Today I interview my friend Phil Cooke once again. This time, we talk about his new book, Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media. If you’re an author, speaker, musician, blogger, or artist of any kind, you should have this book on your bookshelf. Here’s the interview.

Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media  -              By: Phil Cooke

As you know, I loved your book, One Big Thing. How does Unique differ from that book?

Phil Cooke: Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media is really my life message.  I believe the greatest challenge facing leaders and creative artists today is getting their message heard through the clutter of competing voices.  We live in the most disrupted and distracted culture in the history of the world, and it’s more difficult than ever to break through and get noticed. [Continue Reading...]

3 Christian Responses to Mental Illness & Which One Comports Best with the Bible

This post is a P.S. to my article on Monday entitled Rick Warren’s Horrific Tragedy & The Sickening Response of Some “Christians” which has become my most viewed blog post since I started the blog in 2008.

Throughout my years of being involved in various and sundry Christian movements and denominations, it seems that Christians understand mental disorders in one of three chief ways:

  1. Mental illness is demonic in origin. So the antidote is to cast out the demons that are causing it.
  2. Mental illness is psychobabble. There’s no such thing as a “mental disorder.” All so-called mental illnesses are just sinful behaviors. So the antidote is for the person to repent and get right with God.
  3. Mental illness is a physiological disorder. The brain is a physical organ just like the heart, the thyroid, the joints, etc. Thus if someone has panic attacks or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or chronic depression or ADHD, they have a chemical imbalance in the brain, not dissimilar to a hyperthyroidism or high blood pressure or arthritis.

I cut my teeth on a movement that promoted #1. I’ve met many people who believed #2. But I believe #3 is often the case.

Yet it’s not so simple.[Continue Reading...]

Rick Warren’s Horrific Tragedy & The Sickening Response of Some “Christians”

Now is a good time to go back and re-read Warning: The World is Watching How We Christians Treat One Another.

Why do so many people not want to have anything to do with Jesus? It’s because of the cruel, harsh, self-righteous, and judgmental attitude that some professing “Christians” level against their fellow believers.

“Why would I want to be part of that bunch!?” . . . is the common response by so many non-Christians today.

Yesterday, I got the sad news that Rick Warren’s youngest son committed suicide. Here’s a short explanation with quotes from Rick himself.[Continue Reading...]

Video Trailer for GOD’S FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH & “Rethinking the Will of God” (Revised & Free)

I have two announcements today:

1. All Email subscribers to this blog will not only receive my Next Reformation Seminar,  but they will also receive my eBook, Rethinking the Will of God (Revised Edition). The book and seminar will be sent to all Email subscribers — old and new — on May 8th and following. So hold steady for that. If you’re new to the blog, click here to subscribe by Email so you can get the book and seminar. It’s free to subscribe.


If you know Christians who are in their 20s and 30s, this eBook will be of special encouragement to them. So spread the word. [Continue Reading...]

The Bible Miniseries: 4 Disks on Blu-ray or Standard DVD at the Best Price

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting YEARS for a first-rate, high quality, non-laughable, riveting and engaging depiction of the biblical story made into film.

Well, we may have been born for such a time as this. I’m told that The Bible: The Epic Miniseries fits the bill.

Some are raving about it. Others said they didn’t like it. So the verdict is out for me.

Hence, I just bought my DVD set (Blu-ray) and look forward to watching the series.

From the Producer: Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have given us The Bible — an epic 10-part miniseries retelling stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation. Breathtaking in scope and scale, The Bible features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation. This historic television event will entertain and inspire.

Order them now at a great discount below.[Continue Reading...]

Behold His Mighty Hand!

I wanted to play this short video for Resurrection Weekend. It not only reminds us about the mighty act of God to deliver His people during the first Passover — a shadow of what the death and resurrection of Jesus portrays — but it’s a great encouragement to all of you who are going through a tough time right now and are seeking God’s deliverance and salvation. Remember, we walk by faith not by sight. It is faith in God’s promises that moves the Lord to act on our behalf. Fear is the opposite of faith. To the child of God who is walking in love, God’s word is always “Fear not.”

