Another Take on Christian Giving

Five years ago, George Barna and I wrote an entire chapter in our book Pagan Christianity on the biblical foundation of the tithe. In it, we argued that Christians didn’t tithe until hundreds of years after the church was born. However, the early Christians did give financially and they gave to several specific things.

Recently, Jeff Anderson wrote a new book on Christian giving called Plastic Donuts: Giving That Delights the Heart of the Father.

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Giving in the body of Christ, especially financial giving, is a sore spot for many Christians because of all the undue emphasis on money and the flagrant abuse surrounding it.

In his new book, Jeff Anderson seeks to redeem the true biblical vision of giving. I caught up with Jeff to interview him on his book.

Enjoy.[Continue Reading…]

Who Do You Think You Are?

Earlier this year, I spoke at the 220 Conference in Texas. One of the brothers who was in the audience took an excerpt from one of the talks I delivered and created a video with background music.

If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, this is your heritage and your true identity. Each statement comes from the New Testament.

Here are the three messages in their entirety – all free downloads:

The Deeper Journey: Part I

The Deeper Journey: Part II

The Deeper Journey: Part III

You can also access them on iTunes

To read a list of these declarations with Scripture references, click Who Are You? Accepting Your True Identity[Continue Reading…]

A Friend Who Cares

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

[Continue Reading…]

Jerusalem is NOT God’s Favorite Place on Earth

Bethany

In every generation, Christians face the same challenges—namely doubt, discouragement, fear, guilt, division, rejection, and the struggle against consumerism and complacency.

The Gospels narrate the incredible story of Jesus’ earthly life. Yet there is a story within this narrative that’s often missed. And to my mind, it’s the greatest story never told—a narrative within the narrative.

That narrative is the story of Jesus’ repeated visits to the little village of Bethany.[Continue Reading…]

When Grown Men Cry

A free audio of Chapter 4 of God’s Favorite Place on Earth is now available.

Click here to listen to the chapter for free – along with the Introduction.

I’ve never written a book that provoked so many emails from grown men, saying that the book made them weep.

Chapter 4 – “Anointed in Bethany” – has brought many men to tears.

Interesting.

I’m curious to know if any of my sisters in Christ cried from reading the book. So far, it’s only been men who have told me it made them cry.

You can read Chapter 4 here if you don’t wish to listen to it.

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The Gospel Project

The following is a recent interview I did with my friend Ed Stetzer. Ed talks about a new project called “The Gospel Project” which is very much in line with what Leonard Sweet and I did in our book Jesus: A Theography, showing Christ through all the Scriptures. Enjoy the interview.

Among the many other things you do, you also serve as the general editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources. What is The Gospel Project and how did it come about?

Ed Stetzer: A few years ago, several of us at LifeWay began dreaming of developing a theologically robust curriculum line. We wanted a resource intended to help believers encounter the truth of Scripture through a theological lens, while providing a mission-driven theme to nudge believers to action. With those goals in mind, we developed The Gospel Project.

The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum looking at the grand narrative of Scripture and how the Gospel transforms lives. This was the first new curriculum line that LifeWay released in many years. It has been exciting to hear how God is using it.[Continue Reading…]

The Race Card of the Early Christians – What They Can Teach Us Today

The following article was co-written with my friend and brother in Christ Derwin Gray

The Race Card of the Early Christians – What They Can Teach Us Today 

by Derwin Gray and Frank Viola

The Zimmerman trial and the tragedy that surrounds it has captured the world’s attention. Including that of the body of Christ.

Media coverage has heightened passions on both ends. Conversations about race, law, injustice, prejudice, guns, etc. are all being argued and inflamed.

In this article, we don’t want to weigh in on the public debate. Instead, our passion is to encourage God’s people everywhere to transcend the debate that the world is holding on its own terms by seeing ethnicity through the eyes of our Lord. There is only one race, the human race, which is comprised of different ethnic groups (Acts 17:26).

We want you, dear Christian, to take your cue from the New Testament believers, for they can teach us a great deal about this subject.

A Walk Into the First-Century Church

The world of the first-century was littered with racism and oppression. In the mind of a first-century Jew, Gentiles (Africans, Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Asians, etc.) were created to fuel the fires of hell.[Continue Reading…]