A Quick Survey for Christian 30-Somethings

For those of you who are new to the blog, back in April I did a one-question survey for 20-somethings. We had over 250 people respond. You can check it out here.

The stories and testimonies were awesome. If you’re a 20-something who didn’t do the survey yet, go to the post (above) and answer the question.

That said, I received this email from a 30-something last week.

Frank, I’m one of the thirty somethings who is subscribed to your blog. It’s a life line for me and I can say it’s changed my life. Your books From Eternity to Here and Revise Us Again have really impacted me too and I have been set free from so much. I saw your survey for twenty somethings and wanted to know if you could do something like it for my age group. The problem is that I’ve been to many churches where I live and can’t seem to find people my age who are interested in talking about the Lord. They just want to talk about other stuff. I’m looking for people my age who are serious enough about the Lord to actually want to talk about him. I might be moving so it would great to hear from the other people who read your blog and your books who are in their thirties and where they live. It’s okay if you don’t want to do this but I thought I’d try.

I’ve decided to follow this person’s suggestion. Presently, this blog has over 570,000 viewings each month. And a large number of them are from Christians in their 30s.[Continue Reading…]

What Do You Do For Fun?

I’m interested to hear about the various and sundry hobbies and pastimes that you all have.

Things that you do for fun that aren’t work-related. Even if you derive enjoyment from your work or your ministry, I’m interested in hearing about those things that aren’t directly related to either.

For example, I have a friend who is into fishing. That’s what he does for fun. Another is into golf. Another is into tennis. Another loves to hunt. Another is into playing softball in a league. Another enjoys studying and making fine tea. Another friend is into cooking.

What things do you do for fun?

See also The Secret to Recharging Your Creativity

Knowing the Plan or Meeting the Person?

The following is from Watchman Nee:

“Men rejected Christ, not on the ground of what he did but on who he was, and they are invited to believe in what he is and who he is, and not, first of all, in what he has done. ‘He who hath the Son hath life.’

The appreciation of his work must come, but the main question is whether or not you have the Son, and not, first of all, whether or not you understand the whole plan of salvation. The first condition of salvation is not knowledge, but meeting Christ.

There are people who you may feel were saved by the wrong Scriptures! They were spoken to through verses that do not seem to point the way of salvation, and you almost feel that they could not be saved by that basis!

I used to wish that those whom I led to the Lord would be saved on the basis of John 3:16, but I have come to see that all that is needed for the initial step is that there should be a personal touch with God. It does not matter, therefore, which scripture God elects to use for that first vital step.”

~ Watchman Nee[Continue Reading…]

James D.G. Dunn

James D.G. Dunn is a renowned British New Testament scholar. Dunn is similar to the other evangelical scholars I’ve interviewed on this blog in the past. Namely . . .

Ben Witherington

Craig Keener

N.T. Wright

Scot McKnight

While I don’t agree with Dunn on everything (no more than I agree with the aforementioned scholars on everything), he has made some important contributions to historical Jesus studies and Christian theology.

I caught up with Jimmy recently to interview him on his work. You will find my favorite James D. G. Dunn books on my Best Christian Academic Books & Commentary List. Be sure to check them out. [Continue Reading…]

Book Review: More Than Cake

 

Today, I want to introduce you to Joe Miller’s book, More Than Cake.

Joe wrote the book for teams, but it’s good for individuals too.

Each chapter has a quote by another author, a devotional where Joe reflects on a topic, and then a discussion section.

The discussion sections contain four parts. Here’s an example:

1. MEANING: What meaning does this devotional have for you?

2. CONNECTION: As you think on this meaning, what passage of Scripture has special significance? Why?

3. CALL TO ACTION: What message does this devotional have for your team?

4. FINISH TOGETHER!: After you meet with your team, write the ending to each sentence:  a. “Based on the challenge of this devotional, my role in the team…”

The book contains 52 meditations in all. Because Joe writes in a winsome style, it’s a fast read. The discussion sections slow you down to reflect on each devotion.

I especially liked the quotes that Joe selected. They alone are worth the price of the book. Here are some of my favorites:[Continue Reading…]

Back to Christ

Tomorrow – June 22, 2012 – will mark three years since “A Jesus Manifesto” (the essay) was nailed to the Internet door by Leonard Sweet and me.

Seeing that it’s the third anniversary of our manifesto, I thought it would be fitting to repost it along with all the links to the supplemental materials, including the 200-page book that was given birth by the essay.

Many of you are new to the blog since June 2009, so you probably never read the original manifesto. In many ways, my new book Beyond Evangelical picks up where Jesus Manifesto leaves off.

A Magna Carta for Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ

a.k.a.

A Jesus Manifesto for the 21st Century Church

by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

 

Christians have made the gospel about so many things . . . things other than Christ.

Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without him, all things lose their value. Without him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space.

It is possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ . . . who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts.[Continue Reading…]

Where Are the Other Nine?

If you’re like me, you are sometimes given to periods of discouragement. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and focus on the empty side of the glass, losing sight of the full side.

This post, then, is a reminder to all of us to keep in view what God has done for us and what He has given us . . . and to give thanks.

I’ll begin with a story of Jesus . . . taking special note of His question, “Where are the other nine?” . . .  followed by Paul’s continuous reminders to be thankful.

Those of us who have been touched by Jesus Christ are cleansed lepers. Let’s not be among the nine.

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Luke 17:11-18[Continue Reading…]

Charles Spurgeon vs. D.L. Moody

My new book, Beyond Evangelical, released a week ago. I want to thank all of you who purchased it.

So far, the feedback has been extremely encouraging. I’m glad I made the decision to write and publish it.

Many of you haven’t picked up your copy yet. Someone suggested that some of you may think that the book just repeats previous blog posts. This isn’t the case.

While it contains my entire “beyond evangelical” series, it also includes new chapters that you will not find anywhere else. And to my mind, they are some of the best and most important chapters I’ve written for the book.

In addition, the book cites and quotes large excerpts from Scot McKnight, Roger Olson, N.T. Wright, Mark Noll, Alister McGrath, and many other influential evangelical Christians. Those quotes are worth the price of the book and links to the full articles are included as well.

So the book is a powerful resource, putting loads of related content together in one small space.

If you’re a serious Christian, you can’t afford to be ignorant on what’s happening in Christianity today, and what God appears to be doing among Bible-believing, Jesus-following Christians.[Continue Reading…]