What Coca-Cola’s New Bottle Teaches Us About Partaking of Jesus Christ

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus Christ presents Himself to us as food and drink.

And so do so many of the shadows of Christ contained in the Old Testament.

Coca-Cola’s new “friendly twist” bottle cannot be opened by one person. It requires another who also has the bottle.

In the same way, we can never partake of the fullness of the riches of Jesus Christ by ourselves, as a solo Christian.

We need the other members of the body.

For the riches of Christ . . . His fullness . . . is never given to one believer, no matter how gifted or spiritually mature they may be.

His fullness resides in His body.

Take a look at Coca-Cola’s promo video with this imagery in mind.

To borrow another Coca-Cola slogan, He’s the “real thing” . . . eternally refreshing![Continue Reading…]

Heroes

Young men and women are looking for heroes.

The same is true for Christian young men and women.

We need heroes to admire and look up to. We need heroes who can inspired us . . . people who have gone ahead of us.

We need men and women of God upon whose shoulders we can stand. And in God’s mercy, perhaps see further than they did.

If you were to ask the average 20- or 30-something Christian today who their heroes are, many would rattle off a few celebrity-pop-mega-church pastors. None of whom they know personally.

Some will mention Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Jonathan Edwards or Spurgeon.[Continue Reading…]

NoiseTrade Books

Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Perhaps not.

But NoiseTrade has turned the music industry upside down. It’s wisely connected musicians directly to listeners by offering free music downloads.

The music marketing startup was founded in 2008. And it has now expanded its platform to help authors and publishers to let people know about their books.

Enter the launch of NoiseTrade Books.

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On this site, you’ll discover a diverse selection of books you can download for free — including Christian titles.[Continue Reading…]

Know Your Church History: A Review

It’s interesting to me that Justin Holcomb has just released a book about heresy.

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I say “interesting” because another author and I have just written a new article on what we call “the H-bomb” — how Christians misuse the word “heresy” all the time. The article will be published this Fall, God willing.

In our article, we will show that the way the word “heresy” and “heretical” were used in the New Testament doesn’t at all map to how people commonly use it today. Neither does it map to the way pre-modern Christians used it.

That said, Holcomb’s book looks at how historic Christianity understood the word. And in his companion volume on the creeds and counsils, he explains what orthodox doctrine is exactly.

In Know the Heretics, Holcomb provides an accessible guide to the most significant heretical beliefs throughout Christian history. Significantly, most of them are alive today.[Continue Reading…]

When Did Christians Start Tithing?

In our book, Pagan Christianity, George Barna and I wrote an entire chapter on the history of tithing from the Old Testament era, through the New Testament, and onward into church history.

What we establish will shock most Christians.

Namely, Christians didn’t begin the practice of tithing until hundreds of years after the death of the apostles.

They certainly gave money to various needs. But they didn’t tithe as they do today.

On another subject, have you ever asked yourself where the modern “worship service” comes from that’s observed in virtually every Protestant and evangelical church with minor adjustment to date?[Continue Reading…]

12 Forgotten Things Every Christian Should Know

The 97th episode of the “Christ is All” podcast has released.

In this episode, I discuss 12 forgotten things that I believe every Christian — new and seasoned — should know. If you find this message valuable, please share the link to this post with all your friends.

Let me tell you. I wish I had this  knowledge in my 20s! It would have spared me a lot of frustration and heart-ache.

The podcast is short and opens and closes with a music trailer (as most of my episodes do).

If you’re pressed for time, listen while you drive, walk, exercise, do household chores, or relax. I believe the listen will be well worth your time.

[Continue Reading…]

Haters Gonna Hate

If you are making an impact on people’s lives, you will . . . (not might) . . . attract haters.

So if you don’t want any haters in your life, don’t speak, don’t write, don’t blog, don’t podcast . . . oh, and don’t breathe.

Haters are either fueled by jealousy, low self-esteem (which is trying to assert itself), or an inflated-ego (which has been bruised somehow and elicits bluster).

Every once in a while I’ll get a flaming email from a hater.

A few weeks ago, a man wrote me an email which included baseless accusations against a co-author of one of my books.

Of course, the man making the accusations doesn’t know the person they were accusing. They just read some slanderous smackdown on the Web which painted my co-author to be a combination of Freddie Krueger, David Koresh, and a certified warlock. And to this benighted soul’s shame, he naively swallowed it hook, link, and sinker. (Or hook, link, and sinker, if you prefer.)

Click here to read the rest of this post on my Patheos blog

A Textbook for Preachers & Teachers

Leonard Sweet has written a remarkable book for those who minister God’s Word.

In a day when it’s so rare to find preaching that’s powerful, anointed, and which reveals Christ, Giving Blood is a paradigm-shifter.

This is more than a book. It’s a textbook and a practical manual.

In each chapter, Sweet shows those who minister the Word how to exegete the images in Scripture. How to speak the language of the present culture and impart life to its hearers. How to move beyond pulpiteerism and give messages that are participatory and interactive.

The book is gorgeous . . . outside and inside. It’s a brilliant work. Nuggets of gold from a life-time of experience.

Giving Blood is a groundbreaking resource for every person who teachers, preaches, exposits, or exhorts.

I will state one of my disappointments. I rarely do this, but when the book came out, I asked a few well-known leaders who have the ear of American preachers and teachers to share my interview with Sweet on the book.[Continue Reading…]