One of the most important chapters in my book, REVISE US AGAIN, has to do with the spiritual principle that God takes away to establish. He begins with darkness then light, evening and then morning. It’s an encouraging word for all believers, especially when things in life look dark.
Yesterday I interviewed a dear friend of mine, Earl Bennett. Earl is a Christian musician who has been part of worship teams in various churches for the last 30 years. His experience provides surprising insights into the underbelly of the world of contemporary Christian worship.
The following is an interview I did with Alan Knox. Alan is a Phd student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Hope you find it helpful.
1. Why did you decide to start writing, and why the topic of the church?
From the human point of view, it was purely accidental. But God has chosen to breathe on it.
When I was in my 20s, I met with a group of Christians in a home without a pastor. It was largely an unintentional experiment for us. I describe it a spontaneous burst of organic church life. We wanted to know if it was possible for Jesus Christ to lead His church in our day just as he did in Century One – without a human head (pastor, minister, priest, etc.). We wanted to know if it was possible for every member to function under Christ’s Leadership in a meeting without someone leading, directing, or even facilitating. We wanted to know if a church could make decisions together without someone telling us what to do.[Continue Reading…]
At the urging of some good friends, I began this blog on June 24, 2008. I must admit that I have enjoyed it more than I anticipated, as it’s enabled me to meet so many great people and to learn from their ideas and experiences.
What follows are the most popular blog posts of the year (represented by the most views).
The following article was written by Jon Zens in 2008. Three things to keep in mind:
1. Most Christians never realize or understand the despicable, sub-human act that gossip and slander are in the eyes of God until it happens to them.
2. Zens is using the biblical definitions for “gossip” and “slander,” not the modern, American legal definitions. They are quite different.
3. Some people have wrongly used the biblical teaching against gossip and slander to contradict Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18. For instance, if a person is sinning against others and doesn’t stop after being corrected in private by one person, then in private by two or more people, and then corrected by an entire body of believers, it’s not gossip or slander to make that person’s continuing sin public if they refuse to stop (repent). It’s also not gossip to go to a police officer and report a crime. Zens does talk about the Matthew 18 principle in the article, but his point is that many Christians skip steps 1 and 2 and go straight to 3. And this also is sin.
Have You Heard? The Plague of Gossip & Slander in the Body of Christ
by Jon Zens
Bob Mumford once said, “The Christian army is the only one that shoots its wounded.”
Regrettably, I have observed his statement to be all too true.
As long as I’ve been a Christian, I have watched friends and their families undergo untold pain and hurt because of the incredible power of gossip and slander. Years ago we were traveling and after speaking in a church a brother came up to me and said, “I heard that you had quit teaching in churches and took up potato farming.” How and why such a rumor got started is anybody’s guess! This rumor was fairly innocuous, but imagine the untold harm done by vicious judgments on the life and character of others.
In this article, I would like to address this issue head-on. My hope is to raise the awareness of my brothers and sisters in Christ on this matter, so that we all will better follow the Lord’s teachings regarding our speech about and actions toward others.[Continue Reading…]
Those of you who read my books are aware that I’ve written a good bit about the importance of narrative theology and understanding the NT in its socio-historical-chronological sequence.
In Chapter 11 of Pagan Christianity, George Barna and I deal with this. And I’ve written an entire book that presents the NT narrative in its chronological order, filling in the historical gaps between Acts and the Epistles. It’s called The Untold Story of the New Testament Church.
In recent years, three chronological Bibles have been published.[Continue Reading…]