See the Archives.

Tell us about tithing. 

I wrote an entire chapter on it in Pagan Christianity with George Barna. Go there to read my thoughts. They are way too detailed for this post. The chapter includes full documentation.

How is it exactly that we are to “take up our cross,” what does it mean?

I just blogged about this. See my “The Message Most Needed” post in the Archives. 

Being Spiritual: What does it really mean?

According to the New Testament, it means walking in the Spirit and not the flesh or the natural life. So it’s a walk in love, treating others the way you want to be treated in every situation which includes self-denial.

How do I find an organic church? 

I’ve answered this on my FAQ page. See the June 27, 2012 question and answer. 

Pray without ceasing. What does this practically look like in a Christians life nowadays?

I believe it refers to turning to the Lord throughout your waking hours. I cover this in detail (and very practically) in Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ.

Any chance of a “Pagan Christianity II”?

Nope. I’ve moved on from writing on ecclesiological issues in 2009. Since then, I’ve been writing on God’s eternal purpose, Jesus studies, and the deeper Christian life. I plan to write on those three themes over the next five years as there’s a great deal more to explore. I’ve said all I want to say about radical church reform in my ReChurch series and the Pagan Christianity Q and A page. 

Click here to read Part 4





  1. Alisha L. says

    Great post. I have learned so much from this blog and your podcasts have left me in tears many times and in awe of who God is. All these questions reminded me of one I have had for a while. Have you ever written a post about transubstantiation? If not, what are your thoughts on it? Just curious.

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