Humanity’s Greatest Disappointment

“God remains humanity’s greatest disappointment.”

~ Dallas Willard

If you have your ear to the ground or your eyes on the screen, you will see a daily avalanche of mere mortals cursing, damning, and blaming the eternal God for everything that’s wrong in the world.

If people treat Him this way, while He is invisible, what would happen if He made Himself visible, like so many say they want?

They’d no doubt kill Him!

Wait . . .

He did.

And they did.

Then Jesus told Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

~ John 20:29[Continue Reading…]

5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Mentor

Before I get into the subject of today’s post, let me update you on my “Shocking Beliefs” series that I started on the Patheos blog network.

The title “shocking” is subjective. Some of the points in the series have been shocking, even stunning, to some Christians, while other points haven’t been.

At the beginning of each post in the series, I lay out the intended purpose, which is to encourage Christ-like graciousness, civility, and patience among Christians over doctrinal and theological differences.

(Those who’ve skimmed the posts without reading the introductions have regrettably missed the point, but most people have found the articles to be helpful and thus have shared them with others).

You’ll also want to read the comment threads also as there are additional insights given there.

To date, here are the number of social media shares on the first four installments of the series.[Continue Reading…]

A 21st Century Solution to a 1st Century Challenge

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Today, I interview the founder of 1MillionStories.org – a new evangelistic website.

Check out the video below and enjoy the interview!

(If you are getting this post by email, you may not be able to see the video. So just click on the heading of the post, and you’ll be taken to the blog so you can watch the video.)

What is 1MillionStories.org?

Steve Barnes: 1MillionStories.org is an online evangelism tool that allows you to share your personal testimony in seconds. It’s FREE, works on your phone or computer, and even the newest believer can use it to share their faith in Jesus Christ.  Pastors can mobilize their entire church body to actively share their faith immediately.[Continue Reading…]

3 Reasons Why You Need to Make That Apology

My new book The Day I Met Jesus: The Reavling Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels is now in Audiobook as well as a Large Print edition. There’s also The Day I Met Jesus Master Course with 20 audio messages by Mary DeMuth and me, eight bonus eBooks, and a printed workbook.

Recently, I was reading a book that contained a story about those who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The story demonstrated that when such people get past the denial phase, they shift their priorities and focus on what really matters most in life.

One of them is relationships.

In 7 Ways to Destroy a Friendship, I talked about the main factors which hinder friendship.

One of the things things which repairs broken relationships is apologies.

I’ve been a Christian for many years, and I can count on one hand the times when a fellow believer made an apology to me.[Continue Reading…]

Abandon

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Tim Timberlake has just released an interesting new book called Abandon: Laying Aside Your Plan for God’s Purpose.

I caught up with Tim to talk about his book. Enjoy!

Abandon: Laying Aside Your Plan for God's Purpose

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?”

Tim Timberlake: It is my prayer that the reader embraces this message to abandon oneself to God’s plan, and experience a life that is “far more than we could ever imagine or guess or request in our wildest dreams!” If we were to be brutally honest, we all have something or some area in our life we would be better off leaving behind us. So I hope this book highlights and uplifts those areas for the reader.[Continue Reading…]

Spiritual Memoir

There’s nothing new under the sun. These words were uttered by the person whom the Bible esteems to be the wisest man who ever lived (that is, before Jesus of Nazareth came along). See Ecclesiastes 1:9; 1 Kings 3:12; 4:30; Luke 11:31.

I’m not sure about you, but I descend into silent grunts whenever I hear someone make the outlandish statement that what they have to say is brand new, completely original, and hasn’t been said before.

I’ve yet to find this statement to be true. And I’ve yet to meet a human being who could make such a statement without lying through his or her teeth (whether with calculated deliberation or in conceited ignorance). Such over-the-top rhetoric is not only profoundly arrogant, but it has few points of contact with reality.

Being a student of church history, I have never personally met a true spiritual or theological trailblazer. Most of the people I know who are turning the sod on various aspects of the Christian faith are exploring pathways that have been populated by others in the past. None of it is brand new or completely original.[Continue Reading…]

Unoffendable

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Many, many years ago in a land far, far away, I wrote a little red book with George Barna that offended many people, religious people especially.

If George and I were living in the first century, that book would have gotten us boiled in olive oil.

In the 21st century, however, the book generated hate mail from Quakers and bodily threats from the Amish!

Yes, it offended religious people from every denominational quarter.

One of the first people to defend the little red book, dislodging the bogus arguments that the religiously offended leveled against it (most of whom never cracked open the cover, mind you [cough]), was the famed radio personality Brant Hansen. And he did it with grace, style, and sophisticated humor.

Fast forward 7 years later to April 2015, and Brant has written and launched his own book.

The topic? It’s about being offended.[Continue Reading…]

A Phrase Speakers Should Stop Using

If you ever listen to a pastor, teacher, or conference speaker rehearse a story, you’ll often hear them say something like this:

“After I finished my talk last month, someone came up to me and asked . . .”

The phrase “someone came up to me” is a well-worn statement that’s unthinkingly repeated by speakers, both Christian and non-Christian alike.

These speakers hear others use it, then they unwittingly use it without a thought.[Continue Reading…]

Radically Normal

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In Revise Us Again, I took dead aim at the two current problems in Christianity today – legalism on the one hand and libertinism on the other. I call these two tendencies “the two enemies of the gospel.” And they have been with us since the first century.

Recently, Josh Kelley has written a new book called Radically Normal: You Don’t Have to Live Crazy to Follow Jesus.

It’s a response to a certain genre of books that have caused younger Christians to view “radical Christianity” through one very narrow lens.

I interviewed Josh to ask him about the book. Enjoy!

[Continue Reading…]

Shocking Beliefs of John Calvin and Others . . .

My new book The Day I Met Jesus is now in Audiobook as well as a Large Print edition. There’s also The Day I Met Jesus Master Course with 20 audio messages by Mary DeMuth and me, eight bonus eBooks, and a printed workbook.

If you’ve not seen been keeping up with my Shocking Beliefs series over on Patheos, here are the posts:

Shocking Beliefs of John Calvin

Shocking Beliefs of C.S. Lewis

Shocking Beliefs of Jonathan Edwards

Shocking Beliefs of John Wesley

Shocking Beliefs of D.L. Moody NEW!

Shocking Beliefs of Augustine (coming in June)

Shocking Beliefs of Martin Luther (coming in July)

Shocking Beliefs of Charles Spurgeon (coming in August)

Bonus 1: Honoring Those With Whom You Disagree (Whitefield on Wesley)

Bonus 2: Three Shocking Quotes by Billy Graham

If you missed it: Forgotten Words of Jesus[Continue Reading…]