You’re Putting God in a Box!

Have you ever heard someone make this statement?

“You’re putting God in a box!”

I’ve watched it used in two ways. One is legitimate, the other is a deflection from a spiritual truth.

The legitimate use of it usually occurs when someone ignores what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit’s ministry, or they try to restrict it beyond what Scripture teaches.[Continue Reading…]

The Rapture Question

I’ve finally gotten around to going through the 2013 blog survey questions, so I’ll be responding to your questions on this blog in the weeks to come.

On Wednesday, I’ll be talking about the Christian’s relationship to the Law. You don’t want to miss it.

Today will be the first question from the 2013 blog survey that I respond to.

Many of you asked me where I stand on the “rapture question.”

I suspect that those who asked (1) are new to the blog, and (2) have not yet read Jesus: A Theography.

I’ve given my answer to this question previously in a post entitled Rethinking the Second Coming of Christ. And I go into more detail in Jesus: A Theography.[Continue Reading…]

What We Haven’t Been Taught About Jesus

The 88th episode of the “Christ is ALL” podcast is one that will interest many — if not all — of you.

Dr. Michael Brown and I discuss what we haven’t been taught about Jesus. (By “we,” I’m referring to most Christians in my experience and observation.)

You can listen to the podcast episode – What We Haven’t Been Taught About Jesus – in one of three ways:[Continue Reading…]

A Message to Ex-Pastors and Those On Their Way Out

If you aren’t an ex-pastor or someone who is thinking about leaving the clergy system . . . or you don’t have friends who fall into either category . . . feel free to skip this post as it’s probably not for you. 

Study after study has revealed that between 1,500 and 2,000 pastors leave the pastorate every month in the USA. This figure is staggering. Yet it’s the reality.

I’m not going to talk about why they are leaving, since I’ve done this elsewhere.

Instead, I want to talk to those of you who have left the pastorate or who are seriously considering it.

Most of you have left because of a crisis of conscience with the modern pastoral role. But there’s a major question you face, and it’s terrifying. That question is: what do I do for income once I’ve broken these ties?

I’ve received countless letters from pastors telling me that they want out, but they have no employable skills. So in order to keep their homes and feed their families, they stay in a job with which they are unsatisfied or feel isn’t right for them.

Many who have pulled the rip cord on the position are struggling financially.[Continue Reading…]

Rethinking Leadership in the New Testament

In my book, Reimagining Church (2008), I crafted a detailed exposition on what leadership in the first-century church looked like and the revolutionary principles that were clearly articulated by Jesus and Paul.

The second half of my book is entitled “Who is Your Covering?” (a title I created in the 1990s), and it goes into great depth on the issues of accountability, submission, and authority.

The Appendix of Reimagining Church answers every objection I’ve ever seen about my views on this subject along with my responses.

In this connection, Jon Zens has just released a powerful new book. It’s called 58-0: How Christ Leads Through the One-Anothers

Print

If I had one book by Jon Zens to give to people, it would be this one.

It contains Zens’ best thinking on the subject of leadership from a New Testament perspective, and it also contains chapters by other writers — some past and some contemporary.

Here is the chapter I contributed to the book.[Continue Reading…]

Women in Ministry: An Interview with Jennifer LeClaire of “Charisma Magazine”

Jennifer LeClaire is a writer and the administrator for Charisma and Charisma News online. I caught up with Jennifer recently for an interview.

If you’re new to the blog, you may be wondering about this. But I’m not a charismatic myself and I don’t follow what’s going on in the charismatic world. So many of the people who Jennifer mentions, I’ve heard their names, but I don’t follow their ministries. That said, many of my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ are charismatics, and like all streams in the Body of Christ, they have a contribution to make. For instance, Dr. Michael Brown, Sam Storms, Francis Frangipane, Jack Hayford, Adrian Warnock, Craig Keener are all charismatic leaders who I  know and respect.

(In Pouring Water on Strange Fire, I give my views on the supernatural work of the Spirit as well as the charismatic movement.)

Enjoy the interview. [Continue Reading…]

Fast & Furious 6: A Tale of Two Kingdoms

Recently, I watched the new film Fast & Furious 6 with my friend Jose Bosque.

I stunt-doubled in it (for Vin Diesel, of course), but that’s not the reason why I’m writing this post. :-)

The movie was superb. Beyond great acting, great action, and great cinematography (the scenery was stunning), the film depicts two kinds of kingdoms . . . or churches.

One is the kingdom (or church) ruled by “precision” . . . where people are treated as cogs in the system.

If they make a mistake, they are disposed of.

The other is the kingdom — or church — ruled by family and the undying loyalty that goes with it. As well as sacrifice for the higher purpose.

Watch the movie with this lens and it will speak powerfully.[Continue Reading…]

Rethinking Church Discipline & Excommunication

In Reimagining Church (2008), I briefly discussed the topic of church discipline. Recently, someone asked me to expand what I said about the topic, asking for my opinion on how church discipline worked in the early church.

I’ve already dealt with the first half of this question in another post. See How (Not) to Correct Another Christian.

Excommunicating a genuine Christian is a “horrible” experience. I say horrible because excommunicating a true believer (putting them out of a local assembly) is one of the most horrendous, heart-wrenching, dreadful things that can happen to a person.

Anyone who is involved in excommunicating someone (who has half a heart, that is) doesn’t want to be involved in the process.

Excommunication is discussed in several places in the New Testament. So it’s not an issue that can be conveniently ignored.[Continue Reading…]