Much has been written in recent days about “white evangelicals” and there is just as much emotion conjured up when seeing the term. Those on the political right are often offended by the moniker as it attacks their truncated theological heritage. Those on the political left use it as a power word against a theologicallyContinue reading Are White Evangelicals Really the Problem?
The imagery and symbols are clear. Church and state have never truly been separated in the United States. From its inception, the marriage of religion and politics has been a powerful force to unite pundits around political ideologies. It doesn’t matter if the ideologies are conservative or liberal, invoking faith during an inaugural address orContinue reading Seven Sins of American Evangelical Civil Religion
Critical race theory (CRT) is finding expression in various social issues around the world. Its renown recently received an unlikely boost by six Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) associated seminary presidents when they unilaterally denounced CRT as incompatible with the SBC’s “The Baptist Faith and Message” (Schroeder 2020). The backlash among Black pastors in the SBCContinue reading Christianity, Critical Race Theory, and Relational Ethics
During my doctoral studies in the early 2000s, Paul Hiebert shared a story that I have never forgotten. Dr. Hiebert was a master at using illustrations and case studies to highlight essential missiological principles. His years of experience in India and as a world renowned missiological anthropologist made those attending his classes sit on the edge ofContinue reading The Monkey and the Fish
The German theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), has captured the attention of Americans, if not also many others around the world, like no other modern-day theologian. His Discipleship and Ethics have inspired numerous discussions regarding their application, or misapplication, to contemporary social issues. The root of Bonhoeffer’s ethics is theology as a first order.Continue reading Bonhoeffer, Theology, and Social Justice
Could there not be a more important topic at the beginning of the third decade of the second millennia than social justice? Simply a cursory observation of the contemporary cultural landscape indicates there is not. Indeed, justice might rightly be described as a uniting hallmark for the struggle of all people. Whether one is seekingContinue reading A Reorientation to Discipleship
Sitting on the credenza behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office is the bust of Latino civil rights leader César Chávez. Other leaders of the movement decorating the most powerful place on the planet—Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Robert F. Kennedy—give a clear signal to the 46th US president’s agenda for America. Among hisContinue reading Hang On! It’s going to be another bumpy four years!!
On January 6th while the 117th Congress gathered to certify the 2020 election, an individual who identifies himself as Crazy Cripple filmed a group marching on the street toward the US Capitol. At about the 2 minute mark in the video, the group stops to pray. Ahead of the prayer, someone announces, “If you’re onContinue reading “We’re Storming the Capitol Guys”
The Christian movement in Asia Minor is a wonderful example of a group of churches and APEST leaders who took doctrine and morality seriously. Writing to a few of these churches in Ephesus less than four decades after Paul’s initial engagement of people in the city began (Acts 19), Jesus applauded them for the goodContinue reading A Day After Christmas in Revelation
On this third Sunday of Advent, our family gathered together in the living room for a devoted time of prayer, scripture reading, and the Lord’s supper — just as we have done every Sunday since the pandemic began in March of 2020. This week we read from Luke 2, specifically the story of the shepherdsContinue reading Good News for All People: The Three ‘Advents’ of 2020
It seems to be a regular occurrence these days. Another evangelical pastor falls into moral failure. Carl Lentz is the latest causality. The celebrity pastor of Hillsong Church’s New York City branch is a further example of the dark side of hierarchical leadership where a pastor-centric ecclesiology places a charismatic person as the lead ofContinue reading The Dark Side of Hierarchical Leadership
I am absolutely convinced that there has never been a genuine missional movement—the kind that has both exponential growth as well as transformational impact across a wide domain—that does not have APEST ministry. APEST, which stands for Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher, comes from Ephesians 4, and I strongly believe movements need all fiveContinue reading Team Essentials: Teacher
I am absolutely convinced that there has never been a genuine missional movement—the kind that has both exponential growth as well as transformational impact across a wide domain—that does not have APEST ministry. APEST, which stands for Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher, comes from Ephesians 4, and I strongly believe movements need all fiveContinue reading Team Essentials: Shepherd
I am absolutely convinced that there has never been a genuine missional movement—the kind that has both exponential growth as well as transformational impact across a wide domain—that does not have APEST ministry. APEST, which stands for Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher, comes from Ephesians 4, and I strongly believe movements need all fiveContinue reading Team Essentials: Evangelist
I am absolutely convinced that there has never been a genuine missional movement—the kind that has both exponential growth as well as transformational impact across a wide domain—that does not have APEST ministry. APEST, which stands for Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher, comes from Ephesians 4, and I strongly believe movements need all fiveContinue reading Team Essentials: Prophet
I am absolutely convinced that there has never been a genuine missional movement—the kind that has both exponential growth as well as transformational impact across a wide domain—that does not have APEST ministry. APEST, which stands for Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher, comes from Ephesians 4, and I strongly believe movements need all fiveContinue reading Team Essentials: Apostle
Jesus was often counter-cultural. He upset a lot of people because He would frequently break the status quo and do the will of His Father (Matthew 12:50) instead of “following the rules” society had established. On the heels of the vice presidential debate and the “super spreading” event that caused the hospitalization of the presidentContinue reading Hand washing and Politics
Years ago when I was a student involved in Cru at Texas A&M, a single photocopied sheet circulated among students allegedly originating from Dr. Bill Bright. As I recall the story, Dr. Bright had been studying John and Charles Wesley’s Holy Club that had formed on the campus of Oxford in 1729. The club composedContinue reading Are We On the Brink of Revival?