He is Risen!

[tentblogger-youtube OqCTq3EeDcY]

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Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part XII

The following is another revealing quote by Frank Bartleman. Bartleman was part of the Azusa street revival that gave birth to the modern Pentecostal/charismatic movement in the early 1900s. To my mind, his words were prophetic and ahead of their time. He foresaw the dangers of co-opting Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit. He wrote, 

In the beginning of the Pentecostal work, I became very much exercised in the Spirit that Jesus should not be slighted, ‘lost in the temple,’ by the exaltation of the Holy Ghost and of the gifts of the Spirit. There seemed to be a great danger of losing sight of the fact that Jesus was ‘all in all.’ I endeavored to keep Him as the central theme and figure before His people. Jesus will always be the center of our preaching. All comes through and in Him. The Holy Spirit was given to “show the things of Christ.” The work of Calvary, the atonement, must be the center for our consideration. The Holy Ghost will never draw our attention from Christ to Himself, but rather reveal Christ in a fuller way. We are in the same danger today. There is nothing deeper nor higher than to know Christ. Everything is given by God to that end. The ‘one Spirit’ is given to that end. Christ is our salvation and our all. That we might know ‘the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:18-19), ‘having a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him’ (Ephesians 1:17). It was ‘to know Him (Christ),’ for which Paul strove . . . We may not even hold a doctrine, or seek an experience, except in Christ. Many are willing to seek power from every battery they can lay their hands on in order to perform miracles, draw attention and adoration of the people to themselves, thus robbing Christ of His glory and making a fair showing in the flesh . . . Religious enthusiasm easily goes to seed. The human spirit so predominates the show-off, religious spirit. But we must stick to our text—Christ. He alone can save. The attention of the people must first of all, and always, be held to Him . . . Any work that exalts the Holy Ghost or the gifts of the Spirit above Jesus will finally end up in fanaticism. Whatever causes us to exalt and love Jesus is well and safe. The reverse will ruin all. The Holy Ghost is a great light, but will always be focused on Jesus for His revealing (Frank Bartleman, Another Wave of Revival, Springdale: Whitaker House, 1982, pp. 94-96). 

One of the churches I planted taught me a great lesson on this score. Their meetings were completely open, participatory, and indelibly centered on Jesus Christ. They had no building. No clergy. No set order of worship.[Continue Reading...]

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part XI

I am often asked what I believe about “the gifts of the Spirit.” My typical answer is that I believe in them . . . all of them. However, I believe in and practice them without the classic charismatic packages and Pentecostal wrappings.

A large chunk of my life in the institutional church was spent in charismatic circles. About sixteen years ago, however, I came into an experience of the Spirit’s work and power that looked nothing like what I had seen in any charismatic or Pentecostal church to which I belonged or visited. For me, it was a new experience of the Spirit. One that was less artificial, less contrived, and less centered on the Spirit Himself. Rather, it was an experience that was authentic, pure, and centered on the Lord Jesus Christ.

For this reason, I am neither a cessationist (those who believe that some spiritual gifts have ceased) nor a charismatic (those who emphasize spiritual gifts). Instead, I consider myself to be a post-charismatic.[Continue Reading...]

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part X

Over the last four decades, a heated controversy has raged in the church over the question of spiritual gifts. It has been my experience that much of the disagreement among believers regarding spiritual gifts often finds its basis in a conflicting conversational style. That is to say, two believers may actually have similar beliefs and experiences regarding the gifts, but because they use different theological jargon, they mistakenly conclude that their beliefs and experiences are worlds apart. I liken this phenomenon to that of medicine and medicine labels.

Suppose, for example, that your doctor prescribes a certain medicine for a stomach disorder from which you suffer. Through a careless mistake, the medicine is labeled improperly. Instead of labeling it “Senna,” as it should be, the medicine bottle is mislabeled “Sopor.” Not knowing the difference, you take the medicine and it aids in your recovery. Yet when you tell others how this medicine (Sopor) has helped you, they are dumfounded because Sopor does not relieve stomach problems. [Continue Reading...]