Christianity, Critical Race Theory, and Relational Ethics

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

The Monkey and the Fish

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

A Reorientation to Discipleship

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

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: Teacher

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: Shepherd

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: Evangelist

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: Prophet

Team Essentials: Apostle

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

Hand washing and Politics

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

No More Weeping

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

Fighting for Freedom of Religion?

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?

Who Would Jesus Vote for?

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?

What is Social Justice Anyway?

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?

Ep 57: When Evangelicals Sneeze

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

The Effect of Our Witness

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

What would you do if you knew that one-third of your friends would leave church?

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?

Is Movement Possible?

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?

The Evangelical Identity, Part 1 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

Can Evangelicalism be Saved?

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?