It is sometimes refreshing to look back in Christian history to be reminded once again of those events upon which we stand. Where we are today did not occur in a vacuum or in isolation from the past. In a very real sense, the past shapes who we are in the present and reminds usContinue reading The Christian Roots of America
I believe in God’s sovereignty, not in a fatalistic way or a double predestination one. Rather, God superintends His creation in such a manner to ensure that His will is completed. The Book of Revelation gives us a picture of the completion of that will: And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are youContinue reading The Lesser of Two Evils and God’s Sovereignty
Yesterday was national daughter’s day. I’m not sure when that national day came into being, but we have a daughter who merits being recognized for at least one day out of a year if not every day. Michaela and I were having another one of our great theological conversations. They are getting increasingly rare, notContinue reading No More Weeping
If you have been following the news regarding Grace Community Church and its pastor John MacArthur’s battle in the courts of California, you might be thinking this is one of those complex issues confronting Christian churches across the country. Watch the latest video at foxnews.com The claim that California is prohibiting the freedom to worshipContinue reading Fighting for Freedom of Religion?
With less than 60 days until the 2020 presidential election, who would Jesus vote for? Both evangelical Democrats and Republicans would no doubt claim He would vote for their candidate. Even more, both sides would argue that their political party best represents the values of the Kingdom of God. Admittedly, there are those who seeContinue reading Who Would Jesus Vote for?
Leadership sets the tone for the direction of a movement. In fact, one might argue that a movement will rise or fall largely on its leadership. To understand the effective movement leadership that we see in the New Testament is to understand the theocentric focus of the leaders. This leadership imbues a profound sense ofContinue reading The Dangers of Charismatic Leadership
Social justice has become a polarizing term that has set Christians against each other. Contributing to the confusion are social theories such as critical theory and critical race theory where social justice tends to focus on opposing systemic issues where an oppressor group has disadvantaged other groups. Such theories, when applied by Christians, tend toContinue reading What is Social Justice Anyway?
In early November 2019, I sat in a room of Christians comprised of various traditions: Coptic, Orthodox, Syriac, Catholic, and evangelical. The location did not escape my attention as the group of about 50 members of the Lausanne Orthodox Initiative, an issue group of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, a movement started in 1974Continue reading Why I Resigned from Evangelicalism
Are you struggling with American evangelicalism? It’s gotten to the point where it is difficult to recognize a theological tradition that has been around for nearly 500 years. In his recent book, Dr. Cooper shares his concerns for loosing the American evangelical identity. Michael shares: You’ll read about how the majority of evangelicals live outsideContinue reading Ep 57: When Evangelicals Sneeze
During the course of my research for When Evangelicals Sneeze: Curing the American Church from the Plague of Identity Loss, I came across many comments about evangelicals. Some of them were from evangelicals in other parts of the world talking about American evangelicals. Some were evangelical Democrats talking about evangelical Republicans and vice versa. OthersContinue reading The Effect of Our Witness
The Bible might be a good place to start when attempting a definition of evangelical. After all, every Christian denomination in the world would claim that they are the correct manifestation of the church, at least as they would interpret the Bible. The problem remains, we would be hard pressed to say that there wereContinue reading Were there Evangelicals in the Bible?
The July 8, 2020 release of the Barna Group’s latest study on the State of the Church has confirmed what some have suspected would occur as a result of COVID-19. The study revealed that 32 percent of practicing Christians stopped attending church, whether in person or online, since the outbreak of the virus. While theContinue reading What would you do if you knew that one-third of your friends would leave church?
Many are wondering if a movement of churches is even possible in the United States. While the criticism of the movements we are seeing around the world has at times been sharp – accusations of theological shallowness, immature leaders, irresponsible evangelism – observers of the US evangelical landscape are beginning to recognize the same critiqueContinue reading Is Movement Possible?
Theology attempts to answer the questions of what and why we believe as we do. In answering those questions, theology forms the basis of who we are as Christians, or, in other words, it provides a sense of identity. That identity, while being worked out for the Christian personally and theologically, is expressed within a cultural context. Thus,Continue reading The Evangelical Identity, Part 2 of 4
Cultural fragmentation, pluralization and globalization have raised the issue of evangelical identity in fresh ways. These factors, along with the explosive growth of theologically conservative Protestantism worldwide as well as Trumpgelicalism and evangelical deconstructionism in the United States have prompted many to ask what it means to be “evangelical Christians.” Western evangelicalism has tended to define itselfContinue reading The Evangelical Identity, Part 1 of 4
“We are perfectly designed to achieve what we are seeing.” Join us as we explore this profound statement in our interview with Alan Hirsch. Alan is one of the leading movement thinkers who believes that our movement rhetoric is beginning to see fruit. Among our topics: rediscovering the apostle, prophet, and evangelist; paradigm shifts; identifyingContinue reading Ep 35: Interview with Alan Hirsch
Over the month of December, the American political environment opened an opportunity for many to discuss – perhaps debate or argue is more apropos – the merits of the moniker “evangelical.” There are valid reasons for such conversations as we’ve seen an expression of evangelicalism in America that seemingly gives more attention to the socialContinue reading Can Evangelicalism be Saved?