Change is everywhere. That was true prior to the pandemic. But that was nothing compared to now. In the past year and a half we’ve experienced (and are experiencing) massive change as we try to adapt to ever-evolving social realities and upheavals. Spinning is not a way to see clearly. We are becoming increasingly polarized … Continue reading Perpetual change and controversy?
In John 15:19 Jesus said this to his disciples: “you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” To understand what he means, we need to know that in this context the phrase “the world” is a way of speaking about … Continue reading Falling out of love with fitting in
The writer of Psalm 116 had experienced trauma—the “griefs of the grave,” as it is stated in the Geneva Bible translation. Whatever his particular affliction, he had called out to God for help, and received it! In gratitude and thanksgiving he said he would “call on the name of the LORD” (verse 13). We’ve heard … Continue reading Calling on the name of the Lord
Recently I was asked if I thought our world was becoming more argumentative. Although I don’t have any hard data on the issue, it does often seem to be the case. [If you want my full response to the question you can click on the link below.] What I can say is that:-we are in … Continue reading The whirlwind of argumentativeness
The other day I was thinking about how political a certain issue has become. Why does everything have to be so politicized? Why can’t people respectfully and graciously disagree about something without painting the other person as an enemy? But you and I don’t have to get sucked in to that approach as if it was … Continue reading Divisive times
“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…
Speaking to his fellow disciples, Peter wrote: “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). They are chosen, royal, holy and special. Why? So that they can “declare … Continue reading Wild goose or tame geese?