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…]

Rethinking Homosexuality

For the first time, I shared my views on the ever-controversial issue of homosexuality in the 85th episode of my podcast.

What I said was my response to two people’s questions about the subject.

If you haven’t heard the episode yet, click Answers to Hot-Boiling Questions.

Don’t assume what I believe. Listen to it in its entirety if you haven’t already. 

In that podcast episode, I talk about three views on homosexuality among Christians and I end with “the third view,” mentioning a list of scholars who hold to it.

To make it easier for you to track those scholars down and what they said on the subject, I’ve complied a list of links.

Here they are:[Continue Reading…]

Answers to Hot-Boiling Questions

Not long ago I took questions from some of you and promised to answer them on my next podcast episode.

The new episode was uploaded yesterday. It’s episode #85.

I did my best at answering the questions in all seriousness and candor. However, as is my custom, the episode is sprinkled with a good dose of comic relief.

So . . . if you don’t have a sense of humor, then put your coffee cup down right now, walk away from your computer or smart phone, and forget that you ever read this blog post!

Here’s a sampling of some of the questions. There were many more that I answered.

Note that I have never before discussed my views on the last question . . . until now.[Continue Reading…]