“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Yesterday we talked about the idea that friending the world means un-friending God. (If you missed it, or if that statement leaves you scratching your head, you can review it here.) Sociologist Robert Bellah says … Continue reading You: The cultural observer
In James 4:4, people who have been unfaithful to God get a firm talking-to: “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” Wow. Whatever being a “friend of the world” means, it’s … Continue reading Friending the world and un-friending God
Writing to a wide audience in the first century, James highlighted some very important elements in our faith if it is to be “pure and faultless.” Among other things, Jesus’ followers should keep themselves “from being polluted by the world.” Bible scholar N.T. Wright translates that phrase like this: “prevent the world leaving its dirty … Continue reading Polluted by the world?
There are things that shape us—that contribute to the molding of our minds and hearts. Our relationships, society, and country all play a part in this formative process. Messages are coming at us on an hourly basis about what is right or wrong, or good or bad, or attractive or ugly, or valuable or insignificant, … Continue reading If you don’t proactively shape who you are…
I get the opportunity to interact with people who aren’t totally sure about Jesus yet. Sometimes these interactions are online, and sometimes they’re in person. One of the stumbling blocks people identify is that the Bible seems to advocate teachings that are “behind the times” or “morally regressive.” And that makes them uncomfortable. I appreciate … Continue reading Behind the times?
James 4:4 (CSB) says: “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?” Let’s think about that much-neglected passage for a moment. First, “friendship with the world” means just thoughtlessly approving and going along with the values of the society around us. Second, James teaches that when we do that, we are … Continue reading Drinking Culture’s Kool-Aid?
Mark Clark was getting a lot of criticism from people. They said that because he consistently read his kids the Bible and explained who Jesus was (and is), and because he explained God’s hope for the world, that he was “brainwashing” them. But he wasn't the guilty one...
Our culture promotes convenience, comfort and quick-and-easy. But when it comes to faith, does God always make your life better by making it easier?
When I was learning how to drive a car, the instructor didn’t just teach me what was in the driver’s manual. He taught me other tips too. One of those tips was to go “with the speed of traffic.” ‘When you’re driving on the highway,' he explained, ‘and everyone is going a bit faster than … Continue reading Even if everyone is doing it
“Diversity” is a big deal these days. It’s the idea that we should be accepting of people from different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. For me, it brings to mind Psalm 133:1 where it says, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” But there are two kinds of diversity. There’s cheap … Continue reading Cheap Diversity vs Rich Diversity